Wiltshire Council has welcomed the arrival of its very first modular home, currently being assembled on a site in Durrington.
The home – an accessible, two-bedroom bungalow – is the first to use modern methods of construction (MMC) the council has commissioned, but it is aiming to deliver more than 150 such homes across the country.
The modules are manufactured by Dorset-based Rollalong, and then shipped to site for assembly. Factory construction means they arrive quality checked, highly insulated and draught free.
It also means the residents will be able to move in soon – as the properties arrive decorated and already fitted out with kitchens and bathrooms.
Councillor Phil Alford, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “It’s really rewarding for everyone involved in the project to see this modular building take shape on on site.
“The team from Rollalong are experts at manoeuvring the units precisely into place, and the bungalow will be ready for occupation in a fraction of the time on site that it would take in a conventionally built home.
“We are adapting to the demand for more sustainable and efficient methods of construction, and adopting this growing technology to deliver around 150 new homes across the county.
“With their brick slips, render and roof tiles, it’s hard to tell our MMC homes from traditional builds.
“The quality of the building is really impressive – inspectors from the National House Building Council have monitored every step of the process. I’m looking forward to rolling out this technology to more sites across the county and to see our house-building continue to make progress in such an innovative way.”
According to the council, the modular homes are zero carbon in use thanks to air source heat pumps, smart controls, and solar panels. The modules can be configured as bungalows, flats, or houses to suit residents’ needs.
Last year Magna Housing and Wiltshire Council joined forces to address the housing crisis, appointing Rollalong via the South West Procurement Alliance (SWPA) Offsite Construction of New Homes framework to build nearly 1,000 new homes over the next three years.
Building the future
Steve Chivers, Rollalong’s managing director, said: “We were delighted to be awarded the contract by Magna Housing and Wiltshire Council to design and build these modular homes that will provide a range of high-quality, affordable housing for everyone.
“We are building the homes of the future designed for living today. We want to demystify modular housing and champion the benefits that this style of housing can provide in the face of a nationwide housing crisis.
“We are now creating jobs and apprenticeships in the South West, using local supply chain partners, and creating systemic change in our transition towards a circular economy in the region.”
The SWPA places great importance on sustainable and environmentally friendly construction methods, aiding in the production and implementation of enhanced energy performance and net zero carbon projects.
The organisation is the South West hub of the LHC Procurement Group, a not-for-profit central purchasing body which develop frameworks for public-sector use.
Penny Searson, the SWPA’s regional manager, said: “The site at Durrington is a great example of the collaboration between Wiltshire Council, Rollalong and SWPA in providing high-quality homes which are cost efficient and eco-friendly, include net zero appliances and are no different aesthetically from traditional builds.
“This two-bedroom accessible bungalow for Durrington is the first of Wiltshire Council’s MMC homes and further demonstrates the need and provision for more MMC housing.”
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