AAmbitious North East homebuilder Homes by Carlton is testing an innovative type of modular home that could have a major impact on the new home market and the environment.
The County Durham-based property developer is building two of the new designs at its latest site of new homes at Cathedral Gates, a mix of 14 three- and four-bed detached and semi-detached homes in Chilton, eight miles from Durham city .
These new-style designs – called CoreHaus – will significantly reduce construction times, construction costs and have less impact on the environment than more traditional homes. They offer the flexible combination of being partly modular, with a standard technical core, which can then be configured in different sizes.
Although different in construction, CoreHaus resembles the more traditionally built houses of Cathedral Gates. All properties are built to the same exacting standards, combining expert craftsmanship, character and great attention to detail.
Simon Walker, Managing Director of Homes by Carlton, said: “The CoreHaus is nothing like traditional house types when fully built. The interiors can be the same and the exteriors will use the same block and brick. It’s just a more modern way of building that should be more environmentally friendly and have energy benefits for the homebuyer.
CoreHaus is a joint venture between Carlton & Co Group, the parent company of Homes by Carlton, and national social enterprise Fusion21, which specializes in public procurement for the built environment. It is hoped that once tried and tested, the CoreHaus designs will offer a different approach to tackling the shortage of innovative and affordable housing in Britain.
Simon Walker added: “It is well known that there is a huge shortage of affordable, high quality housing in the North East and other parts of the UK. This is why we have recently returned to the housing market to offer high quality homes in attractive locations in the region.
“CoreHaus homes are designed to make it easier and more cost effective for developers to deliver eco-efficient homes with a unique design and contemporary feel. They are larger than many three bedroom new build homes on the market and we believe they offer a higher level of finish than many traditional home types built elsewhere.
CoreHaus principles include a modular core comprising a pre-finished kitchen, downstairs toilet, staircase, bathroom and central heating system fabricated off-site prior to delivery to development. Then comes the construction of the exterior walls and the roof to reduce the construction time.
Simon Walker added: “While these early prototypes see CoreHaus developing the modular core onsite, the long-term vision is that the core will be developed offsite as we progress with the product in the North East. “
Assembled under factory-controlled conditions, this energy-efficient housing “module” can help reduce on-site construction time by 50%, increase flexibility in home design and reduce CO2 emissions.
Two houses in the recently launched Cathedral Gates project in Chilton are being built to CoreHaus standards, while others are planned for future developments at other sites across the North East.
It is expected that CoreHaus and other innovations will help accelerate much-needed activity in the housing market.
Dave Neilson, chief executive of Fusion21, said: “Currently 340,000 new homes need to be built each year to meet government targets. At the current rate of development, these gaps will not be filled. A transformational approach is needed to ensure we can meet this demand – and that’s where CoreHaus can help.
“Our unique construction method delivers faster construction times and makes it economically viable for developers while significantly reducing environmental impacts.”