THE development of revolutionary modular homes has got off to a flying start after clinching orders for 62 of the zero carbon properties – including some of Anglesey’s first council houses for decades.
The rush of orders was revealed during the official opening of Creating Enterprise Modular Solutions’ (CEMS) new factory on the Penrhos Industrial Estate in Holyhead by Julie James AM, the Welsh Government’s minister for housing and local government.
Work on building the development of four one-bedroom bungalows for older people in the town is due to get underway in August.
The Maes yr Ysgol scheme is next door to the council’s Morawelon housing estate and will offer tenants an option for downsizing thus releasing much needed family homes.
CEMS, a subsidiary of housing association Cartrefi Conwy, collaborated closely with the Isle of Anglesey County Council on the design of the timber-framed properties.
Once the panels are built in the factory, they can be erected on site within five to eight days.
The buildings will use high performance insulation to make the homes completely draught free, cutting heat loss to create a home with minimal environmental impact.
The factory employs four carpenters and will provide jobs for four more local people who are currently unemployed, as well as providing work experience for 50 others who are struggling to find jobs.
It was set up in partnership with Norfolk-based Beattie Passive, the UK’s leading manufacturer of advanced passivhaus homes, eco-friendly buildings which can save residents up to 90% in annual energy costs.
“This partnership between Creating Enterprise and Beattie Passive will be giving employment opportunities to people who are furthest from the jobs market,” said Adrian Johnson, Cartrefi Conwy’s managing director of commercial services.
“The Isle of Anglesey County Council is our first client, and these are among the first council houses to be built on Anglesey for decades. We have already gathered an order book of 62 homes to be built over the next 12 to 18 months.
“The properties are very advanced in terms of building control standards, exceeding sound-proofing requirements and it has in-built radon gas barriers.
“It’s up to passive standard which means they are going to be the most energy efficient homes you can build in the UK.
“We manufacture the panels in the factory which means they can be erected very quickly on site. No wet trades are required so if there is any bad weather it doesn’t affect us.
“Another real bonus of this product is that it is so flexible and you can build anything from a one bedroom apartment to a five-bedroom house.”
Cartrefi Conwy’s chief executive Andrew Bowden said, the initiative is part of our £50 million strategy to create 400 new homes over the next four years.
“This product will revolutionise the social housing market in North Wales and Wales beyond,” he said. “We chose Beattie Passive as our partner because of the ethos of encouraging people in the construction industry to build high quality product with a very low carbon footprint is something we share.
“As a social enterprise we actually want to make a profit, and then we recycle that profit for social good which actually bring tenants back into paid employment.”
Ron Beattie, managing director of Beattie Passive, added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Cartrefi Conwy and Creating Enterprise to deliver Beattie Passive homes in North Wales. We believe they exemplify the values and goals of Beattie Passive and look forward to building upon our partnership.”