When Moho, Urban Splash’s swanky Manchester housing development, was unveiled earlier this year, it proved that volumetric housing developments could be, well, swanky.



Nor was Moho Yorkon’s only impressive first of 2005. It also completed construction of the first independent-sector treatment centre to be built off-site. The £12m Shepton Mallet Treatment Centre is believed to be the most complex modular building to be undertaken in the UK, and its success is reflected in the fact that Yorkon has been contracted to build a second treatment centre in Portsmouth. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the success of these projects and the fact that the company’s repeat customers include such blue-chip clients as Tesco, BAA and McDonalds, turnover was up 36% in 2004 to £26m. We could tell you about its exemplary training and sustainability records, but as this is the third year in a row that Yorkon has won off-site specialist of the year, you probably know about them already …

Yorkon’s off-site manufacturing facility

Yorkon’s off-site manufacturing facility

Highly commended

Schneider GB

Developer St George’s use of Schneider’s unitised facade systems on its prestigious housing development Battersea Reach on the south bank of the Thames has done as much as anything in the past 12 months to dispel the myths surrounding off-site manufacture. After all, traditional wisdom suggests that one-bedroom “prefabs” don’t tend to go for £380,000 a time. The company has also completed the UK’s first unitised interlocking timber-framed curtain wall system at the Roche Products headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, and it’s in light of these achievements that it has been highly commended.


Drawn Metal

Drawn Metal’s expertise in the use of timber as a core material with stainless steel for cladding landed it one of the most prestigious projects of recent times – the Scottish parliament building at Holyrood. The need to incorporate such disciplines as acoustic, wind load and bomb blast construction made Holyrood an extremely complex undertaking and Drawn Metal’s success in meeting these stringent demands is evident in the many awards for which Enric Miralles’ masterpiece has been nominated.


Building an airport gate next to one of the busiest runways in the world is always going to be a tall order, but it is one that can showcase the undoubted benefits of off-site manufacture. On Heathrow Terminal 3, the team of Mace, Ruddle Wilkinson Architects and Buro Happold designed and constructed a steel frame structure on a temporary site away from airport traffic. The result was a new gate, built on time, with minimal site waste and with little disruption to airport customers. If only all projects could run so smoothly.