Premier Modular, one of the UK's leading offsite construction specialists, has completed the installation of 58 apartments for a new £9m emergency housing scheme for Buckinghamshire Council in High Wycombe.
Due for completion this summer, the project is being delivered by an innovative partnership between Premier Modular and Claritas Group.
Manufactured and fully fitted out offsite, these highly sustainable apartments are being completed in a much shorter timescale than with in-situ construction to help meet the rising demand for housing for homeless people.
The one-bedroom apartments, each weighing around 10 tonnes, were installed using a 250-tonne crane and in around two weeks. Each home arrived on site complete with shower rooms and kitchens. The apartments are built around a central courtyard which will provide a valuable amenity space for residents.
Cllr John Chilver, Cabinet Member for Property and Assets, said, “We visited the site after the first few modules had been installed. It was exciting to see the progress and view the inside of one of the attractive and well-designed apartments.”
“As a council, we are committed to exploring modern methods of construction and more innovative ways of delivering new housing. The use of an offsite solution for this scheme has radically reduced time on site, meaning far less disruption locally during the build programme, and the high standard of workmanship we saw on site.”
Dan Allison, Director of Premier Modular, said, “There is an urgent need across the UK for emergency accommodation for people, who, often through no fault of their own, have become homeless. These individuals and families need housing for a short period of time, while a more permanent place is found for them to live. Offsite construction is very well suited to building this type of housing. As well as meeting the required standards for quality and sustainability, we can reduce the completion time to deliver new homes more quickly for people on emergency housing waiting lists.”
“With fabrication and fitting out of the apartments taking place offsite, we can also reduce the number of construction workers on site – an important health and safety benefit in the current pandemic.”
Cllr Isobel Darby, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, said, “I was delighted with the progress we saw on site, which will help us achieve our ambitious plans to provide more accommodation for families who are homeless.”
“This project will increase the number of temporary homes in High Wycombe by 65 per cent, enabling us to meet the growing local need and provide a much better living environment for families who need our help. The new accommodation will also bring people closer to local amenities such as transport facilities, GP surgeries and schools as well as other support services.”
Jon Wardle, CEO of Claritas Group, said, “Temporary housing is a challenge for many local authorities. We are extremely proud to be involved in this exciting project with Buckinghamshire Council and Premier Modular. Our innovative partnership with Premier combined with the Council’s ambition and desire to think MMC first, are providing measurable benefits in time, cost and quality.”
The building has been designed to enhance the local area and to deliver a high standard of environmental performance. The energy-efficient ‘fabric first approach’ to the development’s construction will increase the level of insulation, reduce heat loss and air infiltration, and will use roof-mounted solar panels to generate electricity.
Built on the highly constrained site of a former car park, the three and five storey scheme will be finished in a palette of colours including terracotta, slate grey and off white to complement the surrounding local area. The apartments will be accessed by lifts and staircases in two towers built using in-situ construction. There will be two accessible apartments, each with a parking space.
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