Modular housing units need to be constructed in higher volumes in order to address the housing shortage crisis, according to the Director General of Engineers Ireland.
Damien Owens argues that advantage should be taken of modern construction methods that can help to alleviate pressure on the housing market while improving sustainability in construction.
He added that there are many benefits to be gained from sourcing more offsite-manufactured homes, including better and more innovative design and faster construction.
“The key beneficiaries should be those households seeking better value for money, better quality, and higher amenity in their homes, while adopting these approaches can also help drive down the cost of building,” he says.
“Additionally, with such construction methods, fewer deliveries of materials are often required with only what is needed is brought to site, so waste can be greatly reduced, while pre-fabricated modular elements can be created from more sustainable materials.”
Mr Owens is due to address Engineers Ireland National Conference at UCD which will also hear from Trinity College Economics Professor and member of the Housing Commission, Ronan Lyons.
Mr Lyons is expected to tell the conference that the number of homes that must be delivered to meet current demand is 55,000 to 74,000 per year.
That is roughly twice the Government’s target of 33,000 homes per year, outlined in the Housing For All strategy.
The discrepancy between targets and actual need is in part due to a long period of population growth exceeding official projections, he is expected to argue.
“The failure of housing targets to take adequate account of immigration is contributing to a housing shortage. This, in turn, has meant that Ireland’s younger adults have been forced to delay forming their own household, something that has a host of consequential impacts on public policy and has resulted in Ireland having one of the largest average households in Europe with children frequently remaining in the family home well into adulthood,” he adds.