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GLA tours new factory built homes in Neasden

Assistant director for housing at the Greater London Authority (GLA) Jamie Ratcliff today visited a new development in Neasden, which has been built using offsite construction methods.

Printworks Apartments is Network Homes’ first factory-built development and involved the manufacturing of a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, which was delivered to site and craned into position. The structure was assembled in just 13 weeks, which is around 40% less time than a traditional frame structure. Construction also required 80% fewer deliveries, reducing neighbourhood congestion, pollution, and disturbance. 

The new building, which is due to receive over £2m in funding under the GLA’s affordable homes programme, is among the tallest CLT buildings in the UK and replaces an old rundown 1960s print works with 74 affordable homes for local people.

Offsite construction methods are key elements for tackling the housing crisis in the Mayor of London’s draft Housing Strategy and London Plan. The tour was arranged to improve the GLA’s understanding of this modern construction technique, and specifically how CLT can be used to build a high quality and efficient housing solution.

Helen Evans, chief executive of Network Homes said: “Printworks Apartments is a fine example of how factory-built homes can deliver an innovative housing solution, so we’re really pleased the GLA chose to visit our development.  The off-site construction method has reduced the environmental impact, disturbance to local residents, build time and costs. The result is a high quality development that not only provides homes for local people but makes a positive addition to the community ”.

Gerry Eastwood, Director at Henry Construction, Network Homes’ construction partner, said: “We are delighted with this CLT scheme delivered for Network Homes with our Sub-contractor Eurban. Accelerating the construction programme duration was a big driver in selecting CLT but also the precision and quality we have seen on site during its assembly means we will definitely seek to use it again.”

The 74 homes consist of one, two and three bedroom apartments and maisonettes distributed between two blocks, separated by a generous communal landscaped garden for residents. Forty-seven are available for shared ownership and 27 for affordable rent, launching in the spring. Priority has been given to people living and working locally.