Developer Tom Bloxham has argued that problems with prefabricated homes or other unusual building techniques "must not stop innovation" in the UK housing sector. Bloxham, whose company Urban Splash was responsible for the Stirling Prize-nominated Park Hill regeneration and has worked with architects such as Norman Foster, FAT and Will Alsop, was speaking at an Archiboo event titled "Housebuilding is Ripe for Disruption." Discussing the problems that have befallen RSH+P's Oxley Woods project, he said "Whenever we innovate something inevitably goes wrong. There are risks and it is difficult. But somebody has to take these risks for the industry to move forward," reports the Architects' Journal.
Bloxham's comments come just as Urban Splash is set to embark on their own prefabricated timber scheme, with a 44-home plan in Manchester designed by ShedKM. Bloxham added that they "have been very conscious of the issues raised at Oxley Woods and are doing everything we can to ensure it is not repeated."
The issue of prefabricated homes is also heavily influenced by the UK's current housing crisis. At just £60,000 each, it was hoped that Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners' Oxley Woods Homes would become a model for delivering low cost housing, however the problems with water leakage recently found at the scheme have sparked fears that the industry could abandon such ideas in the future.
Story via the Architects' Journal