New 2,000-unit modular home factory
Modular builder Project Etopia has partnered with panellised construction firm 4wall on a 4,650 sq m factory, to be built in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. It will produce 2,000 homes a year at the rate of five three-bed homes a day.
120 full time jobs
The facility will create 120 full-time jobs after a year of operation, and 250 within two years. Joseph Daniels, Project Etopia chief executive, said: “This is an exciting and important milestone for us that will help us achieve our ambition to produce 21,500 eco-modular homes by 2025.
Daniels enters the Lion’s Den!
In Daniels’ view, this is a critical time for house building in the UK with homes still not being built quickly enough, locking millions of people out of the property market. He claims that their modular homes can be built incredibly quickly, and still be given a luxury finish, smart technology and sustainability features as standard.
“By providing environment-friendly,” claims Daniels, “ affordable houses which can be built in a matter of days, we want to make it possible for everyone to own their own home but without killing the planet. Living in a modular home is no longer a compromise.”
Expansions Already Planned
Project Etopia is currently building 47 modular eco homes for Corby in Northamptonshire. The team has planned a factory expansion to include two additional machines, which would increase production to 6,000 units per year
Images: Project Etopia
“Little Boxes” Danger
Apart from the Corby houses, no information is available on design and aesthetics, but yet another modular factory presents the danger of the UK being saturated with ‘little box’ look-a-likes. However, the promise of these being ‘SMART’ homes challenges conventional housebuilders to up their game. Smart buildings and IoT are already influencing the way new homes are designed and built. Home buyer and renter awareness of what is becoming available is beginning to drive their expectations and demands. It may not be long before changing material science and technology combines to bring AI right into the way your business designs and delivers projects.
DfMA at the forefront
As Off-Site construction matures into Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) it is clearly at the forefront as an enabler for such delivery. New homes will very soon be ‘Smart’ in numerous ways, including full incorporation of energy saving and TIoT (the internet of things) to deliver major components. This is something that ‘Off-Site’. DfMA (Design for Manufacture & Assembly) will need to seriously consider as the industry moves forward.
Greater collaborative ‘partnering’ between architects, builders and manufacturers is needed to accomplish this The greater speed, accuracy and quality that can result from manufacturing components in a dry, controlled factory environment, together with the ability tom incorporate (yet to be invented) ‘Smart Ware’ gives home builders perhaps the only way of achieving this, together with improved on-site build quality AND controlling costs.
While resistance to the change to DfMA has been the norm, the wish of most UK Builders to deliver excellent customer service and top notch homes is now driving an increasing number to choose Off-Site for their developments. Also, as ‘OffSite Hub” note, architects and designers are moving toward DfMA, something w have been encouraging for over 20 years. The emergence of LA Developers will only speed up this process.
Easy Timber Frame
To assist them in doing so our “Easy Timber Frame “ now offers standard size modular timber frame elements for them to use as a design base, cutting down on technical design and engineering to produce win-win results.