Manufacturers Ilke, Impact Modular and TopHat are selected for £600m National Housing Federation initiative

Modular housebuilders Ilke Homes, Impact Modular and TopHat have won places on a £600m framework for offsite affordable homes.

The three modular specialists have been appointed on the five-year framework by Building Better, the National Housing Federation-supported alliance of 29 housing associations and local authorities set up to boost the use of modern methods of construction (MMC).

Around 5,300 offsite homes are expected to be built through the framework before 2026, starting with an initial batch of 800.

Building Better MMC on site pics - Image Credit TopHat 1

More than 5,000 homes will be built through the framework over the next five years

This pipeline is expected to grow further as more social housing providers join Building Better, whose existing members already manage over 185,000 homes between them.

The group’s project director Trina Chakravarti said the framework would “overcome traditional barriers” to using MMC by allowing knowledge to be shared.

“In the past, housing associations, local authorities and manufacturers have often gone through the MMC process alone - there is no aggregation of knowledge or resources, and mistakes are repeated. 

“We want to change this through early, honest partnership working between social housing providers, manufacturers and residents.”

The three suppliers have been appointed on a direct award basis, which means that clients will not need to go through any additional tender processes.

It is believed that the streamlined approach, delivered for the Building Better group by Procurement for Housing, could save housing providers up to £15,000 in procurement costs. 

Procurement for Housing chief executive Steve Malone said the framework will simplify the process of procuring MMC homes.

“By assessing the MMC market, narrowing the field and appointing just three manufacturers, our goal was to reduce much of the due diligence and procurement complexity that housing associations and local authorities often face around MMC.”

Homes built through the framework will be required to meet the government’s ‘zero carbon ready’ Future Homes Standard and will take a ‘fabric first’ approach, prioritising insulation instead of additional green components such as solar panels.

They will also be certified by the Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme and be assessed and accepted by building warranty provider the National House Building Council.

The government has said that at least 25% of homes built through its £11.5bn affordable homes programme will need to be manufactured using MMC.

About the framework

Building Better’s MMC Category 1 Construction Systems framework covers pre-manufactured, three-dimensional buildings that are factory-produced and delivered to site. There are three lots:

  • Lot 1: Low rise housing AND low and medium rise apartments (manufacturer is TopHat)
  • Lot 2: Low rise housing (manufacturer is Ilke Homes)
  • Lot 3: Low and medium rise apartments (manufacturer is Impact Modular)