Britain has a shortage of housing and a declining number of skilled workers in the building trades. One solution recommended by the government is timber-framed houses. They can be erected far more quickly than brick buildings, and can be more environmentally friendly because forests are renewable. Pace manufactures more than 2,000 timber frames for houses and provides completed designs through its Optima Homes brand. The Milton Keynes company, which was founded by Phil Key and Jason Pritchard, also carries out plaster boarding work. Its sales have grown 74% a year from an annualised £1.7m in 2000 to £9.1m in 2003.
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