As the cost-of-living crisis gathers pace, Abacus is continuously looking to put ESG at the core of its decision making in terms of improving and future-proofing its product and service offering to the Build to Rent sector, to help customers and residents weather the storm.
Achieving manufacturing efficiencies in the face of rising costs
In the face of the cost-of-living crisis and a shortage of raw materials and global supply chain issues, the build costs for B housing developments have significantly increased. We are finding that developers (and residents) are looking for a service that continues to deliver high on added value and performance in the face of rising costs.
One way we strive to offset these rising costs is continuing to champion Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in our Build to Rent product offering. We create off-site bespoke semi-pod working wall systems for quick and easy contractor on-site bathroom installation – the ideal solution when full pods are not a viable option. Our semi-pod systems have been designed with a focus on high-quality design, function, and longevity all within the client’s set budget.
Adopting an MMC approach is changing the way in which we deliver new ESG initiatives in the products we choose for our customers. This is supported by our own in-house advanced digital solutions that underpin our processes, ensuring designs are created to exact client specifications, manufactured to consistently high standards and rigorously tested prior to delivery to site. MMC has improved efficiencies in reducing lead times, wastage and onsite contractor installation time.
We put energy saving at the heart of our processes from product design, sourcing, manufacturing, distribution and installation, whilst consistently working on new product initiatives that help to save the consumer money. All our bespoke semi-pods are manufactured from sustainably sourced FSC timber, which can be replicated and produced to the same consistent high standard at our manufacturing facility. Each working wall is then pre-fitted with a range of concealed low water usage sanitaryware, as well as low water usage brassware and cisterns. Utilising these types of products in our builds – coupled with modern methods of construction such as wastewater heat recovery systems – helps to reduce the carbon footprint and meet our ESG goals, as well as save on energy costs for the consumer.
Each semi-pod system is delivered directly to site and can be installed rapidly without the need for multi-trades resources, saving on time and contractor labour costs. All our designs can then be scaled up and rolled out across multiple developments, generating cost savings in tooling whilst at the same time, optimizing production efficiencies.
Customer design hub, showroom and training facility
To further support our bathroom design and supply services to the Build to Rent market, Abacus has invested in the design and construction of a ‘working’ Build to Rent apartment showroom on site at its 150,000 sq ft Head Office and Manufacturing Facility in Harrogate.
The creation of this prototype apartment aids the design and development of future bathroom installations and is a tool to effectively demonstrate our products working in a ‘real-life’ Build to Rent dwelling.
This facility has helped to support a lot of design planning and ensures a ‘right first-time approach’. It has also doubled as a great training facility to demonstrate our working products to staff and customers alike.
Listening to Build to Rent residents’ needs
As well as understanding and accommodating the needs of Build to Rent developers during these turbulent times, it’s equally important to understand the needs of the Build to Rent resident. We understand that Build to Rent residents are not just paying to rent a property – they’re also paying (and expecting) to receive a service in return. Customers do not want to be paying more and getting less just because costs have risen. We are continuously thinking about the quality of our product designs, function, longevity and serviceability of our products to meet these expectations.
According to the recent HomeViews 2023 National Build to Rent Report, resident satisfaction ratings showed a dip across all categories surveyed, with the biggest ratings fall in service-related categories like Repair and Maintenance.
As a key supplier to this market, we continuously strive to set high ESG standards for every project we look to take on, with the goal of future proofing every bathroom we produce. All the products we look to integrate into our bathroom for Build to Rent developments are considered based on their design, energy-saving capabilities, recyclability, as well as leveraging technologies to create easy serviceability of our products from the front-end, reducing the need for costly and timely maintenance and remedial works.
Our manufacturing capability coupled with our distribution and supply partnerships allows Abacus to bring together design, planning, manufacturing, and supply strengths with some of the world’s leading bathroom brands. This enables us to offer Build to Rent developers the highest quality build with long-lasting results, resulting in reduced remedial works over the lifetime of the project.