This advice note sets out current Scottish Government thinking in relation to offsite construction for the delivery of new homes through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme.
The Programme for Government 2021-22 notes that the Scottish Government will deliver 110,000 affordable homes across Scotland by 2032, with at least 70% of these in the social rented sector and 10% in our remote, rural and island communities. Further, Housing to 2040 describes how the Scottish Government will lead by example by accelerating the introduction of zero emissions heating systems in new homes delivered by councils and Registered Social Landlords ahead of regulations coming into force in 2024, and by making greater use of offsite construction in the social rented sector to deliver high quality and energy efficient homes. This will be supported by a new zero emissions new build affordable homes strategy to be developed in 2021, which will focus on greater use of offsite construction and the introduction of a new business model for the delivery of affordable homes based on collaborative procurement.
As well as increasing the supply of affordable homes, the Scottish Government will continue to take action to ensure that these homes help to create strong and vibrant places, are of high quality and put Scotland’s affordable homes on a pathway to net zero by 2045.
The Scottish Government believes that making greater use of offsite construction will help to deliver these ambitions. And that this can also help to address the challenges facing the supply of new affordable homes such as decarbonisation, labour shortages, attracting a more diverse workforce, material shortages, efficiency of delivery, reducing waste, construction quality and increasing costs. It will be a prime catalyst for construction industry transformation and make a significant contribution towards achieving net zero.
This is based on research commissioned by the Scottish Government, the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and Scottish Enterprise. That research stated that in order to achieve these goals:
- a new business model was required, and
- a national strategy was needed to take forward this work.
 These regulations will require new buildings consented from 2024 to use zero direct emissions heating.