A Ger­man les­son in house-build­ing

Cynon Valley - - YOUR VIEWS -

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

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