New £45m offsite construction facility to deliver up to 4,000 new homes per year
British Offsite, the build offsite company of Weston Group plc, has launched ‘Horizon’, a new £45m 137,000 sq ft offsite construction factory in Braintree
Designed in collaboration with Swedish robotic engineering firm Randek AB, which 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 operational the new factory in 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.
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.
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 to help ensure sustainability and maximum power generation, with special energy monitoring systems.
Inside the automated production line, inspired by the automotive industry and designed by Randek AB, represents £5.3m of capital expenditure and is based around eight robots, designed and supplied by Randek Robotics.
British Offsite is the first Randek AB customer in the UK to receive the new machinery, automation and productivity solutions. The robots work together in three teams to control a series of zero-labour production cells including fitting insulation panels, fitting plasterboard panels and cutting window openings.
Bob Weston, chairman of British Offsite & Weston Group, commented:
“Working with Randek AB, the launch of the ‘Horizon’ factory has created one of the most automated light gauge steel panel assembly lines in Europe and the largest single production line in the UK.
“Offsite construction is the future of the housebuilding industry and homes manufactured at ‘Horizon’ can be tailored to a development’s unique design vision.”
Source: Bdaily News