Thursday, August 30, 2018

News: First Rotherham sites identified for new housing "pods"

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The first Rotherham sites have been revealed for an innovative housing project utlising new methods of off-site construction.

Rothbiz reported last month on the authority going out to the market to find construction contractors who specialise in elements of off-site construction, ranging from buildings being erected from factory made frames, panels or sections to whole buildings being lowered onto site.

It is proposed that the whole of the scheme is to be funded by the Council and an application has been made to Sheffield city region's (SCR's) pilot Housing Fund for £500K of grant funding.

More than £50m of the Housing Revenue Account has been identified in a Council business plan to realise ambitions to significantly increase the number of new homes built in Rotherham.

Tender documents show that Rotherham Council is searching for housing providers using modern methods of construction (MMC) to deliver a pilot project which will consist of ten small "pod" type homes for single person households requiring affordable accommodation.

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The identified sites include Chatham Street in the town centre, close to the site of the new University Centre Rotherham on Doncaster Gate. Six units are envisaged here.

At Vine Close in Masborough, four units are proposed.

The contract is worth £400,000 and will involve successful contractors manufacturing sections of houses, known as pods, in factories before bringing them to site where they can be fitted together easily. Often, the interior of the pods come completely finished and furnished with bathroom or kitchen appliances and furniture.

Using state of the art manufacturing techniques in modern, highly automated factories offers benefits including predictability, quality assurance, faster construction times, less waste, less noise and disruption to neighbours, less defects and lower site accident rates and improved health and safety.

A second invitation to tender has also been published with the authority using the pilot scheme to deliver 12 bungalows for older people to rent.

Two bungalows at Hounsfield Road and Hounsfield Crescent, East Herringthorpe and eight bungalows at Symonds Avenue, Rawmarsh are proposed.

The authority recently hosted an event for construction companies and tenders are due to be submitted by September 26.

If the pilot proves to be successful, it could provide a delivery route for many of the other 200-300 small sites in the borough. The overall number of homes in the borough increased by 479 units in the 2017/18 financial year, below the Council's target of 641 units.

RMBC website

Images: Modularwise

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