'Absolutely zero chance of building 300,000 homes' without use of category one modular says TopHat chairman

The government cannot deliver on its housing targets without supporting category one modular buildings, Carl Leaver, chairman at TopHat, told the House of Lords Built Environment Committee.

On Tuesday 24th October the Committee heard evidence on its inquiry into modern methods of construction (MMC).

Modern methods of construction are  processes which focus on off-site construction techniques including factory assembly and mass production.

fire safety regulations , logistics and the sustainability of modular buildings were some of the topics brought into question by the committee.

However, when discussing the importance of MMC, Carl highlighted how integral modular housing is to England:

“Without category one modular, there is absolutely zero chance of building 300,000 homes in this country — My evidence for that is we've never done it before,” he said.

When asked if modular homes are sustainable and recyclable,  Carl answered: “Our homes are designed with a life of 60 years, which is exactly the same as traditional construction.

“There is no difference between the life cycle of our homes and the life cycle of traditionally constructed homes.” 

Carl said that TopHat is simply industrialising a process, not producing something that is fundamentally different.

The committee suggested that there should be different standards for modular homes in comparison to traditional home construction, which Carl found “even more concerning”, saying that all buildings should be built to the same standard, regardless of means of production.   

He went on to comment on building regulation standards as a whole: “I would be personally strongly in favour of increasing all the standards encapsulated in our building regulations, particularly as built standards, which I think are much more poorly monitored than they ought to be,”

Despite the committee having a ream of questions about the success and longevity of MMC, Lord Richard Best  highlighted the positives of modular housing.

“Category one is incredibly important because it is likely to add volume, as well as speed and efficiency.”  

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