The 137,000 sq ft manufacturing facility makes light gauge steel panel systems and other components used by British Offsite for the superstructure and internal fit out of houses, mid-rise and high-rise developments.
It will seek to supply the open market as well as Weston Homes itself, the group’s volume house-building division.
The Horizon factory produces British Offsite’s UniSystem range that includes light gauge panels, walls, roofs and floors, with the panels having windows, doors, insulation, vents, fire stopping and external cladding in place, manufactured exactly to a developer’s needs. The UniSystem is a hybrid MMC that is designed to be flexible and allow rapid integration into traditional building design.
In addition, British Offsite also manufactures internal fitout modules, under their BOS Fitout brand, which includes bathroom components, kitchen and bedroom products, designed to be easily integrated into existing projects, with full quality control testing before elements reach site.
The automated production line, inspired by the automotive industry and designed by Randek AB, represents £5.3m of capital expenditure and is based around eight robots, designed and supplied by Randek Robotics.
Horizon is British Offsite’s second factory. In 2019 it opened Skyline, a 75,000 sq ft facility on Avenue East in Braintree where the BOS Fitout modules are produced and where the UniSystem was originally manufactured.
Skyline can contribute to the delivery of up to 1,000 new homes per year, with Horizon now taking that to 4,000.
The new factory was opened by local MP James Cleverly, the foreign secretary, who toured the plant with Bob Weston, chairman of British Offsite and Weston Group plc, and his son Shaun Weston, managing director of British Offsite.