Modular homes provider Project Etopia will begin building a new demonstration home at BRE’s Watford Innovation Park in April, with an on-site build time of just 20 hours.
The building will be a leading example on how modular housing can embrace eco-technology to create high-quality, greener homes that significantly reduce electricity bills for consumers. It will also have its ability to withstand hurricanes, fires and floods put to the test.
The three-bedroom detached unit will come in at around 20 per cent less than a conventional home — around £1,200 a sq m for a smart home, which compares with build costs of around £1,500 sqm for a basic traditional bricks and mortar.
Its panelised walls will possess a 0.13 U-value, a measure of thermal efficiency, compared with a U-value in excess of 0.16 for a typical well-insulated wall in a new build brick property.
All of the exterior wall superstructure will be constructed in an on-site time of 20 hours (16 hours for walls, four hours for scaffolding) compared with as much as three weeks for a traditional home. The Etopia build system is also not weather dependent.
Project Etopia’s smart home will feature its own solar cladding in conjunction with Great British Voltaic (GBV), solar and tiles, triple glazing, as well as a Daikin Altherma Heating and Cooling System. It will also incorporate E-Smart’s plug-and-play smart home system with Samsung smart appliances.
The new industry certification scheme – known as BPS7014 – will ensure new modular buildings adhere to the highest sustainability and building credentials by certifying construction systems and components. Details of the certification will be unveiled by BRE this summer.
Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, commented: “We wanted to lead modular house building into the mainstream in Britain so our focus is to build to the new standard. Modular homes, including those built by us, are going up around the country with a finish of such quality that most people wouldn’t realise they were standing in a home built using offsite construction methods at all.
“We firmly believe this is the future and the new BRE standard is going to play a fundamental role in increasing demand for offsite construction over the next decade. Modular homes are now not just as good as traditional bricks and mortar but better, with smart energy efficient technology woven into their very fabric.”