A German lesson in house-building
EVERYBODY recognises there is a desperate housing shortage in Britain, without any intelligent analysis about the obvious factors which created this situation, such as the extremely damaging distribution of wealth, preventing home ownership.
But there are other reasons. Other nations, such as Germany, have vastly more inspiring views of the ethos of a united nation in the 21st century, and that produces a great improvement in productivity.
British directors, in banks and corporations, will never understand that: they have a selfobsessed culture.
But they should be able to understand the technically efficient German house-building industry, operating to dimensions of a centimetre or less, working 24/7 in factories.
Obedient machines in the factory manufacture all the close-fitting segments, to be fitted on site to the site services, power, broadband and sewage etc.
More ambitious features like solar power generation or methane generation from biological composting could be included on a community scale.
Considerations such as heat insulation and fire prevention are tackled on a national scale, open to constant inspection where the units are made and tested.
Is that cheaper and safer than what we have?
It is quite true the splendid homes I have seen, exported to the UK from Germany, were expensive, because of the extraordinarily high standards.
But it is the modern technology itself, based upon economies of scale, which I recommend to British builders.
The concept of “prefab” houses after World War II was successful for the time, but completely different from what modern technology can do, using computer operated machines.
Every tiny detail of design, transport and construction, with the essential variations, is only possible by the use of truly imaginative pre-planning.
This is the technological future for all nations, but British thinking has to change first. Neville Westerman Brynna