BLP Insurance, the specialist residential warranty and commercial latent defects insurer, has revealed significant growth in the number of registrations under the Build Offsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS) over the last three years, with 2018 on track to outperform all previous years.
BOPAS was jointly established by Buildoffsite, BLP Insurance, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Lloyd’s Register and launched in 2013 to provide long-term assurance to lenders and valuers that homes built using non-traditional methods of construction will be durable for at least 60 years, without the need for disproportionate maintenance. BOPAS approved properties that are insured by BLP can be found on the BOPAS website.
Registrations for accreditation were relatively slow from 2013 through to 2015 but interest in offsite began to rise in 2016 and 2017. The number of registrations for 2018 has already reached 12, with another 50 currently in discussion. Last year saw 20 registrations in total, with 11 registrations achieved in 2016 and five in 2015, signalling that the number of registrations this year is on track to surpass all previous years since the scheme’s inception.
There are a wide range of systems receiving accreditation through BOPAS, but there is little doubt that modular or volumetric systems are most common amongst manufacturers looking to break into the market. Whilst there is a place for all offsite systems, modular and volumetric systems do go further in addressing the current skills shortage we have in the UK with a much greater percentage of the overall build being achieved in the factory setting.
Jeff Maxted, Director of Technical Consultancy at BLP Insurance, said: “More and more manufactuers are recognising the valuable assurance BOPAS provides to funders, valuers, developers and most importantly the consumer regarding the longevity and durability of the end product. We expect to see registrations continue to rise as the sector wakes up to the benefits of offsite construction in alleviating ongoing pressures of workforce shortages, rising costs and growing construction targets.
“Off-site and modern methods of construction offer the industry a practical answer to delivering affordable, high quality properties at a speed which can help address the UK’s chronic lack of housing. However, in order to become the mainstream, offsite manufacturing will require coordinated efforts from both the government and the construction industry, to keep momentum going.”