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New High-Tech House Building Factory launched by Industry Minister Stephen Byers

Originally Published 25 April 2001

The Rt Hon Stephen Byers MP, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, will launch the first ever UK factory that actually builds quality houses. The "SPACE4" launch will be, at Tameside Drive, Castle Bromwich at 3.30pm Friday 27th April.

"Space4 is a revolutionary new process for building traditional homes to higher standards of quality, precision and, energy efficiency, devised following five years of research in collaboration with the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick"
said Robin Davies, Westbury plc's director of SPACE4.

"We have invested over ?10 million in this new process, the largest ever investment in new technology by a UK house builder. SPACE4 components are made in a state-of-the-art patented manufacturing process to create a unique high performance wall and floor system. Quality control standards applied rigorously in the factory provide precision products for rapid assembly. The work in the factory means that SPACE4 components require less work on site. We can build a weatherproof and secure structure including doors, roof and windows anywhere in the UK within 48 hours."

The homes are completed using traditional materials such as brick or stone for external cladding and the greater accuracy of the internal shell allows a superior standard of interior finish.

The main researcher on the project, Rajat Roy of the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick, said:

"This new process incorporates all of the new thinking in manufacturing, from the use of e-business techniques and just-time logistics to the use of new materials. I am delighted to see all of these ideas taken out of the laboratory and put into practice. This is genuinely a revolution in house building".

The factory has been fitted out with state-of-the-art plant and equipment with the capacity to produce structural insulated wall panels, floor cassettes and internal walls for over 5000 homes per annum and will provide over 150 new jobs in the Midlands and a further 100 assembly jobs on sites throughout England and Wales.

Note for Editors: A one page technical note on the processes involved is also available

For further information contact:

  • Westbury:
    Robin Davies - Group Marketing Director - Telephone 01242 236191
    Patrick Dormon - Managing Director, Space4 - Telephone 0121 748 8383
  •  Warwick Manufacturing Group:
    Nick Matthews 024 76572506 or 0777 5534352