Political pressures to construct affordable quality housing have prompted moves towards prefabrication. With the UK requiring 250,000 new homes to be built each year to meet demand and just 141,000 built last year, offsite construction offers a clear solution.
We spoke to Peter Nordon, Managing Director at Smartroof, to find out what the Smartroof system can offer to builders.
Smartroof is a panelised roofing system aimed at national and large regional house builders. It’s an ideal solution for volume building and those house builders who use similar house types and build in multiples.
The key benefits to the house builder are that we can give them certainty on cost and because we build in a factory we can guarantee the thermal efficiency of the roof. There are also significant health and safety benefits because we reduce the time spent working at heights and overall we radically alter the speed of construction.
“We are typically reducing the build time on the roof, down from 12 days to 1 day”
We can work on supply only or supply and fit as an additional option where we take entire responsibility from delivery of the roof to the actual installation including arranging lifting plans and finally installation.
Labour seems to be a huge challenge – the availability of a qualified tradesman. The construction industry hasn’t yet fully recovered from the recession, there hasn’t been enough apprentices coming through so there’s a major skills shortage. By transferring all the work in-house and offsite we can reduce the builder’s reliance on skilled labour.
One of the benefits of our product being produced offsite is that we can guarantee the thermal performance of our product and we can do in-house thermal modelling so we know exactly what our roofs achieve and we know from our customers exactly what they are trying to achieve.
The unique thing about Smartroof is that we are the only panel system that runs gable to gable. This effectively means the house builder has a clear open space within the attic to configure whatever way they wish. They are not constrained by any supporting walls.
We are focusing on innovation now to drive the thermal performance of the roof even higher to meet future regulations. Our Prism programme will deliver these enhancements but we don’t intend to launch them until 2018 when we see demand coming on stream for higher performance solutions. However in cases which currently require higher levels of performance we can offer the new Smartroof SIP roof which has been developed as part of the Prism programme.
Projects with large build programmes, and those on a tight deadline will benefit greatly as Smartroof can guarantee a quick turnaround.
Why not a Smart house! We are developing floor cassettes for the second floor level to be installed at the same time as the Smartroof. We are also investigating other factory built structures that we could combine into a comprehensive offsite house solution. We already have a crane and an installer team onsite for the roof installation so additional components could be installed quickly, making it easier again for the builder.
Come and speak to us, we have significant design capabilities and can look at different roofing solutions, in fact we have orders in for a new mansard Smartroof which is a first for us. Despite being a challenging design we are confident that our system will deliver the same advantages to the builder in a mansard format also.