How modular homes can co-exist with traditional methods

Birmingham’s Port Loop development is pioneering the way for how large-scale residential sites could be delivered in the future

While developers, landowners and housebuilders scramble to find ways to meet the government’s ambitious housing targets, one Birmingham development is pioneering the way for how large-scale residential sites could be delivered in the future.

Birmingham’s new canal-side community

Port Loop is one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated residential development schemes in Birmingham, branded as a ‘game-changer’ for the city in terms of regeneration and release of housing supply.

Situated on the city’s famous canal network, this new neighbourhood combines waterside living with high quality public realm, leisure, sports, retail and commercial facilities, and proximity to the city centre. What really sets it apart, however, is the way that many of the new homes on the site are being delivered.

A joint venture partnership between Urban Splash and Places for People will create 1,150 new homes on the 43-acre site, combining traditionally built homes with high quality modular properties.

Working as project managers, cost consultants, employer’s agent and principal designers on the project, we’ve seen first-hand how they can be used effectively together. 

The optimised home

Post Second World War ‘prefabs’ have long been the public’s only impression of off-site construction techniques and this method has carried the stigma of producing low quality homes, a far-cry from ‘bricks and mortar’ properties. However, huge advances in technology make modern modular barely recognisable from their traditionally constructed counterparts.

Built off-site in factory conditions and planted on the designated site, new modular homes are dramatically different from our preconception of prefabricated homes. The benefits of constructing modular homes are extensive. Construction and implementation can be turned around within weeks, whilst controlled conditions and advanced technology allow for homes to be tested and built with extreme accuracy, enabling high standards of both quality and environmental efficiency – creating an optimised home.

Urban Splash and Places for People take it a step further. There are several typologies in development at Port Loop utilising a number of construction techniques; full modular homes and modern methods as well as traditional construction. Modular townhouse residents have the option to customise their floor layout to suit their lifestyle; loft-living with their living room on the top floor and an exposed roof, or garden-dwelling with their living room opening out to a green space. This variety provides the scheme with a rich design diversity that appeals to a wider range of potential residents, establishing Port Loop as a unique community of the future.

"Having worked on Port Loop for a number of years, I have witnessed the transformation of this site and the excitement of seeing the new park open and the first residents move in has been brilliant. I’m looking forward to continuing on this journey at Port Loop with much more still to come.”

Ben Stockdale

Associate Director - Project Management

Find out more about our project management and cost consultancy services

Modular homes may not be the sole answer to the UK’s housing crisis. But Port Loop is a fantastic example of how careful planning, construction and utilisation of modular can offer a high-quality alternative which works alongside traditional methods.

Port Loop represents a one of a kind opportunity for a unique new neighbourhood in Birmingham and we’re looking forward to working with Urban Splash and Places for People to see it unfold over the next few years. 

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