Housebuilder will exit its Advance Housing steel frame JV with Terrapin and instead buy offsite systems from range of suppliers

Barratt has announced that it is winding up its Advance Housing steel frame joint venture with Terrapin International

The company, having recently reclaimed the position as the UK’s biggest housebuilder following its take over of Wilson Bowden, says that it will instead obtain a range of steel and timber frame system from a variety of off-site suppliers, including Kingspan.

Barratt Group Board executive director Steven Boyes said that the move to exit manufacturing had been driven by a number of factors. These include the growing demand for modern methods of manufacturing products generated by the recently introduced code for sustainable homes and the maturing of the off-site suppliers market. He added that getting rid of Advance would enable Barratt to concentrate on its core house building business and manage the integration with Wilson Bowden.

He said: ‘A range of suppliers can provide us with different solutions for different situations, rather than just steel frame, and we will also be able to achieve better economies of scale.”

A spokesman said that the company had not set a target for the number of homes that it is planning to deliver MMC under the new arrangements. Advance has been up and running since 2002.

Mr Boyes said: “Advance was set up to help kickstart off-site manufacturing in the absence of any other suppliers and we have learned a lot from it. However, many new suppliers have since emerged, the market has moved on and we have had to review our options to meet increasing demand for MMC products.

“Advance is a very small part of our overall operations, but it has been extremely useful in progressing the design and development of high-quality off-site manufactured homes.

He added that Barratt was holding discussions with potential purchasers about the Advance plant at Daventry. Homes due to be built using Advance steel frames on sites being developed under English Partnerships’ Design for Manufacture sites at Upton and Allerton Bywater will now be built using Kingspan steel or timber frames.