Stama Homes has declared its intentions to play a big part in making offsite manufactured timber frame homes a core element of the UK’s bid to build a million homes by 2020.
The Manchester business has launched its search for developer and investor partners with suitable sites.
Property Alliance Group is a joint venture partner in the Stama Group business, which is headed by Maros Kravec. Stama is currently working up plans for a £32m scheme at the former police headquarters at Salford Crescent, including 117 apartments and 34 townhouses, and has another £11m scheme in the pipeline.
PAG chairman David Russell acts as a mentor to Stama, while PAG’s Ciaran McGivern sits on Stama’s board.
Kravec told Place North West: “Offsite construction of housing is a well-known model in continental Europe, but the UK market tends to be traditional and conservative. I’m aware there are long-held negative feelings dating back to the post-World War Two prefabricated housing, but modern methods ensure comfortable, cost-effective and energy-efficient living.
“While still relatively rare in the UK, it has been used in Europe for over 60 years, notably in Germany, Austria and Sweden. We’re actively looking to work with developers and have had some encouraging conversations.”
Kravec said that the method is scalable for any site of ten units upwards, and that unlike most recently built modular homes, can be delivered at a price point that brings secondary and tertiary locations into play.
Since 2012, sister business Stama Developments has delivered four residential schemes in Greater Manchester with a combined value of £10m. Kravec added: “Timber-framed homes using offsite construction is something that can work from affordable homes through to luxury homes, and potentially with commercial and industrial property too.”
Modular is certainly on the rise; L&G Homes’ well-publicised £55m investment in a 550,000 sq ft factory in Leeds, coupled with Laing O’Rourke’s £125m investment in offsite construction in Nottinghamshire, show that both financial institutions and major construction groups believe this area of the industry is set for growth.