With 85% of all new homes built with timber and increasing emphasis on offsite construction, Scotland is clearly making strides towards modern, sustainable housebuilding.
As a company that’s been operating in Scotland since our doors first opened almost 25 years ago, our long-term presence and collaborations with Scottish clients have provided us with in-depth knowledge of the unique approach to housebuilding in the country.
We speak with Dan Hodgson, Account Manager at Premier Guarantee, to find out how we work in Scotland and look at some of the emerging themes and interesting schemes across the country.
The risk management team have been established for a long time now with a consistent group of staff working in Scotland. Growing steadily over the years, the team are well-known, knowledgeable and respected by our clients – consistency, trust and excellent working relationships with many clients is the net result.
This varies depending on the client obviously, but broadly I believe this can be split into two groups. The first being clients who may only build one scheme a year and are not necessarily very familiar with how to apply for a warranty. For me, this is the best opportunity to run through the application form and explain what our underwriting team are looking to see and really make sure we can get them the best price as well as to understand the process.
The second group includes those who build more often and understand the process better. For these clients, it’s about making sure the service is working, ironing out any creases and speaking to them regularly about things. A large part of my role is account management. The process of registering a site through to handing it over can take several years and dozens of contacts at various stages – I am the one point of contact who maintains that consistency throughout, it is important the client has that anchor.
Timber frame has always led the way throughout Scotland. Our approach to this has become more robust in recent times with a requirement for some form of recognised quality management system in place for kit manufacturers (STA, TRADA, CATG, etc.). This will no doubt continue to lead the industry.
We are also certainly seeing more of an increase around sustainability, not just the build process, but the future carbon footprint a property will create.
© The Wee House Company
A lot of the schemes in Scotland are interesting with some genuinely great units produced. There have been many national Premier Guarantee Excellence Award winners over the years. Some of my personal favourites have been a few of the bigger new home schemes in the far North East. Edinburgh and Glasgow have seen some fantastic conversion, high-rise and more complex schemes over the last few years. Also, a scheme in Stirling which used a CMC form of piling and finally, this year, an award-winning scheme in Ladybank, Fife.
It sounds a bit obvious, but being able to make a significant saving for a client or helping to get a project over the line always feels good. I mentioned CMC piles earlier – this was a modern method of construction and typically would have been deemed too high a risk to provide cover for. Talking to the client and drawing on a vast range of knowledge that we have in our technical team eventually allowed the business to provide the client with cover.
Meeting people is always a highlight too.
Hear from a Scottish developer that's at the forefront of modular construction. The Wee House Company worked with Premier Guarantee to gain system acceptance. Read the interview with MD and founder, Jennifer Higgins.