House building: a century of innovation

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The construction of British homes

Despite outward appearances, the construction of British homes appear to have remained unchanged for centuries and yet they currently incorporate forms of construction that were once seen as ‘modern methods of construction’ (MMC).

NHBC Foundation’s latest report  ‘House building: a century of innovation’ looks at technology, materials and construction methods used in building the modern home, charting the progress made over the last century.

The evolution of the traditionally built house

This guide, prepared for the NHBC Foundation by Studio Partington, looks at the evolution of the traditionally built house. On the surface, new homes currently constructed using ‘traditional’ methods appear to have remained unchanged for the last century yet incorporate many forms of construction that were once seen as ‘modern methods of construction’ (MMC).

Clear comparisons are made between methods and products from typical Georgian, Victorian, pre- and post-war eras with modern-day construction and new, evolving low-carbon technologies.

This illustrated report highlights the benefits to new home-owners of homes built to the latest NHBC Standards and building regulations. It details innovation at every stage of construction – from the foundations, the building envelope and typical components to the latest technological advances in individual methods, products and services. This has led to homes being constructed at greater speed, with better quality standards and improved energy efficiency.

Overall, the report reminds us that new traditionally built homes are more robust, provide more environmentally friendly living spaces and offer a greater reduction in running costs.

People living in newly built homes are able to reap the many benefits of improved building standards, ranging from better energy efficiency levels, which not only help look after the environment but also lead to greatly-reduced fuel bills.

This report is a useful reminder of the technology and materials incorporated in the construction of a modern home whilst comparing the performance achieved in relatively recent times with the advancements of the last two decades.

What’s more, this report makes clear that what lies beneath the skin of new homes is quite different from what has gone before.

— Neil Smith, Head of Standards, Research & Innovation at NHBC

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