Chinese builder in $3.4 billion agreement for UK homes
The deal is to open six highly cost-efficient pre-fabricated house-building factories in the United Kingdom, capable of producing 25,000 homes a year.
The new homes built by the joint venture will reduce construction costs to a target of 400 pounds per square meter, significantly less than the 1,000 pounds per sq m average in the UK market.
It came at an opportune time when the UK government is making policy plans to increase affordable homes.
CNBM partners with the UK's housing association Your Housing Group and renewable energy specialist Welink to construct the factories for modular units. CNBM will provide 2.5 billion pounds in funding, and 250 million pounds from YHG.
China has led the field in modular construction techniques by leveraging on its domestic housing market scale, and some Chinese firms have already expanded into the UK's modular construction market, one example being the Shenzhen-based CIMC Modular Building Systems, having done more than 10 UK projects for clients including InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton.
The CNBM consortium partners are looking for factory sites across England. The first factory, in Liverpool, is expected to receive planning permission in January.
A research and technology center is being built in Gloucester by YHG to pioneer new development.
The project will deliver 2,000 homes next year, ramping up production after that to 25,000 homes annually by 2022. The entire project is expected to create 1,000 new jobs. ■