Clanmil Housing Group, one of Northern Ireland’s leading social housing providers, is working with one of the UK’S foremost off-site construction specialists, The McAvoy Group, to deliver much needed new homes using an innovative off-site housing solution that will see families move from the housing waiting list into new homes a year earlier than through traditional site-based construction.
Forty new homes on the site of the former Woodside’s Foodstore in Carrickfergus will be the first social homes in Northern Ireland delivered using off-site construction.
The £6.2 million housing scheme, a mix of family houses and apartments for active older people, is being built by Clanmil with the assistance of £3.1 million grant support from the Department for Communities.
The new homes, each made up of a number of steel-framed modules, will be manufactured and fully fitted-out by McAvoy in its Lisburn factory before being craned into position on site. The modules will be delivered to the Carrickfergus site complete with kitchens, bathrooms, windows, flooring and decorated walls, ready to be brought together to create modern, high quality homes.
Using this state-of-the-art manufacturing solution, an entire house can be erected on pre-prepared foundations in a single day, ready for connection to gas, electricity and water supplies.
This modern method of construction will reduce the build time for the Carrickfergus development by 56 weeks compared to traditional site-based building methods, delivering 40 new homes in just 9 months. It is also a more environmentally sustainable approach which provides energy efficient homes that are easy to heat and affordable to run for the families who live in them.
The new homes are scheduled to be ready for families in Spring 2019.
Clare McCarty, Group Chief Executive at Clanmil said “There are currently 24,000 households in desperate need of homes across Northern Ireland. We want to help get those families off the housing waiting list and into good homes as quickly as possible. The rising cost of building materials and a labour skills shortage in the construction industry, compounded by uncertainty due to Brexit, makes this extremely challenging using traditional methods. That’s why Clanmil has been looking at alternative ways to deliver social homes.
“The off-site manufacture of homes has many advantages – significant time savings, better build quality and improved health and safety due to factory production processes, and a much lower environmental impact both from manufacture and over the building’s entire life cycle.
“We see off-site construction as the future. It could completely revolutionise house-building and we are delighted to be partnering with The McAvoy Group, a Northern Ireland company well known for its experience and expertise in modular construction for other sectors, on this its first residential project.”
David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation joined Clanmil and McAvoy at the Joymount site. He commented “The UK’s housing shortfall is only going to be addressed by radical innovation in building practices, such as modular housing. This method of construction has real potential to help address the current housing shortage.
“In the UK, the Government sees off-site manufacture as a huge opportunity and has promised to support housing providers to build more homes in this way. It is really exciting to see a Northern Ireland housing association and a Northern Ireland manufacturer working together to harness innovation that can deliver homes in up to half the normal time.”
The McAvoy Group has been delivering off-site solutions for the health, education, infrastructure and commercial sectors for almost 50 years. The Joymount development is its first residential project.
Eugene Lynch, the Group’s Managing Director stated “It is fantastic to see such a progressive provider of social housing as Clanmil who are looking at more innovative ways of delivering high quality homes, more quickly to address the housing shortage in Northern Ireland.
“This scheme is the first to use our new modular housing solution and successfully demonstrates its application for apartments, detached and semi-detached homes. It also illustrates our capabilities as principal contractor. We are not just supplying building modules to a pre-prepared site but are responsible for the full range of services for Clanmil – from preparation and clearance of this brownfield site to design, manufacture, factory fitting out, building installation, landscaping and infrastructure. We look forward to creating a much needed and vibrant new community for this area.”