NEWTOWN manufacturing company Eco Mods has developed a housing product that could revolutionise the way houses are built in the UK.
Responding to the need for environmentally friendly, yet affordable homes it has developed the house pod. Built entirely off site the pod can be built from foundations to be habitable in a week.
This is not a theoretical claim as it has been achieved – and not just a simple example, as the pod was transported from Mid Wales by road and ferry to a Sky Developments site in Belfast.
As the house pod is manufactured entirely off site and comes as a watertight unit fully plumbed, wired and decorated with fitted kitchen and bathroom, there are no hidden costs and there is no down time due to the unpredictable nature of the British weather.
This factor has been brought home over recent weeks when most construction jobs have been on hold for a number of weeks at least due to snow, ice or heavy rain, while production at Eco Mods has continued uninterrupted.
All the pain of typical construction – the coordination of subcontractors, the ordering of materials, delays due to the weather are taken away, and the true cost for the complete fitted house is known at the outset.
The associated cost savings of having no materials on site, reduced deliveries and waste make this a truly affordable home, whilst also reducing the environmental impact.
The biggest hurdle Eco Mods has faced to date is getting people to understand the fact that the house is fully fitted and decorated internally prior to leaving the factory – because this is a unique concept people automatically assume (incorrectly) that the fitting out and decoration is done on site.
The key factor is that there is no compromise on quality as the house pod meets, and in some cases, exceeds all the criteria for the code for Sustainable Homes.
The client, Alan Johnston, of Sky Developments, estimates that the running costs for heating and lighting will average out at approximately £1 per day for a typical family, which is a massive saving on traditional build housing.
So pleased is the client with the product that it has submitted an amendment to an existing planning application to incorporate the Eco Mods house pod and is confident that it will be building 29 houses in Belfast using this system as soon as permission is granted.
The technology is also sufficiently flexible that the pod can be easily used for hotel, single person MOD or student accommodation and contracts in these sectors are currently being processed.
A spokesman for Eco Mods said: “There are many companies who claim to be able to deliver such a product but the majority are still at the development stage – the Belfast example has proved to the industry what can be achieved and has generated numerous other enquiries.
“Even though it has been in production for some 18 months the decision was taken to display the product to a wider audience by exhibiting at Interbuild, at the NEC, in Birmingham, in October.
“The response was amazing with the Eco Mods stand attracting the most visitors of any stand at the exhibition. In total there were approximately 3,500 visitors to the Eco Mods stand – evidence in itself that there is a huge amount of interest in the product throughout the industry.
“The enquiries that have been generated from the exhibition are amazing in their volume but more importantly in the quality of the enquiries. Not only are we looking at numerous housing developments, we are actively working with clients on developments for student accommodation, hotels, nursing homes and single person accommodation.”