Surge in registrations for offsite products
01 Jun 2018
There has been a sharp spike in registrations of offsite manufactured construction products, with the number accredited by the industry's main assurance body almost doubling last year to 20.
The Build Offsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS) was jointly established five years ago by industry body Buildoffsite, BLP Insurance, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Lloyd’s Register, to provide more confidence and quality assurance for offsite products.
The organisation says a further 12 products have been registered this year so far, with another 50 "in discussion" over approval. Eleven were registered in 2016, but just four in each of the previous two years.
BOPAS aims to provide long-term assurance to lenders and valuers that homes built using non-traditional methods of construction will be durable for at least 60 years, without the need for disproportionate maintenance.
BLP Insurance said that while a wide range of systems were receiving accreditation through BOPAS, there was little doubt that modular or volumetric systems are most common amongst manufacturers looking to break into the market.
Jeff Maxted, director of technical consultancy at BLP Insurance, said: "More and more manufacturers are recognising the valuable assurance BOPAS provides to funders, valuers, developers and most importantly the consumer regarding the longevity and durability of the end product.
"We expect to see registrations continue to rise as the sector wakes up to the benefits of offsite construction in alleviating ongoing pressures of workforce shortages, rising costs and growing construction targets.
"Off-site and modern methods of construction offer the industry a practical answer to delivering affordable, high quality properties at a speed which can help address the UK’s chronic lack of housing. However, in order to become the mainstream, offsite manufacturing will require coordinated efforts from both the government and the construction industry, to keep momentum going."