Cookies on Zenoot

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info

4 minute read - 6th July 2023

British Offsite opens new £45m build offsite factory

British Offsite, the build offsite company of Weston Group, has opened a new £45m 137,000 sq ft offsite construction factory in Braintree. Named Horizon, it uses state-of-the-art robotic automated manufacturing to deliver a light gauge steel panel system and other components used for the onsite delivery of the superstructure and internal fit out of houses, multi-rise and high-rise developments.

Once fully operational, the new factory on the Horizon Business Park will be able to assist with the delivery of up to 4,000 new homes per year, with building components provided to both Weston Homes, the group’s volume housebuilding division, and also sold on the open market to builders and contractors in the construction sector, including local and regional house builders.

The Horizon factory will produce British Offsite’s UniSystem range that includes light gauge panels, walls, roofs and floors, with the panels having windows, doors, insulation, vents, fire stopping and external cladding in place, manufactured exactly to a developer’s needs. The UniSystem is a specially developed hybrid MMC that is highly flexible and allows rapid integration into traditional building design.

British Offsite has opened its new £45m offsite construction factory that will be able to deliver 4,000 new homes per year / Picture: British Offsite

In addition, British Offsite also manufactures internal fitout modules, under their BOS Fitout brand, which includes bathroom components, kitchen and bedroom products, designed to be easily integrated into existing projects, with full quality control testing before elements reach site.

The initial design concepts and commissioning of technology for the factory started three years ago, with the actual construction of the building taking 12 months. The completed factory has a glass and Trimco-panels façade with solar panels on the roof and energy monitoring systems to review factory production capacity. Once the factory is fully operational, it will run a two shift system five days a week. British Offsite anticipate that 180 people will work on the factory floor and offices over the two shifts.

Production methods at the new factory allows for fewer site deliveries and fewer trades on site, which minimises road miles and energy consumption / Picture: British Offsite

Alongside the triple-height main factory floorspace containing the production line there is 20,000 sq ft of office, R&D suite, marketing and staff welfare facilities including a canteen and health-screening clinic.

British Offsite says the launch of Horizon is another step in its mission statement of making the transition to offsite construction a natural evolution for traditional developers, whilst saving clients time, space and resources on site. The factory’s UniSystem and hybrid MMC approach means the time between a site’s ground-breaking and first handovers can be reduced by up to 20%. One fully dressed UniSystem panel can be produced every 15 minutes, and the panels for one entire apartment can be produced every 60 minutes.

British Offsite says using a hybrid MMC approach to traditional building concepts allows for a much greater freedom of architectural design, so in high density urban regeneration, it means that developers can avoid volumetric boxes and utilise innovative architectural design.

Once the factory is fully operational, it will run a two-shift system five days a week. British Offsite anticipates that 180 people will work on the factory floor and offices over the two shifts / Picture: British Offsite

The factory built components are also environmentally sustainable. The use of lightweight responsibly sourced steel frames (containing 38% recycled steel), rather than forest timber, is environmentally responsible, enables close monitoring of quality and abides by the new fire regulations. The superior air tightness of the UniSystem due to precision manufacturing, increases insulation and helps to reduce household energy consumption. Just in time production methods allows for fewer site deliveries and fewer trades on site, which minimises road miles and energy consumption of deliveries.

Horizon is the second offsite construction factory launched by British Offsite. In 2019, the company opened Skyline, a 75,000 sq ft high-tech manufacturing space on Avenue East in Braintree where the BOS Fitout modules are produced and where the UniSystem was originally manufactured. Skyline can contribute to the delivery of up to 1,000 new homes per annum, with Horizon now allowing for the quadrupling of production capacity.

Shaun Weston, managing director of British Offsite, said: “British Offsite is proud to be part of the new wave of high tech British manufacturing, bringing very significant new capabilities to the UK construction industry. The new robotic production line at Horizon allows for the consolidation of the work of up to five trades into one panel. Our MMC products are designed to be easily integrated into existing projects, helping to streamline traditional residential construction.”

This content is copyright of Zenoot Ltd and its originator. You can use extracts, share or link to this page and you may draw the attention of others to content posted on our site. Bulk copying of text is not permitted. You can view our Terms of Use here.