Homes England opts modular build specialist for south east base

Homes England has chosen offsite construction specialist McAvoy Group to create its new south east office at the new town of Northstowe in Cambridgeshire.

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The government’s housing agency, which is a leading advocate of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), has selected McAvoy for the off-site manufacture of the two-storey building designed by architects Proctor and Mathews.

Homes England is leading a long-term project to deliver 8,500 new homes in the centre of Northstowe new town.

This includes the off-site construction of a modular build office for Homes England staff, demonstrating the agency’s commitment to MMC alongside reducing on-site build time and disruption to the wider Northstowe site.

Paul Kitson, General Manager for Homes England in the South East said: “Homes England champions MMC as a means of increasing building productivity and improving energy efficiency.

“MMC has the potential to be significantly more productive than traditional methods of construction and greatly increase the pace of delivery. It can also improve the quality of construction and help address labour and materials shortages.”

“Opting for an office built using MMC shows our strong commitment to non-traditional building methods.”

“Working with McAvoy and Proctor and Matthews Architects will enable us to create an office that allows our workforce to experience first-hand the capabilities of modular construction.”

Raymond Millar, Construction Director of The McAvoy Group added: “This project is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the potential of offsite construction and how the approach can realise an ambitious architectural design and deliver a high-quality and flexible office environment. By moving construction into a highly efficient factory environment, we will be significantly reducing the build programme, minimising disruption to local residents and offering greater certainty of completion to the highest quality standards, on time and on budget.”

The open plan building will provide a modern, purpose built office environment for Homes England’s south east team, along with meeting rooms, a breakout area, conference room and multi-use space which may be used for other events such as public consultation meetings as the Northstowe development progresses.

Stephen Proctor, director at Proctor and Matthews Architects said: “We’re pleased to be working alongside Homes England and McAvoy Group on the new office building at Nothstowe, which will be a focus for the emerging new town and a showcase of the benefits of flexible design and modular construction. The design references the local crafts, heritage and textures of this edge of Fenlands location.”

The development reflects Homes England’s commitment to the Northstowe new town project and to the increased pace of delivery offered by MMC.

The organisation has recently tendered its first parcel of land at Northstowe, with a requirement for developers to use panellised construction on at least half of the 400 homes on site. Plans for a plot solely using MMC techniques are also under consideration.

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For more information contact Sarah Foulkes, Communications Officer at Homes England.

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