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house: shedkm’s ongoing modular collaboration with urban splash

Our long term collaboration with fellow pioneers Urban Splash on House, a product range which combines the best of modern construction techniques with the familiarity of the Victorian terraced house, demonstrates the potential for MMC to create desirable homes and neighbourhoods.

Modular housing continues to afford some of the most exciting opportunities to provide affordable, future-proof housing solutions which genuinely enhance our quality of life. House is itself a response to a radical notion in housing – the desire to introduce an element of consumer choice. The aspiration to provide greater levels of customisation of layouts and finishes in a house lends itself to the further exploration of MMC for its potential to facilitate the necessarily faster build programmes and reduced lead times. House provides modern, spacious, flexible homes, with greater choice available for a variety of income levels and types of household.

Despite the simplicity and elements of standardisation which underpin volumetric construction, it is a highly democratic technology which we have shown can still readily respond to context. The principles behind the development of House, take into consideration what is going on at roof and ground levels, as well as materials considerations, resulting in designs which can contribute to streetscape, skyline and wider placemaking.

Our latest factory-built home, Row House, features our most innovative thinking around modular layouts, with efficient internal space and open-up features that offer additional outdoor living space. The first Row House homes, with distinct red cladding, will be built at East Float, Wirral Waters – a new riverside neighbourhood in Merseyside. In this location it features a distinctive red ribbed metal cladding, a contextual response to the dockside infrastructure. The precision, factory-made Row Houses offer a range of possibilities with homes available in three sizes, ten different internal layouts, and with private terraces and communal gardens, allowing residents to create various streetscapes.

Together with Urban Splash, we continue to focus on the carbon reduction agenda, with the recently completed Mansion House apartments and the House Sales Pavilion both using cross-laminated timber (CLT) structures.

Mansion House provides a selection of customisable apartments at the waterfront community of New Islington in Manchester. These mid-rise, dual aspect apartments are constructed from cross-laminated timber, exposed in living and sleeping spaces to create beautiful timber interiors. Buyers can choose from nine alternative layouts, arranged around a central kitchen. Future flexibility is built-in with an option for some walls to be moved to accommodate changing needs.

The House Sales Pavilion is an ultra-sustainable and modern take on the traditional sales suite. Constructed from black-painted larch and radiata pine CLT with an exposed timber interior, it is designed and engineered to produce zero fabrication waste. Structural components are prefabricated offsite and assembled in just two days, with an option to disassemble and repurpose in other locations, making them fully recyclable.

We continue to develop our House products to introduce further variations which can better respond to context, orientation and environmental performance, whilst still maintaining standardisation and repetition. This might include more varied external material options, or a component-based approach to elevations which allows for standard features such as balconies, sizes of windows and solar shading to be composed in a variety of ways and in different sizes. We are also exploring new house types aimed at different sectors of the market and employing different MMC technologies.