BRE announces Project Etopia as newest Watford Innovation Park partner

BRE announces Project Etopia as newest Watford Innovation Park partner

  • Project Etopia will begin building a new weather and fire resilient demonstration home at BRE’s Watford Innovation Park.

BRE – the world’s leading building science centre, has announced that modular homes provider Project Etopia, will be the newest partner to build and showcase a demonstration home on its Watford Innovation Park in Hertfordshire.

BRE’s Innovation Park currently features some of the world’s most sustainable buildings, demonstrating the latest low-carbon technologies and building methods. The new development will be a smart weather and fire resilient demonstration home, which Project Etopia will begin building in April. Project Etopia aim to apply for certification to BRE’s BPS 7014 Standard for Modular Systems for Dwellings.

The new industry certification scheme – BPS 7014 Standard for Modular Systems for Dwellings – will provide a standard for demonstrating performance levels of new modular building construction systems and components. The standard covers a range of performance characteristics, including safety, sustainability and wellbeing. It will assist manufacturers to demonstrate Building Regulations compliance and demonstrate additional functionality performance levels. Details of the certification scheme will be unveiled by BRE this summer.

David Kelly, Group Director of BRE Innovation Parks, said:

“We are extremely pleased to be announcing this new partnership and the latest build project with Project Etopia for the BRE Innovation Park, Watford. By highlighting new building methods, innovations and technologies at our Parks, we hope to showcase the solutions for the world’s built environment challenges.

“With a growing housing shortage in the UK, the industry and government are looking to offsite construction methods to speed up the rate of supply to meet demand. BRE’s BPS 7014 Standard will provide a standard for evaluating new modular buildings against bench-mark levels of sustainability and performance by independent third party certification of construction systems and components.”

The BPS 7014 standard for offsite construction will be launched by BRE this year. It will help to provide confidence to all parties – occupiers, insurers, lenders, asset owners and developers alike – of the integrity and durability modular construction.

Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, commented:

“Modular homes will become commonplace in Britain in the coming years, so it is fantastic that a spotlight is being shone on them to prove they can live up to the same rigours as any other type of house.

“That’s why we’re delighted to build a home at BRE’s Innovation Park, to demonstrate the benefits of offsite construction and give an insight into how it will become the norm for the majority of newly-built homes in the future.”

Project Etopia’s new 108 sqm 3-bedroom, detached weather and fire resilient demonstration home unit will come in at around 50% less than a conventional home – around £1,200 a sq m for a smart home, which compares with build costs of around £1,500 sqm for a basic traditional bricks and mortar. All of the exterior wall superstructure will be constructed in an on-site time of 20 hours (16 hours for walls, four hours for scaffolding) compared with as much as three weeks for a traditional home. The Etopia build system is also not weather dependent.

The new smart home will also feature its own solar cladding in conjunction with Great British Voltaic (GBV), solar and tiles, triple glazing, as well as a Daikin Altherma Heating and Cooling System. It will also incorporate E-Smart’s plug-and-play smart home system with Samsung smart appliances.

ENDS.