Eco home in 'first modular commuter village’ completed
Project Etopia has completed the first eco home in what it claims is London's only modular commuter village, in Corby, Northamptonshire.
The 47-unit development has been built under the Building for 2050 research project, funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The superstructures of the first three-storey townhouses were completed in 34 days, and the first house — the scheme's show home — has now been decorated and furnished.
The project in Priors Hall Park consists of 31 houses and 16 apartments. The scheme embraces the CHESS setup (combined heat supply system by using solar energy and heat pumps). The Corby project is the only UK location working with the CHESS setup, which reduces emissions by using hybrid solar panels to generate heat that can then be stored and used by the ground source heat pump for hot water and heating. An energy earth bank/GeoStore system stores heat energy, while batteries store electricity.
The homes are designed to deliver performance similar to the Passivhaus energy efficiency standard. They are constructed using a panelised build system. The panels have a thermal efficiency U-value of 0.13, which Project Etopia said was superior to the 0.16 U-value for a typical well-insulated wall in a new-build brick property.
Etopia Corby has been chosen as one of five Building for 2050 research projects and is at the centre of a plan to double the population of Corby from 50,000 to 100,000 by the early 2030s. The town is already popular with young workers commuting to London, which is as little as an hour and ten minutes away by train. Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, said: "When prospective buyers visit, we expect they will be surprised to learn these homes are all modular. There are no obvious giveaways and they look just like any other modern, spacious property, with a lot of natural light and outside space. The fact they use the latest off-site construction techniques is hard to discern, inside and out.
"The Corby site is currently at different stages of construction and progressing well but we're now ready to welcome our first prospective buyers into the show home and we are really looking forward to blowing them away.
"This house is evidence that modular housing delivers desirable homes for everyone in no time at all, with all the cost, labour and time savings that help us keep prices at an affordable level."
A typical three-bed Etopia house in Corby will go on the market for between £295,000 and £350,000.