To counter build cost inflation, currently running at between 3% and 4%, Barratt has been looking to increase efficiency and reduce labour requirements through the use of alternative build options such as timber frames, large format blocks and light gauge steel frames.
In the six months ending 31st December 2017 Barratt Developments made a pre-tax profit of £342.7m (2016: £321.0m) on revenue up 9.5% to £1,988.0m (2016: £1,816.2).
Chief executive David Thomas said: "With good consumer demand, a healthy forward order book and a robust balance sheet, overall we have had a strong first half and we continue to deliver against our operational and financial objectives.”
Including joint ventures, total completions reached 7,324 (2016: 7,180). Of these, 1,270 were built with timber frames.
Barratt has also been trialling light gauge steel frames, supplied by Fusion Building Systems, and large format blocks with positive results. “These provide similar benefits to timber frame, such as increased build speed and reducing our reliance on certain traditional construction methods,” David Thomas said.
He added: “We continue to trial various new offsite technologies, including offsite concrete garages and offsite ground floor foundation systems. We are also researching and applying smart technologies [including Hive and Nest energy systems] to better understand the needs of our customers in the future.”