I thank my hon. Friend; I am talking about my right hon. Friend Mr. Prescott. He set companies the challenge of building a £60,000 house that would meet eco-standards. A German company was able to do it by making all the parts of the house in a factory and putting them together on site. Apparently, that is called an MMU. I do not know what MMU stands for. [Interruption.] I think the first letter stands for "modular" and the last for "unit".
Of course, the suggestion is that prices will drop as demand increases. As we have mentioned, an energy-efficient house works out rather cheaper in the long term. The Government are now encouraging that modern method of construction, or MMC—an MMU must be a "modern method unit"—which they think can achieve a step-change in the construction industry. That method involves prefabricating houses in factories. The potential benefits are faster construction, fewer defects and reductions in energy use and waste—or so it is claimed. Hon. Members may be aware of the old prefabs that were put up after the second world war to meet the housing crisis; they were far from doing any of those desirable things.
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