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First modular homes are constructed on-site at Gateshead Innovation Village

The scheme will allow Home Group and its partners to compare six different types of modern methods of construction to traditional builds

Modular houses brought to life in a North Yorkshire factory have been erected on-site at Gateshead Innovation Village just hours after arriving on a lorry.

The first two semi-detached houses have been positioned and constructed at Gateshead Innovation Village, a live research project led by Home Group.

The modular volumetric units, manufactured by Home Group partner ilke Homes, who deliver precision-engineered homes at scale, were created in its factory before making the journey on along the A1 to Gateshead, where they have been placed on-site ready for Home Group customers to move into when construction completes in early 2019.

Arrival of the modular units mark the beginning of construction of the 41 homes at Gateshead Innovation Village, which will see a range of house designs take shape on the one site. The scheme will allow Home Group and its partners to compare six different types of modern methods of construction to traditional builds and is supported by national housing agency Homes England and Gateshead Council.

Brian Ham, executive director of development at Home Group, said: “This is an incredibly exciting and pivotal time for this project. It not only marks the beginning of the build phase of Gateshead Innovation Village, it has also seen us create our first ever modular home that will house our customers.

“ilke Homes has delivered the first of five different types of modular homes, with the other four being supplied by different manufacturers who use different techniques for build, so we can test modern methods of construction in its entirety.

“Now that the first units are on-site we’re looking forward to progressing with construction and preparing the houses for customers. We want to know what they’re like to live in, how they compare and contrast with traditional builds and how they’ll stand the test of time. This will be a big learning experience for all involved.”

Bjorn Conway, chief executive of ilke Homes, said: “Gateshead Innovation Village is a hugely exciting project for the UK’s housebuilding sector and we are pleased to partner with Home Group on such an innovative research scheme. The construction of the first homes at Gateshead Innovation Village demonstrates the appetite within the construction industry to embrace modular housing.

“At ilke Homes, our mission is to provide a real solution to the UK housing shortage. We believe, modular housing is integral to increasing the UK’s housing capacity to ensure that families have access to affordable homes by facilitating more efficient housebuilding.

“Our homes installed at the innovation village have been precision-engineered and manufactured at our state-of-the-art factory using the latest technologies. These zero-carbon, all electric smart homes boast the use of innovative features, such as smart controlled solar PV systems, phase change thermal batteries, heat pumps and modern storage heaters. The monitoring and occupant feedback from the project will feed into our ongoing product development as we continue to develop homes that people enjoy living in.”