Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Housing association to build modular homes for first time

3 July 2020

Housing association Bromford has been given the green light to build six modular homes on the site of a former garage in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.

The two-bedroom homes, which will be available for rent once completed, will use Totally Modular’s 2B4P architectural design and will be constructed offsite at Totally Modular’s West Midlands factory before being assembled on site.

It is the first time Bromford has used modular construction. In addition to being built offsite, the homes will feature solar panels and battery storage system from Pure Drive Energy and a Daikin Altherma HPC heating and hot water system, as well as charging points for electric cars

John Connolly, managing director from Totally Modular said: “Having worked on this project for the last 3 years and to finally see the planned development crossing the starting line, it will be a big relief to all stakeholders involved. Albeit most forward thinking registered social landlords have an aspiration to introduce a modular offering into their development plans, very few have committed to implementing the model as most prefer to study the process of evolution related to this form of delivery with an expectation of the success and benefits this technology offers before they commit themselves. Fortunately, there are enough pioneers within Bromford that have been prepared to rise above what many individuals perceive as the risks of embracing change and have kept their eye on the goal!

“In a collaborative effort and having overcome the many challenges they have faced, the team have stayed true to the objectives of intending to deliver a superior eco energy efficient housing solution, better, quicker and at cost neutral position when compared against traditional constructional methods. This outcome can only benefit the nation’s need of building more homes for an ever increasing population that will depend on a living environment that offers safe, future proof and socially beneficial features, which in times such as now, will shape the future for generations to come.”

Michael Craggs, development and asset management innovation lead at Bromford, said: “We’re delighted to have got the go-ahead for these new homes in Winchcombe. We’ve been researching modern methods of construction for some time and have been looking for an opportunity to put them into practice. We’ve been working with our partners at Totally Modular and GSSArchitecture as well as Tewkesbury Borough Council to put these plans together.

“These homes will be a first for us, but offsite construction is something we are keen to expand as we increase the number of new homes we build every year. Our goal is to build 12,000 homes by 2028 and by 2023 we want to be incorporating at least 250 homes a year from factories, like these ones we’re building in Winchcombe.

Work is expected to start on site in September, with customers expected to move into the new homes in early 2021.