Work has just got underway at the Shropshire factory of modular specialist Elements Europe to deliver the Creekside Wharf scheme of 249 homes for rent in south London.
It is one the first build to rent schemes being built this way and will also be one of the tallest modular buildings in the UK.
Ray Theakston, construction director at Essential Living, said that under the agreed programme each module was being built with final finish in just seven days.
“Having the potential to collect rent six months earlier than a traditional build is appealing. This is achievable because you can commence work on the modules off site at the same time as constructing the traditional concrete core on site – which the steel-framed modules then plug into.
“We’re creating a portfolio of 5,000 rental homes across London and the South East. Modular may well play a role in some of our future schemes, but it’s important to stress that we remain committed to working with traditional contractors who will continue to play a key role in delivering our projects.”
Elements brings more than a decade’s experience creating hotels, housing for sale and purpose built student housing.
From the 200,000 sq ft Telford-based factory, Elements will send 632 modules to Creekside Wharf – at a rate of 20 a week – from February 2017.
The steel-framed modules will fit around the scheme’s concrete core. This gives the project lateral stability while the stacked modules carry its weight back to the ground – exactly the same as a conventional office block.
Elements uses traditional construction methods in a controlled factory environment where 60 per cent of the total work is carried out. It will halve the time spent on site to 32 weeks.
The Assael Architecture project will also be the first in the country to cater for families, with buggy storage, acoustic noise insulation and an on-site nursery for parents with young children.
Simon Underwood, managing director at Elements Europe, said: “We have developed an industry-leading solution for Essential Living and the build to rent sector bringing together many years of experience.
“Our entry into the build to rent market is just a natural progression, bringing homes forward sooner, reducing capital construction costs, and improving the quality and safety of delivery.”