Housebuilder Redrow says a prefabrication joint venture with steel manufacturer Corus will cut building time 30%.
Redrow and the building arm of Corus will each invest £3m in the scheme, which involves the use of lightweight steel frames to create a watertight shell for a house, allowing building workers to work inside and out in bad weather.

The system has been piloted in Wales and production of the frames at Corus' factory in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, is due to begin in September. A plant to produce more frames will open next spring, with more than 1000 units expected to be built in the first year.

Redrow chief executive Paul Pedley said the construction technique would reduce the need for maintenance and improve quality.

It would also speed up the construction schedule by enabling indoor and outdoor work to be done simultaneously at an earlier stage.

The joint venture was revealed in a briefing to City analysts last week. Redrow also briefed analysts on the group's trading for the year to 30 June.

Pedley said legal completions increased 12.5% over the year to 3900, including 335 from Tay Homes, which Redrow bought late last year. The average selling price over the year was £140,000.

Redrow also reported a 14% jump in reservations for the year to 30 June compared with the same period last year. The group's land bank increased from 14,300 plots last year to 15,600. Pedley added that the integration of Tay Homes was now complete, with all the division's developments performing in line with expectations.