Former Crest CEO Stephen Stone joins ilke Homes to “push the pedal down on growth.”

Former Crest Nicholson chief executive Stephen Stone joins ilke Homes’ board following a successful year of growth that has seen the Yorkshire-based company grow its development-led pipeline to more than 1,000 homes.

With better thermal efficiency and massively reduced waste, many claim that factory-built houses are the only way that councils and housing associations can meet tougher building regulations and incoming targets on reducing carbon emissions. 

As well as dealing with the growing construction skills crisis, many are turning to modular housing due to the speed. Foundations and utilities can be completed while homes are manufactured in factories, meaning it’s possible to complete a development in one third of the time compared with traditional construction methods. This is attractive to investors and housing associations who are making up a growing slice of the housing market, as it means they can generate income far quicker.

During his 13 years at Crest as chief executive and later chairman, Stone led the FTSE 250 housebuilder’s 2013 IPO and made notable predictions about the future skills crisis we are now seeing as well as the need for the sector to modernise. 

In a 2016 interview with Building, Stone warned of the growing skills crisis with much of the labour force retiring declaring that housebuilders needed to make more use of modern methods of construction.  

The former Crest boss wants to help councils, housing associations and pension funds investing in housing embrace more sustainable construction techniques. Ilke Homes’ factory-manufactured designs are able to perform twice as efficiently as traditionally-built properties.The firm has delivered a raft of net-zero homes across recent developments in Greenwich, south London and Gateshead in the North East.

Thanks to the improved thermal performance enabled by precision engineering in a factory environment, ilke Zero – the firm’s zero carbon offering – outperforms those built traditionally by 100%, with ground-source heat pumps and solar panels enabling even some of the council housing completed recently to be classed as net zero carbon. 

Offsite manufacturing also reduces disruption to local communities and creates 90% less waste during the build process and because homes can be manufactured while foundations and utilities are laid, the build process can be two-thirds quicker. This is especially important for local authorities, housing associations and institutions as it means that not only do they deliver much-needed affordable homes quicker, but also generate earlier rental incomes.

ilke Homes has recently signed a number of “turnkey” deals with the likes of The Guinness Partnership and East Midlands Housing Group, with the company also agreeing a £31 million deal with institutional investor Man Group for a 14.6-acre site in Grantham with consent for 227 homes.

Dave Sheridan, executive chairman at ilke Homes, said: 

“Stephen brings years of valuable experience and will play a key role in helping push the pedal down on growth, supporting new partnerships with major institutional partners, such as our recent deal with Man Group.”

Stephen Stone, board member at ilke Homes, said: 

“I have been hugely impressed by the team’s dedication to creating a genuinely positive impact and to building a business that has tremendous growth potential.” 

“Precision-engineering techniques – coupled with a factory-controlled environment – mean the company can deliver zero-carbon homes come rain or shine. This ultimately means more energy-efficient affordable homes for families to live in, with great quality and low running costs.”