Goldman Sachs-backed modular housing firm TopHat has secured a place on the Building Better framework.

The Building Better framework, supported by the National Housing Federation, and delivered by Procurement for Housing, is a strategic alliance of housing associations working together to realise the benefits of offsite manufacturing.

TopHat has secured ‘Lot 1’ of the framework and will deliver homes under its ‘turnkey’ solution – whereby TopHat will undertake the groundwork, develop the site and deliver the homes from their factory in South Derbyshire where they are manufactured along production lines.

The framework is designed to provide members with access to a single provider, in this case TopHat, capable of supplying a full range of housing and apartment solutions through a variety of delivery methods, ranging from supply only to full turnkey provision.

Thanks to shorter construction programmes, modular housebuilding can help generate faster revenue streams for housing associations. This also means housing associations will benefit from having to spend less on retrofitting further down the line.

Due to Covid-19, the number of people on housing association waiting lists has only increased, with a recent report from Local Government Association stating that housing waiting lists could hit more than two million this year, due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, housing associations now need innovative methods of building that allow them to meet this demand.

All of the homes will be precision-engineered along production lines at TopHat’s factory in Derbyshire. By manufacturing offsite, TopHat is able to provide affordable housing providers with many benefits, including:

●      Speed: Homes are delivered in half the time of traditional methods, meaning housing associations can access revenue streams at the earliest point possible while speeding up the delivery of much-needed affordable housing for local communities

●      Sustainability: TopHat’s modular homes exceed current and soon-to-be-introduced building regulations, avoiding the need for costly retrofitting programmes down the line and ensuring residents can heat their homes more cheaply. The energy-efficiencies also help reduce long-term costs for providers

●      Standardisation: Modular homes are created along production lines using standardised processes, similar to the automotive industry, meaning homes are consistently delivered to the highest standards. This also helps local planners better understand the product and give them faith that quality will be consistent throughout a scheme

●      Flexibility: Cutting-edge, patented technology deployed along TopHat’s production lines enables the company to offer clients a range of different aesthetics and designs that match local character and vernacular

The framework aims to deliver over 500 units per annum over the initial four year term. TopHat were selected to be part of the framework thanks to their proven track record of cutting emissions and delivering sustainable homes over a five-year period, for a mix of public and private sector clients.

Covid-19 has hit key workers and lower-income households the hardest. Therefore, it’s essential that as the economy begins to bounce back, the house building industry delivers high-quality, energy-efficient homes for those who kept the country running throughout the last year.

We are very pleased to have secured a place on the Building Better framework, and feel strongly that our accredited method of delivery can help contribute to economic and social recovery.

Andrew Shepherd, managing director at TopHat Solutions