Keith Hill, the housing minister, this week topped out eight key-worker flats that were in built in south London but prefabricated in Poland.

The two-storey block was built for Hyde Housing Association for £700,000. The scheme is part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s drive to use prefabrication to meet London's shortage of affordable homes.

The flats were prefabricated in Krakow as 18 steel-framed volumetric modules, which were trucked to London and then bolted into position in four days.

The use of Polish labour and materials means Hyde’s scheme promises to bring prefabrication within Housing Corporation budgets for the first time.

Hyde said the construction costs were £1260/m2 – “at least 12% lower than traditional new-build and 20-30% less than equivalent modular systems”.

The modules were prefabricated by the Polish company BUMA. The company's volumetric system was redesigned for the British market by PCKO Architects.

Alan Conisbee and Associates was structural engineer, WSP was services engineer, and Walker Management was quantity surveyor. Building control consultant Butler & Young checked for compliance with British building regulations. Rok was the main contractor, although erection was carried out by BUMA’s team of 18 staff.