O’Rourke off-site housing factory gets £22m grant

Aaron Morby 6 years ago

The Government is giving Laing O’Rourke £22m to accelerate the use of pre-assembly systems in house building.

The cash will be ploughed into a £104m project led by the contractor and 22 other consortium partners to produce homes off-site.

This will involve building a dedicated housing modular assembly factory next to Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Industrial Park factory in Steetley. This will be capable of delivering 10,000 new homes a year.

More than 250 people will be employed at the housing assembly plant, with over a 1,000 jobs created within the consortium firms and further along supply chain.

A chief aim of the project is to reduce the housing industry’s reliance on foreign imports and build a stronger UK supply chain that can deliver manufactured exports.

Laing O’Rourke believes it will be able to deliver quality homes a third cheaper in half the time, with a 50% saving in emissions while also closing the import export gap.

Chairman Ray O’Rourke said: “We are levelling up the playing field with country’s like China and India because we are able to use robotics to help us in the assembly which improves the quality of the build.

“There’s wonderful technology out there which has been in use in the automotive and aviation industry’s for 30 years and we have to understand how to grasp that and deploy it in our industry.”

The project will also deliver training in the latest BIM digital engineering and installation skills.

Off-site ‘best in class’ housing consortium

Laing O’Rourke, Airedale, Apex Cables, Armstrong, Arup, Beckhoff Automation, British Gypsum/Saint Gobain, BRE, Comau, Crane, Crown House Technologies, Expanded, Explore Manufacturing, Fulcro, Grundfos, Hamworthy Heating, Hoare Lea, Select, SIG, Thorn Lighting, University of Cambridge, University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, WSP.

Last month the Enquirer revealed that Ray O’Rourke is planning to pilot use of the firm’s prefabricated concrete panel building system on his own multi-million pound mansion project in Essex.

Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Manufacturing facility is now producing more than £40m of pre-cast products a year, just five years after opening.

The plan is to grow that to £150m within the next five years and planning consent has been sought for a further facility next to the current factory building.

Laing O'Rourke advanced manufacturing facility

Stephen Harley, director of Advanced Manufacturing at Laing O’Rourke, said: “This grant comes at a critical time for the construction and engineering sector and its supply chain.

“It will help our consortium create over 600 new jobs – and could create 1,000 more across the diverse supply chain.

“The investment is great news for our ability to help address the UK’s housing capacity gap of some 60,000 to 100,000 homes annually, with advanced off-site manufacturing and digital engineering speeding up the provision of affordable, high quality accommodation.”

Laing O'Rourke house design

Business Secretary Vince Cable will announce the funding support under the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative while visiting a Laing O’Rourke construction site in London’s Elephant & Castle later today.

The funding is targeted at providing research and development support, skills training and investment capital, and encourages major new suppliers to ‘re-shore’ in the UK.

Cable said: “To meet urgent demand for new affordable homes, the construction industry must embrace new technologies and techniques – and our support will help them do this more quickly.

“This reflects the long-term commitment of our industrial strategy to modernising British manufacturing.

“Working in partnership with industry, targeted investment from Government is helping firms exploit new technologies, raise skills levels and improve productivity.”

Latest news

Kier wins £106m Westminster mansion block

Last remaining whole city block site in London’s W1 postcode to be developed.
5 mins ago

160-tonne bridge topples over during installation

100-metre steel bridge falls over while being transported for lifting
9 hours ago

Lovell submits £220m London estate rebuild plan

Lovell hopes to start next autumn on Woolwich estates rebuild
21 mins ago

Sisk poaches ISG data centre project chief

Andy Cook joins Sisk as UK data centre chief after seven years at ISG
11 hours ago

£27m Ronaldo hotel gets go-ahead in Manchester

Tendering to start for construction to kick-off next October
12 hours ago

Firms invited to bid for £12bn of HS2 work – list

4-day virtual meet the contractor event starts today
16 hours ago

Inland lines-up another 1,650 homes

Construction pipeline expands with series of new schemes
13 hours ago

Goodwin’s Construction goes under

Manchester building contractor felled by coronavirus project delays
16 hours ago

Five in race for £465m HS2 lift and escalator deals

Around 160 lifts and 130 escalators will be installed across four stations
14 hours ago

Seddon takes £25m revenue hit from Covid impact

Bolton-based construction group cuts headcount by 7% in streamlining
17 hours ago

HE Simm sets up Integrated Services arm for growth

New division, which offers consultancy to aftercare services, targets £30m revenue
16 hours ago

London office construction “in state of suspension”

Covid causes construction to drop by 50% and shift towards refurbishment schemes
16 hours ago

Severn Trent awards £400m wastewater contract

Customer Solutions Plus JV of Network Plus and Sapphire Utility Solutions lands deal
3 days ago

Unite buys London site for £150m student scheme

Travis Perkins depot in Paddington snapped up for 800-bed scheme
4 days ago

£85m London ‘greening’ office expansion approved

170,000 Barbican office expansion and refit out to tender
4 days ago

Costain appoints new finance chief

Helen Willis joins contractor from banknote printer De La Rue
4 days ago

Moda gets go-ahead for £260m Birmingham tower

722 rental flats Jewellery Quarter scheme gains planning
4 days ago

Northern leaders set out big rail upgrade plan

Plan to start rail upgrades and construction in 2024 sent to Government
4 days ago

Modular specialist ilke Homes lands biggest job to date

227 homes to be built offsite after major land deal with Anderson Group
4 days ago

Developer jailed for “repeated deceit and dishonesty”

Court hears catalogue of misconduct by London residential developer
5 days ago

Plans in for 1,200-home Manchester Gasworks scheme

Gasworks new town to be delivered in four phases over 10 years
4 days ago

Laing O’Rourke lands £195m zero carbon office job

Landsec appoints contractor for Timber Square development in London
5 days ago

JCB launches electric telehandler and dumper

Stand-alone rapid charger unit also unveiled to support E-Tech range
5 days ago

£170m deal signed for Meridian Water infrastructure

BAM Nuttall, Vinci and VolkerFitzpatrick to start next Autumn
6 days ago

Shocking videos highlight risk to road workers from drivers

Highways England releases CCTV footage from sites
5 days ago

Berkeley kicks off £1bn West Ham housing scheme

Tendering underway for groundworks and concrete frame packages
5 days ago

Balfour wins £47m job to build Peterhead substation

Work to start on large 400kV substation to secure power supplies in North EastScotland.
5 days ago

Construction’s most considerate companies revealed

Top contractors and suppliers recognised at virtual awards ceremony: Full details
5 days ago

Translink looking for development partner on £380m scheme

Virtual market engagement event to be held later this month
5 days ago

Keller to streamline European headquarters in rejig

Ground engineering contractor reorgnises to create a standalone Europe business
5 days ago

Contractor services