Home Group’s experiment in modular housing gets underway in Gateshead

TWO semi-detached houses were built in a matter of hours on a site in Gateshead. If that seems fast, the parts were pre-made in a factory and shipped by lorry for assembly on site.

The properties have been positioned and constructed at Gateshead Innovation Village, a live research project led by Home Group that is putting a range of modular construction methods through their paces.

The modular volumetric units were manufactured by Home Group’s partner, ilke Homes, in its North Yorkshire factory before making the journey along the A1 to Gateshead.

These two new arrivals mark only the beginning of construction at Gateshead Innovation Village, which will see 41 homes built in a range of house designs. The scheme will allow Home Group and its partners to compare six different types of modern methods of construction to traditional builds and is supported by national housing agency Homes England and Gateshead Council.

“This is an incredibly exciting and pivotal time for this project. It not only marks the beginning of the build phase of Gateshead Innovation Village, it has also seen us create our first ever modular home that will house our customers,” said Brian Ham, Home Group’s executive director of development.

“ilke Homes has delivered the first of five different types of modular homes, with the other four being supplied by different manufacturers who use different techniques for build, so we can test modern methods of construction in its entirety.

“Now that the first units are on-site we’re looking forward to progressing with construction and preparing the houses for customers. We want to know what they’re like to live in, how they compare and contrast with traditional builds and how they’ll stand the test of time. This will be a big learning experience for all involved.”

Bjorn Conway, ilke Homes’ chief executive, added: “Gateshead Innovation Village is a hugely exciting project for the UK’s housebuilding sector and we are pleased to partner with Home Group on such an innovative research scheme. The construction of the first homes at Gateshead Innovation Village demonstrates the appetite within the construction industry to embrace modular housing.

“At ilke Homes, our mission is to provide a real solution to the UK housing shortage. We believe, modular housing is integral to increasing the UK’s housing capacity to ensure that families have access to affordable homes by facilitating more efficient housebuilding.

“Our homes installed at the innovation village have been precision-engineered and manufactured at our state-of-the-art factory using the latest technologies. These zero-carbon, all electric smart homes boast the use of innovative features, such as smart controlled solar PV systems, phase change thermal batteries, heat pumps and modern storage heaters. The monitoring and occupant feedback from the project will feed into our ongoing product development as we continue to develop homes that people enjoy living in.”

Councillor Malcom Brain, cabinet member for housing at Gateshead Council, said: “It’s great to see the first of these innovative homes arrive in Gateshead, as it marks the beginning of 41 much needed homes being constructed at a time when affordable housing and housing delivery is a big issue. Modular housing has huge potential to speed up the delivery of new homes and we look forward to showcasing the best designs here in Gateshead.”

NH

 

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