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3 minute read - 8th March 2023

Barratt to open new £45m production facility in Derby

National housebuilder Barratt Developments is set to open a new timber frame factory in the East Midlands as part of a drive to scale-up its offsite construction. In 2019, Barratt purchased Oregon, one of the country’s largest timber frame manufacturers, to support a planned increase in the number of homes that it can build offsite and to help drive its commitment to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2030.

Barratt says building more homes offsite will help it to meet the 2025 Future Homes Standard, cut carbon emissions, reduce waste and minimise disruption to local communities, whilst overcoming the skills shortage in the construction sector.

To expand the number of homes that Barratt can build using timber frame, Oregon will relocate this summer from its existing base in Burton-upon-Trent to a new 186,000 square foot manufacturing facility at Infinity Park in Derby. Barratt has invested £45m into the factory and will create an additional 170 jobs, taking the total number of local people employed to 200.

Housebuilder Barratt Developments is investing £45m in a new timber frame production facility in Derby / Picture: Barratt

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “Increasing our use of modern methods of construction, including timber frames, is a key part of Barratt’s road to net zero carbon. Barratt is determined to remain the leading national sustainable housebuilder and our industry-leading innovation and sustainability teams are working with our suppliers to challenge every aspect of construction to reduce carbon in the manufacture, transportation and build process, as well as looking at how customers can cut carbon whilst living in their homes.”

In FY 2022, Barratt built more than 3,700 of its 18,000 homes using timber frames, including those built in the existing Oregon factories in Burton-upon-Trent and Selkirk in Scotland. By 2030, Barratt is aiming for at least 30% of its homes to be built using modern methods of construction, instead of masonry. Using a timber frame system also enables Barratt to cut the build time on a development by an average of five weeks, compared to using traditional methods of construction.

Barratt put Oregon’s timber frame and modern methods of construction to the greatest test when building its concept Zed House at the University of Salford, where the exterior of the house was built in a challenging location in just four weeks. Zed House is testing innovative products that are forecast to reduce carbon by 125%.

Peter Wade, joint managing director at Oregon, added: “Infinity Park in Derby will become our new base to support Barratt’s commitment as a leader in sustainable housebuilding at scale. This new state-of-the-art facility will support our long-term goals to increase the use of modern methods of construction off-site to reduce Barratt’s carbon footprint.”

As well as making the homes of Barratt customers more sustainable, the new factory, built by Bowmer & Kirkland, is itself a highly-sustainable facility, which achieved a BREEAM “Very Good” and an EPC “A” rating. The new factory has a wide range of energy efficient features including solar panels, air source heat pumps and LED lighting. In addition, 10% of the car parking spaces have electric vehicle (EV) charging points, with EV ducting installed to the remainder of the car park and HGV parking bays to future proof the factory.

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