Offsite Construction to Play Integral Role in Two of the Biggest
It has been widely reported that two of the largest growth sectors in
the coming years will be Affordable/Social Housing and Student
Accommodation, to which Offsite Construction will play an integral role
in assisting with delivering such projects on time and within budget.
Steve Hardy, Sidey’s Joint Managing Director commented - “It might seem
an odd thing to say that delivery on time and within budget has never
been more important than it is now – these things should be a given -
but with the sector undertaking the biggest sustained programme of
student accommodation building ever the joint pressures of cost and
delivery predictability are at an all-time high”.
“Ultimately term times dictate when buildings need to be ready, and
failure to deliver on time can have catastrophic consequences for the
client, the students and the supply chain; projects can often slip back
a full year if they cannot be guaranteed to be delivered in time, and
for clients the revenue losses can significantly disrupt their business
plans and their ability to make suitable accommodation available for
“With the traditional construction sector generally reported to be
delivering projects on time at a rate lower than 50%, and with material
costs and material availability difficult to predict - in addition to
well documented skills and labour shortages - it is little wonder that
the student accommodation sector has embraced offsite manufacturing as
the ideal choice to ensure its needs are met”.
“The cost and delivery predictability that offsite construction offers
is far more assured, and buildings developed through supply chain
collaboration and complementary specification offer a guarantee of
performance ‘as built’ and not just ‘as designed’ for duration of their
“With a particular understanding of the needs of the student population
in terms of large areas of glass to provide natural light, safety,
security and pleasing aesthetics, Sidey’s student accommodation window
and door range and KitFix® system is ideal for those looking to design
and build new accommodation using offsite construction”.
“As a company we have been a significant part of the supply chain for
many offsite manufactured developments. Working collaboratively with
design teams, offsite panel manufacturers and major constructors we have
contributed to the delivery on time and within budget of some of the
most outstanding student accommodation developments in the UK”.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING ISSUES ARE AS PRONOUNCED
“Equally, the implications for the Social Housing sector are as
pronounced; with the pressure on them to be the providers of much of the
housing for the affordable market, once again an inability to deliver on
time has a crippling effect on provision. It is the Social Housing
Sector who have funds to build, and if legislation were to be changed in
the future then their ability to build even more would be further
“The solution once again to these problems has to lie in the growth of
offsite construction. Costs are now no more than when building through
standard construction methods, but the two huge pluses are the delivery
of better buildings by design, and delivery on time”.
“There is a growing lobby of government agencies, procurement
organisations, and individual housing associations all reviewing whether
they should directly invest into, or partner with offsite manufacturing
factories; they are recognising that the housing crisis which the
country faces is being exacerbated by a basic failure in the
construction sector – an inability to deliver on time”.
“Offsite is well and truly proven as a construction option and it is
also the way forward for the Social Housing sector wanting to build
better quality homes; cost effectively, and most importantly sure to be
delivered on time”.
66 Student Accommodation Flats
The site for this particular project was was extremely tight so having
as much completed offsite brought multiple benefits including fewer
deliveries to site, wind and watertight structures earlier to allow
follow-on trades to start sooner & increased security of the structure
all resulting in less time on site and lower costs. Sidey was also able
significant cost saving for both contractor and client through value
engineering the fenestration package, including specified materials,
without compromising on the employers requirements.
All windows were installed offsite in a light gauge steel panel system
using Sidey’s unique KitFix® System in under 3-minutes per window frame.
The completed panels were stacked and banded as normal with the panels
craned into place with the windows fully contained within the panel due
to the unique sliding action of the KitFix® bracket system.
Air tightness was achieved by using Sidey’s integrated airtightness
membrane pre-fitted in our factory.
All glass was fully protected from scratches by Sidey’s unique
Scratchguard™ glass protection system.
Coordinating between main contractor, offsite manufacturer and architect
was key to enabling the bulk of the fenestration to be installed offsite
successfully. The tight brown field gap site lent itself perfectly to
factory fitted windows with integrated air tightness