Population growth and a housing undersupply have created a housing crisis in the United Kingdom, but a new joint venture will provide desperately needed homes. China National Building Material Company (CNBM) agreed to a $3.36 billion deal with UK-based Your Housing Group (YHG) and renewable energy company WElink Group to build six factories that will produce 25,000 prefabricated homes every single year.
The new prefab homes will be built of modern composite materials and steel frames, according to WElink Group. These materials will allow for low-carbon construction and operation. Energy efficient design and solar panels will enable the houses to operate “at least 75 percent off-grid,” according to WElink Group chairman Ajmal Rahman. Construction company Barcelona Housing Systems will also provide environmentally friendly technology and panels for homes.
YHG CEO Brian Cronin said in a statement, “This is an opportunity for YHG to get back to building more social and affordable homes across a wider geography of the UK; it also ensures new types of employment, new building skills, and the nurturing of additional apprenticeship opportunities are available, which can only be good news for local people and businesses where we develop our housing and supply chains.” The prefab home factories could provide employment for over one thousand people.
Even before the factories are complete, the joint venture hopes to build 2,000 homes in 2017 as part of five pilot projects. The company is awaiting planning permission to build its first pilot project in Liverpool this January, and the factories could potentially produce 25,000 homes a year by 2022.