Lovell Homes has become the first national homebuilder to adopt British Gypsum’s advanced drylining solutions - Gyproc Habito and Silent Floor - as standard on its homes at Heath Farm, Holt, North Norfolk. This adoption is in response to the Building Better Homes Report, commissioned by British Gypsum in 2016.
The Report, which draws on the insights of 600 homebuyers, highlights many of the positives associated with living in a new-build but also details a number of drawbacks associated with new-build properties including flimsy walls and noise transfer between floors; it’s these insights that have prompted a response from Lovell.
Justine Elliott, sales director at Lovell, explains the rationale for the partnership with British Gypsum: “We have a strategic target of delivering over 5,000 open market homes across the UK in the next five years and that gives us a tremendous opportunity to redefine what ‘new-build’ stands for. The Report from British Gypsum is the first time any company has really investigated, in detail, consumer attitudes towards build quality and new-build - highlighting issues we can, and must, address if we are to improve the reputation of new-build in the UK.”
In the last three years Lovell has ramped up its ‘open market’ homes build programme, expanding into new parts of the UK. As a result, Lovell is increasingly competing head-to-head with other UK-wide housebuilders, as Justine details: “We’ve been very open about our strategic objectives to increase the private-sale side of the business and are now venturing into corners of the UK where the Lovell brand is not as well-known. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to build homes that are better than anything else on the market in those areas and create clear points of differentiation between a Lovell home and other properties.
“Our decision to partner with British Gypsum and integrate the very latest innovations in plasterboard into our homes was an easy one to make. If we take a step back for a moment and put this into context, the housebuilding industry’s current reliance on out-dated technology is very unusual. If you look at the automotive industry, whatever level of car you’re purchasing, the brands within that space are constantly delivering new technologies to improve the user-experience. So why in our industry, where arguably people are making the biggest and most important financial commitment of their life, do we actively shy away from innovation? Yes, there is a cost implication in embracing the very latest innovation - but what’s the cost to our brand if we don’t? We must work collaboratively with our supply chain to find ways of building better homes and put the real needs of home buyers at the centre of our decision-making - we can build better, we must build better and we hope that by our actions we are setting a new standard other housebuilders will adopt.”
The innovations from British Gypsum, which are being used as standard on all house types at Lovell Homes’ Heath Farm development in Holt, are Gyproc Habito super-strength plasterboard and Silent Floor.*
Sarah White, residential sector manager at British Gypsum is delighted that Lovell Homes has seen the market opportunity to integrate these innovations into its build programme. Sarah comments: “We’re constantly developing new materials that put ‘lifestyle’ at the centre of our development programme and what the Building Better Homes Report clearly demonstrates is that consumer desire for more robust walls in the new-build space is very evident.
“For Lovell Homes, they have a clear desire and strategic ambition to change the perception of new-build, equally they recognise the importance of their brand at a local level and how, by creating a clear point of differentiation in build quality and going above the standard specification, they can influence buying decisions amongst consumers.”