Swan Housing Association launch modular design guide setting out considerations for designing modular housing
Swan, which opened its own offsite modular factory in 2017, has already delivered precision-engineered homes to its Beechwood development in Basildon Essex, and is set to deliver its first mid-rise modular homes to Watts Grove in east London this summer.
Based on Swan’s ‘NU build’ modular system, the guide aims to give the design teams of new homes an understanding of the interrelationship between the consultants, the client and the factory. The guide is not a pattern book, but instead provides the tools for the designer to develop their own unique project, whilst thinking about how each module is made, transported and assembled at every stage of the design development.
Geoff Pearce, Swan’s Executive Director of Regeneration and Development commented: “Swan is truly committed to delivering innovation. Having opened our own offsite modular factory in 2017, we are convinced that this method will enable us to deliver high-quality homes that people will want to live in, at the same time building local and national expertise in manufacturing and supporting the UK modular industry. This guide, we hope, will encourage others to consider modular, whilst enabling high-quality homes to be built, quicker, more sustainably and at a lower cost.”
Paul Williamson, Managing Director of NU Build said: “As the UK moves towards more factory built homes we wanted to provide a guide which prompts the design team to ask the early questions that need to be asked, something which all teams within the process could look at for guidance.”
Andrew Waugh, Founding Partner, Waugh Thistleton Architects said: "The NU build guide is the culmination of two years of collaborative work with Swan developing their modular system. Speed of delivery, efficiency of production and waste reduction are at the heart of this book, demonstrating how the construction industry can modernise to meet the 21st century demands for quality as well as responding to the urgent climate emergency we face.”
Working closely with Ramboll and Waugh Thistleton Architects - specialists in designing in engineered timber and offsite solutions, the guide, which took 2 years to develop is hoped to encourage more designers, organisations and developers to look at the possibility of delivering homes via offsite manufacturing.