Plan announced as firm reveals architects who will work on future housing developments

Skanska is planning to build about 800 homes a year in the UK by 2015 in a move set to make it one of the top 20 housebuilders in the country.

The Swedish-founded contractor has spent the past decade developing its UK construction business but spotted an opportunity during the financial crisis to enter housebuilding, a market it already dominates in Scandinavia.

Last week, its housebuilding division Skanska Residential announced the selection of six architects to work on its future housing developments through a framework panel - PRP Architects; CF Møller; Proctor and Matthews Architects; Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; White Design and Formation Architects.

Jamie Wilding, development manager of Skanska Residential, told Building: “The ambition is to grow to something like 800 homes a year by 2015. That is small compared with what we are in Scandinavia, where we are the largest housebuilder.

“But it would give us something like a half a percent market share if [the UK] were building 200,000 homes a year, which is what we really need to be building.”
Wilding added that the firm was focusing on three areas of the country - London, an eastern region comprising Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex and a third area located around Bristol, Bath and Cheltenham.

“It [our business model] is aimed at the premium sector with a strong focus on family homes,” he added.

Homes will be built to at least code level 4 and will be spacious with one-bed flats boasting a floorspace of about 52m2.

Skanska Residential said the architectural framework panel had been drawn up through a multi-stage competition involving more than 30 practices. Last month the firm won planning for its first British housing development designed by Formation Architects at Great Kneighton in Cambridgeshire.

Stephen Proctor of Proctor and Matthews said his practice was delighted to have made it onto the panel, calling it a “significant development” for his firm.