ASW takes major step towards delivering OSM in the south west

Since the ASW partners day last October we’ve been looking at additional ways we can enhance the delivering of off-site manufacturing (OSM) for all members across the south west. We’ve had to consider how we can benefit from economies of scale, shared expertise and provide better negotiating terms with manufacturers, which is why we’ve joined Building Better.

What is Building Better?

Building Better is a non-incorporated consortium consisting of ten landlords (including LiveWest) that own 185,000 properties. It was established from the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) Creating our Future programme to foster collaboration between housing associations and combine the sector’s pipeline to buy homes from the offsite manufacturing sector.

Why has ASW joined?

Through its new build group ‘DIG’, ASW took the view that the work in 2019-20 on OSM could best be progressed by linking our expertise, learning, and our development pipeline with that of Building Better. By joining Building Better we’re able to share the collective expertise of all the members. As we approach offsite manufacturers over a potential deal for new homes, being part of a wider consortium puts us in a much stronger position to negotiate.

By joining, the ASW Board also believes that we maximise the chances of being able to deliver OSM for the sector in the south west. ASW has joined as a Board Member and Stephen Lodge, Radian Group’s Executive Director of Development and Strategic Asset Management is the named representative.

How will ASW members benefit?

ASW has paid to be in the Building Better consortium and only landlords that are part of the consortium will be able to access the products and solutions produced. Through membership of ASW’s procurement consortium you will be able to access these products and solutions on the same terms as if you were a member of Building Better.

By aggregating supply we have a framework in place that enables partners to order from manufacturers that have been rigorously tested and had the due diligence conducted to ensure you’re receiving the best homes.

How does Building Better benefit?

By having ASW on board and including the wider procurement consortium membership, Building Better almost doubles the stock ownership of the landlords that can participate in products and solutions produced. We expect that there will be a similar impact on development aspiration, thus making Building Better that much more attractive to the market.

What will Building Better do this year?

Building Better is working to appoint a very small number of framework providers to provide OSM solutions. The final scope of this is currently being defined with input from the work ASW has carried out. We expect that there will be a solution in place ready to be used in early 2021.