North East housebuilder Homes by Carlton is trialling a new modular house type on its Cathedral Gates scheme in Chilton. PHPD reports.
All housebuilders will be aware of the widespread coverage in the market for what are often termed ‘Modern Methods of Construction’ (MMC). Although the term covers a wide spectrum of methodologies and technical innovations, the most visible of these tend to be techniques such as modular construction, timber frame and lightweight steel frame. The reasoning behind these solutions is that they can speed up build times, increase accuracy and enhance quality.
One housebuilder putting the theory to the test is County Durham-based property developer Homes by Carlton. It is currently building two ‘CoreHaus’ homes on its latest development, called Cathedral Gates, in Chilton, eight miles from Durham. In total, the Cathedral Gates site is a mix of 14 three- and four-bed detached and semi-detached homes.
These new-style designs – called CoreHaus – look to offer significantly reduce construction times, build costs and should have less impact on the environment than more traditional homes. The new designs also offer the flexible combination of being part modular, with a standard, engineered core that can then be configured to different sizes.
While different in the build stage, CoreHaus looks the same as the more traditionally built homes at Cathedral Gates.
Simon Walker, Managing Director at Homes by Carlton, said: “The CoreHaus looks no different to the traditional house types once fully built. 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.”
CoreHaus is a joint-venture company between Carlton & Co Group, the parent company behind Homes by Carlton, and national social enterprise Fusion21, a specialist in public procurement for the built environment.
Simon Walker added: “It is well-known that there’s a huge shortage of high quality, and affordable homes in the North East and other areas of the UK. That’s why we recently returned to the housing market to deliver high quality homes in attractive locations around the region.
“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. 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.
CoreHaus comprises a modular core including a pre-finished kitchen, downstairs toilet, staircase, bathroom and central heating system, all manufactured offsite before being delivered to the development. This is then followed by the external walls and roof being constructed to reduce build time.
Simon Walker added: “While these first prototypes sees 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.”