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Totally Modular to deliver Bromford and Gloucestershire’s First Modular Scheme


Gloucestershire is set to see one of its first modular, affordable housing scheme managed by housing association Bromford manufactured by Totally Modular. This step changing development will see six, new build two bed houses transform an infill, garage site situated on existing brownfield land, suffering from blight, into six eco energy efficient houses.

The six, two bed homes will be a full turnkey solution manufactured by Totally Modular at its factory in Cradley Heath and transported 50 miles to the Abbey View site in the Winchcombe district of Cheltenham. With foundations in place ahead of arrival, each home is expected to take just hours to install and connect to services.

Totally Modular houses are a hybrid steel framed system with exterior finishes varying to each customer specification. Bromford have opted for a timber clad and white render finish that will provide a contemporary finish with a modern mono pitched roof to match. They will arrive on site with kitchens and bathrooms already fitted out, and other rooms already decorated.

The purpose of the development is to trial the precision engineered process and assess whether the buildings are a sustainable solution to address the local housing needs.

These new build homes will be completed up to 95% offsite within a controlled factory, expected to exceed building regulations therefore providing higher manufacturing solutions with lower risk and greater speed, cost-effectiveness and consistency.

CGI Image by GSS Architecture

The sustainability agenda is a big driving force behind the project, the offsite production of the properties reduces waste by up to 80% and helps reduce CO² by 50% when compared to traditional site construction, with the majority of materials used on the homes certified as recyclable. This scheme will also incorporate energy efficient technology, which will reduce running costs which will then enable more disposable income to become readily available for the residents.

These homes align significantly to the government’s ambitions for greener and more energy efficient, affordable housing. The homes are expected to exceed our expectations and national standard average being a D rating, with a target of at least an EPC ‘B’ rating being achieved. Therefore, reducing the resident’s fuel costs and allowing more disposable income to be readily available for them.

Mike 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.

As well as building homes that are affordable to rent we want them to be affordable to run as well. That’s why we are also including some new technology in these homes that will increase their energy efficiency using solar panels and battery storage system from Pure Drive Energy and Daikin Altherma HPC heating and hot water system, as well as charging points for electric cars. Together these systems are likely to considerably reduce residents’ energy bills.”

John Connolly, Managing Director, Totally Modular, also commented: 

“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.”

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