To fix the UK’s housing challenge we must acknowledge our archaic approach to house building

House building

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond today (Tuesday 13th March) gave his Spring Statement, in which he confirmed that he has an ambitious plan to tackle the UK’s housing challenge and build the homes the country needs. However he has failed to tackle the archaic approach to house building.

Ross Gilbert, managing director at QED Sustainable Urban Developments, believes that as well as ‘getting on with the job’ of throwing money, creating taskforces and helping more people get affordable housing, that the actual process of building homes needs to be addressed to pull the UK housing market into the 21st century.

“The Chancellor’s Spring statement has failed to address how we are literally building houses. In the 21st Century we should not still be using bricks and mortar as they did in the Roman times. It is highly labour intensive and the use of raw materials in house building is amongst the highest in any single industry. Right now, when a building comes to the end of its life it is knocked down and the majority of materials go directly to landfill. It is an inefficient and wasteful approach to house building.

“This approach is not sustainable.

“The housing industry needs to take responsibility of its use of materials and the way we build. We must start to build buildings intelligently – and in a way that means we can deconstruct them – strip them of all the separate elements, and reuse or recycle those elements. Think of it like Meccano or Lego: connecting and attaching materials together to create a structure, rather than gluing them permanently with material such as cement.

“The technology to make this happen exists now – offsite construction of sustainable products are available and modular building is starting to be adopted and delivered in volume. When needed it can then be deconstructed and its component parts reused to become part of a new structure or structures at a new location.”

Ross Gilbert Managing Director of QED wants to see the Government rising to the challenge and addressing the following steps:

  • Investment in offsite construction pilot schemes
  • Steps to proactively raise awareness and understanding of OSM housing, and the opportunity and benefits it provides
  • Encouragement from the government to implement modular building and share best practise across the construction industry

Ross Gilbert is available for further quotes and interviews,
please contact Sarah Colombini to arrange – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 07731 462 451.

About Ross Gilbert
Ross is managing director of QED Sustainable Urban Developments; a company focused on the transformation of brownfield sites through traditional urban regeneration and meanwhile projects. He is passionate about helping shape the future of the world’s built environment, pioneering new building techniques, whilst delivering commercially sustainable regeneration projects. 

Ross balances the management of a significant investment portfolio with expanding and delivering QED’s development pipeline. His focus is not only on long-term regeneration projects, but also interim schemes that help to regenerate underutilised brownfield areas.

Ross is widely known and respected within the real estate industry for his role in championing meanwhile development as a means for kick-starting the regeneration process, proving viability of an area in a quickly deployable and economic format.

Ross has an MSc degree in Sustainability of the Built Environment, from the University of Brighton, and a Bachelor of Arts Double Major in Business Administration & Political Science from Barton College, North Carolina.