A North East housebuilder is trialling a new type of modular housing system it claims could have a major impact on the delivery of new homes and benefit the environment at the same time.
Homes by Carlton, based in County Durham, is currently building two of the new designs on its latest site in Chilton, Cathedral Gates, eight miles from Durham city. There, the developer is delivering a mix of 14 three- and four-bedroom detached and semi-detached homes.
These new designs – called CoreHaus – are said to significantly reduce construction times, build costs and have less impact on the environment than more traditional homes. They offer a flexible combination of being part modular, with a standard, engineered core, that can then be configured to different sizes.
CoreHaus is a joint-venture company between Carlton & Co Group, the parent company behind Homes by Carlton, and national social enterprise Fusion21, which specialises in public procurement for the built environment.
It is hoped that once trialled and tested the CoreHaus designs will offer a different approach to tackling the shortage of innovative, affordable housing in Britain.
“The CoreHaus looks no different to the traditional house types once fully built,” said Simon Walker, Homes by Carlton’s managing director. “Interiors can be the same and exteriors will use the same block and brick. It’s just a more modern way of building that should be kinder to the environment and have energy benefits for the homebuyer.”
The CoreHaus design consists of a modular core including a pre-finished kitchen, downstairs toilet, staircase, bathroom and central heating system being manufactured offsite before being delivered to the development. This is then followed by the external walls and roof being constructed to reduce build time.
Assembled in factory-controlled conditions, this energy-efficient housing ‘pod’ can help reduce onsite construction time by 50%, increase flexibility in the design of the home and cut CO2 emissions.
“CoreHaus homes are designed to make it easier and more cost-effective for developers to deliver environmentally efficient homes with a unique design and contemporary feel,” Walker added. “They’re larger than many new three-bedroom homes on the market and we believe offer a higher standard of finish than many traditional house types being built elsewhere.
“While these first prototypes see CoreHaus develop the modular core on site, the long-term vision is that the core will be developed offsite as we progress with the product in the North East.”
Dave Neilson, chief executive of Fusion21, said: “Currently 340,000 new homes are needed to be built each year to meet government targets. At current development rates these shortfalls will not be met. A transformational approach is required to ensure we can support this demand – and that’s where CoreHaus can help. Our unique construction method delivers faster build times and makes it economically viable for developers while greatly reducing environmental impacts.”
Main Image: An aerial view of a CoreHaus prototype under construction at Cathedral Gates.