Holland Metropole partner MRP has decided to focus on modular housing to head off the growing shortage of skilled labour in the construction sector, pointing out that 95% of Japanese housing is built using modular techniques.

‘There are so many advantages to it,’ chief executive Bart Meijer. ‘It is quicker, there is less nuisance for neighbours, we can meet energy efficiency targets easily and it is completely circular. If we want to keep meeting demand for housing, this is the direction we have to move in. Compare the cost and ease of installing 100 bathrooms in a factory with installing 100 bathrooms on site, for instance.’

In addition, he points out, using modular techniques allows developers to meet government requirements on social housing, because it is cheaper than traditional building methods. MRP hopes to have its first modular housing ready to move into in two years time.