01 Aug 2017

L&G unveils first prototypes from its modular housing factory

L&G unveils first prototypes from its modular housing factory

Legal & General (L&G) has unveiled the first prototypes to be manufactured in its 51,000sqm modular housing factory near Leeds, North Yorkshire.

The initial prototype, a one-bed, 26sqm ‘LaunchPod’ (see photo) apartment, was designed by Wimshurst Pelleriti Architects and developed by Southwest London housing provider, Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP).

The pod will be aimed at an intermediate market of RHP customers who do not qualify for social housing but who cannot afford properties on the private housing market. RHP is able to buy the houses at 15% below the standard cost for onsite construction.

RHP’s Chief Executive commented: “This is just one of the ways we’re aiming to combat the housing crisis and will contribute to our target of investing £250 million in new affordable homes over the next eight years.”

L&G’s second unveiling was for a larger 81sqm two-storey, two-bedroom home. Constructed from Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) the homes will be quick to erect and highly sustainable.

L&G hopes this prototype will transform the struggling housing market by bringing on thousands of new builds to the UK every year through MMC.

Rosie Toogood, CEO of L&G Modular, commented: “Homes like this will be delivered repeatedly in a matter of weeks without the snagging issues faced by traditional methods.”

Several designs are still being trialed by L&G, with the first homes expected to be delivered by mid 2018.

The factory is capable of building around 3,500 houses and flats a year on its eight production lines, producing a two bed house in two weeks.

This new phase in L&G’s housing approach looks set to bring on 100’s of large-scale, mixed-use urban regeneration schemes through the UK, bringing 400 new jobs to Selby, where its factory is based.

Words: Jen Grimble. Photo: Andrew Holt

Editor’s Comments

Modular house building and MMC’s has the potential to transform the housing market, providing a faster, more affordable route into custom building. However, modular in itself is viewed very suspectly in the UK as a source of housing by many in the profession.

In it’s favour, it is an efficient and reliable production process, that can provide the benefits of custom build mixed with the precision-engineering and controlled environment of off-site manufacturing.

This approach has already in practice with Swan Housing Association and its Basildon Factory. L&G could speed up the delivery of housing, something that is currently holding the sector back and is a huge focus for Government.

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