This is the first in our series of “The Future of Construction”, part of Howick’s STEEL HORIZONS thought leadership initiative – our commitment to championing better ways to build and inspire the construction sector. Hosted by renowned construction industry online talk show host Dave Cooper, this series explores the world of high tech advanced methods using real world case studies.
Kicking off this UK series, Dave Cooper visits some of the leading experts paving the way with a successful combination of technology and practical application, one of which is British Offsite.
British Offsite Limited, part of the Weston Group, is a highly advanced manufacturing company specialising in the design and production of interior fit out and modular construction solutions.
Cutting construction times by 25% on high rises. Consolidating five trades into one product. Transporting three apartments on one truck. Completing apartments in just two hours.
Sure, sounds like magic.
But as Dave Cooper discovered, it is one more example of the construction sector thinking smarter to build faster. This time by utilising a complete prefabricated UNI Panel system to build high-rise apartments.
In this episode of The Future of Construction, Dave travels to Barking England to meet Shaun Weston, Managing Director of British Offsite. British Offsite uses a complete prefabricated wall panel and floor system to construct apartments within a 22-storey tower - and doing it a staggering 25% faster than traditional methods.
With the panels prepared offsite in a factory-controlled environment, both internal walls and external walls are transported to site, lifted and fixed into position, before a shuttering system is placed above and a concrete slab poured. This creates a building envelope that is air-tight, watertight, insulated, sound-protected and fire-stopped, ready for services to be added.
“It's very precise. It's all templated in the factory. It's all pre-cut. It really helps with fire safety, fire stopping because you’re inherently building in that quality,
“Likewise with the sound protection here in the UK, the building regulations require a 46-decibel reduction. We'll consistently hit over 52 just because you've got that really, really tight quality, factory-controlled environment.”
The team at British Offsite can transport the walls for three apartments on one truck and complete an apartment in just two hours, ready for the concrete slab above.
"By the time the concrete's poured, we can actually be in two floors below with internal trades. And the brick work will actually be two floors below on the outside too,” says Shaun.
Once poured, the slab sits for 14 days (or 28 days in winter) before the modular decking supporting is removed, packed up and wheeled out.
"It is like magic," says Dave, "That is the accuracy of offsite construction - controlled methods. The accuracy saves you a lot of time and effort fixing air gaps, fixing all the things that traditionally you are going to have to do onsite.”
As a pioneer in the technology of light steel roll-forming systems, we see ourselves as part of the solution in the construction industry striving for better, smarter ways of doing things. STEEL HORIZONS is Howick’s thought leadership initiative which focuses on innovation in construction and advocating for better ways to build, and provides an avenue to bring together the brightest minds in the offsite and modular industry to collaborate together and inspire each other.
If you are interested in accessing videos and presentations from our recent UK event, simply click here and join us.
November 2022 #Features