The Urban House
Having prototyped and trialled 22 homes on its Kidbrooke Village development in south London, Berkeley Homes, one of Britain’s best known volume house builders, is planning to build more factory pre-fabricated homes on the same site.
Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)
Berkeley claims that, compared to traditional terraced housing, their design "enables twice as many homes to be built on a site". With demand for family homes in London outstripping supply by 13 to 1, they believe that their Urban House, which offers and intelligent, traditional, economical to run three-storey solution works equally well as private or addorable housing.
By the innovative use of building materials, Berkeley claims that their design cuts up to 25% off utility bills, out-performing standard housing. Space efficiencies are achieved by replacing the back garden with a private roof garden. Space at the front is retained for a car and bicycles, while off-street parking has electric car charging points and covered cycle storage.
New Route to High Density
These three and four-bedroom houses offer local authorities a new way of providing high density family homes, with increased density making smaller sites viable for residential development which would not otherwise be possible.
Flexibility is Key
Karl Whiteman, divisional managing director at Berkeley Homes, said: "The Urban House offers you a home that is flexible, economical and beautifully designed. It has light, space and character. It can be adapted to meet people's needs as their lives change - whether that's caring for an elderly relative or downsizing once the kids have flown the nest."
Low Energy, Off-Site MMC
Berkeley have ‘discovered’ the many benefits that off-site factory pre-fabricated modern methods of construction can deliver. Cleverly they’ve also packaged this with a fairly novel planning approach to capitalise on the energy saving features that can be incorporated with flexible designs. This demonstrate that there is still much that can be achieved by selecting and designing buildings to optimise handling and speed on-site assembly. Careful consideration at the outset of any construction project can secure winning advantages, both during the build and in its’ occupation.