Offsite manufacturing speeds up build of regeneration scheme

Willmott Dixon has joined forces with bathroom pod manufacturer Offsite Solutions to reap the benefits of offsite manufacturing during the build of its two plots worth £78m as part of the wider £500m Perry Barr Residential Scheme.

The development, commissioned by Lendlease on behalf of Birmingham City Council, will see Willmott Dixon create 430 apartments in the dual four to six-storey blocks on the site of the former Birmingham City University campus.

The two apartment blocks will make up a key part of the Perry Barr Regeneration Scheme’s plan to deliver 1,400 homes for north-west Birmingham – the apartments will be made available for rent and sale, with homes being occupied in 2023.

The contractor and offsite manufacturer are completing two contracts totalling £3.5m to supply 692 steel-framed bathroom and en-suite shower pods.

Dan Doyle, operations director at Willmott Dixon, said: “The recently launched Construction Playbook has put standardisation and the use of modern methods of construction at the heart of public sector building programmes to enable us to build ‘better, greener and smarter’, and that’s exactly what we’ve done on this scheme. The benefits of using offsite manufacturing during a project of this scale are unmatched. In one day, we can install approximately 20 pods. Traditionally this would involve a number of trades across several weeks. For our customers, this means additional project certainty and added programme benefits, along with assured quality. The benefits don’t stop there. The use of the pods helps to reduce the project’s carbon footprint while also supporting the compliance of Covid-19 safety guidance on-site.

“This project also features a lightweight steel frame and a unique brick-like Corium cladding – both of which further demonstrate our use of offsite manufacturing techniques to support with time and cost efficiencies for our customer, while also adapting to ensure our workforce remained safe on-site during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

James Stephens, managing director of Offsite Solutions, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Willmott Dixon on a project that will provide much-needed homes for local people. The use of bathroom pods will improve the programme by maximising work offsite. By moving the fitout of bathrooms into a factory setting, we offer much greater certainty of completion on time, on budget and consistency of quality.”

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