A NEW factory, capable of producing 2,000 houses a year, has been opened today by modular smart home developer, Project Etopia.
The 50,000 sq ft factory in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, is a collaboration with partner company 4wall – the producer of a panelised construction system – and can produce five three-bedroom homes per day.
There are already plans to scale up the facility in the future with the addition of two more machines, which would grow capacity to 6,000 units per year. The opening of the factory will create 120 new full-time jobs in 12 months, and 250 jobs within the next two years.
4wall’s insulated panels, which can handle up to 400mph winds, can be built to different size specifications depending on the project. Building regulations for new homes require the thermal insulation capability (known as ‘U value’) to be 0.16. The lower the U value, the greater the thermal efficiency, and 4wall panels boast a U value of 0.13.
The factory’s plant machinery allows for a continuous line production process that can create thousands of panels of different sizes under enormous heat and pressure. A 110 sq/m shell, made up of lightweight 97kg panels, can be constructed by three people in eight hours and they can be stacked up to 14 storeys high.
Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, commented: “This is an exciting and important milestone for us that will help us achieve our ambition to produce 21,500 eco-modular homes by 2025. This is a critical time for house building in the UK with homes still not being built quickly enough, locking millions of people out of the property market.
“Our modular homes can be built incredibly quickly, and still be given a luxury finish, smart technology and sustainability features as standard. By providing environmentally-friendly, affordable houses which can be built in a matter of days, we want to make it possible for everyone to own their own home but without killing the planet. Living in a modular home is no longer a compromise.”