Why Britain should branch out! How wood could help our housing crisis
It is no secret that housing has become increasingly unaffordable for many families in the UK. Home ownership has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years as the gap between earnings and property prices widens.
Pressure has been mounting on the Government to act and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his recent Autumn Statement, announced an extra £3.7bn for housing projects. Welcome news.
But surely the time has come for Britain to also rethink how it builds its houses to make them more affordable. According to the Daily Telegraph, the Government sees a ‘huge opportunity’ in manufacturers building houses off-site as it tries to hit ambitious targets. Again welcome news.
“We’ve been obsessed with bricks and mortar in this country since the Victorians, but we need to look at alternatives,” said Norwegian Log Buildings MD Nick Forrester in an interview with the Oxford Times.
Wood could be part of the solution :-
- More cost efficient to build with than brick, timber buildings are usually manufactured off site so can often be far quicker to erect, saving on construction time and costs.
- Environmental benefits are numerous. Naturally high levels of thermal insulation mean homes need to use less energy. Wood is entirely renewable and when harvested from managed woodlands, every tree that is cut down is replaced by at least one more. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which continues to be stored and locked away when the wood is used as a building material.
- Slow-growing timber, with a low moisture content, has an indefinite lifespan. In north America, 70% of housing is made of wood, and Scandinavians, who know it’s one of the few materials able to keep you comfortable in their extreme climate, have been building with it for more than a thousand years.
Norwegian Log Buildings’ recently-launched Stylish Contemporary transportable homes are built off site and constructed using high quality, solid log from sustainably-managed Norwegian forests. The range is modern in style and includes one, two and three bedroom homes with prices starting at £40,000 for a one-bedroom property. Log cabins for permanent living that are affordable, practical, durable and stylish – and an example of how wood could play a greater role in helping to solve the housing shortage.
- Read Nick Forrester’s full interview with the Oxford Times here which also features customers Dave and Carol Parker, new owners of a Norwegian Log Contemporary transportable home.
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