A Birmingham-based firm which can make the frame of a new home in just a day has seen a rapid rise in demand – providing a boost for former automotive industry workers.
Space4 has increased its workforce from 20 to 150 – employing dozens of ex-car industry staff – after seeing a surge in demand for its environmentally friendly factory-insulated panels for new homes.
The Castle Bromwich-based firm has taken on ex-Rover, Jaguar and Peugeot workers after seeing a vast spike in demand – partly through Persimmon West Midlands’ strategy to focus on family homes rather than apartments.
This year the company is on course to supply 25 per cent of Persimmon’s total volume, and has also seen rising demand from other construction firms.
Managing director Craig Hagan said the company can make a 1,200 sq ft new home in one day, which stands to speed up total building time by about four weeks.
He said: “Just after the credit crunch, in January 2009, we had a total of 20 people. By January this year that had increased to 90 and now we are up to 150 people.
“To make the new, improved, standards as part of the drive towards zero-carbon in 2016 homes need to be energy efficient and insulated. Our success has been down to a combination of the new energy standards favouring our product and the fact we work so quickly.
“Within a day we look to assemble a house, put on the roof and hand it over.”
Persimmon inherited Space4 after taking over rival Westbury in 2005 and today 85 per cent of Space4’s work goes to supplying the house-building giant.
Mr Hagan, whose background is in the automotive industry, said: “We look at local people from Rover, Jaguar and Leyland DAF, as it used to be, because it is a production flow akin to car manufacturing. The traits that are required are very similar to what we do.”