Building Better

Building Better, supported by the National Housing Federation, is a strategic alliance of housing associations working together to realise the benefits of offsite manufacture.

One of the initiatives that came out of our Creating our Future programme, now called Housing Futures, Building Better is focused on how we can develop offsite solutions that work for the affordable housing sector to help us to:

  • build more efficiently
  • achieve better quality
  • reduce long-term costs
  • increase resident satisfaction
  • reduce CO2 emissions.

The ambition

Our ambition is to use the sector’s collective purchasing power to buy homes from the best offsite manufacturers at a price that works for housing associations. This will benefit the sector in three ways:

Helping housing associations build more homes

Our target is to complete homes 50% faster than with traditional building methods, starting with a pipeline of 400 homes in the first year, of which 100 will be completed within the year.

Reducing operating costs

We aim to have zero defects in our homes.  This will be an iterative process – version one of our homes will set the standard with a 50% reduction in defects compared with traditionally built homes, and will reduce with every future version.

Improving resident satisfaction levels

We aim to achieve this by:

  • Engaging with residents during the design process and building homes that genuinely meet their needs.
  • Ensuring fewer defects and repairs, meaning there will be more money to spend on bringing additional value to our residents.
  • Making the experience of living in our homes better, including introducing the use of smart technology.

The alliance

Our alliance comprises housing associations who have the vision, ambition and imagination to look beyond traditionally built homes and look for new ways to help achieve the scale and quality of the homes we need. 

Building Better enables alliance members to share our ambition, collective resources and knowledge whilst retaining individuality. Working collaboratively is the only way to share risk in return for much higher rewards, which include:

  • Building more high quality homes at the right cost point.
  • Bringing rental income in significantly earlier.
  • Developing a wide range of relationships through increased national profile.

Want to get involved?

We need ambitious housing associations to get involved and lead the step change towards modern methods of construction (MMC) in our sector.

This will be a significant shift towards better homes that are delivered faster. No one housing association can do it alone, so our sector needs to learn together and work on an approach to MMC that is right for our residents, boards, development teams and asset managers.

Building Better is your opportunity to lead and develop a collective approach to MMC. We have ten housing associations on board and are looking for more.

This project is open to all – however, it has the most to offer smaller and medium-sized housing associations who may not have the research and development budget to take on MMC pilots.

Please contact Helen Greig, Building Better Project Director, if you’re interested.