"The market says we need to move towards a solution where part of the construction takes place offsite. "
Simon Walker, MD, Homes by Carlton
An ambitious North East housebuilder is showcasing the benefits of an innovative modular building design on the national stage.
Newton Aycliffe-based Homes by Carlton has been trialling the new-style design, CoreHaus, on several local housing developments in a bid to slash build costs, reduce the amount of time spent on site and lessen the impact on the environment.
The firm’s MD, Simon Walker, has now embarked on a mission to spread the word about CoreHaus outside of the region – with his first port of call the recent HOMES UK conference in London, where he was one of the keynote speakers. The flagship event brought together more than 6,000 professionals from the UK’s housing sector to discuss how to design, build and manage high-quality homes in sought-after communities across the country.
The event was held as the UK continues to face a chronic shortage of quality homes, with research from Heriot-Watt University showing that 340,000 new homes need to be built each year until 2031 to make up the shortfall.
Mr Walker said: “With this shortage in mind, developers and other property professionals are trying to work out ways of building affordable, quality homes efficiently and at relatively low cost. Not only are we having to battle a skills shortage within the industry, there are also things we can’t control, like inclement weather which reduces the amount of time workers can realistically spend on site.
“The market says we need to move towards a solution where part of the construction takes place offsite. With CoreHaus, this is possible.”
CoreHaus homes offer the flexible combination of being part modular, with a standard, engineered core that can then be configured to different sizes. A modular core including a pre-finished kitchen, downstairs toilet, staircase, bathroom and central heating system are manufactured offsite before being delivered to the development. This is then followed by the external walls and roof being constructed to reduce build time.
Assembled in factory-controlled conditions, this energy-efficient housing ‘pod’ can help reduce onsite construction time by 50%, increase flexibility in the design of the home and cut CO2 emissions.
Mr Walker said: “CoreHaus homes have character and are built to a high level of craftsmanship. They’re environmentally sustainable, relatively quick to assemble and the reduced build costs result in a faster return on investment.
“Feedback at the HOMES UK event was extremely positive; people viewed CoreHaus as a transformative development that could really make a positive difference in the fight to bring more affordable homes to the UK.”
CoreHaus is a joint-venture company between Carlton & Co Group, the parent company behind Homes by Carlton, and national social enterprise Fusion21, specialists in public procurement for the built environment.
The innovation has been trialled on Cathedral Gates, a mix of 14 three and four-bed detached and semi-detached homes in Chilton, eight miles from Durham City. CoreHaus homes are also planned for other developments across the North East and Yorkshire.