Public perceptions of modular homes not based on modular products

Home Group, one of the UK’s largest providers of homes for sale and affordable rent, has reported that 52% of individuals would be unlikely to live in a modular home, yet almost 90% failed to identify a modern modular product.

The research, carried out on behalf of Home Group by YouGov, found that more than half of those surveyed would not choose modular, and 41% believe that modular homes are less durable than conventionally built homes.

However, using a selection of images from which respondents could identify modular homes, many identified the two container home images as modular (75% and 78% respectively), whereas only 11% identified today’s product as a modular home.

Brian Ham, executive director – development, Home Group said:

“We’ve always known that there may be issues with perceptions of modular homes, but it’s reassuring to see that these are not based upon today’s products.

“If we are to respond to the ongoing housing crisis we need to find new and innovative ways of tackling the issue, and modular homes, as well as wider modern methods of construction, including volumetric products, will allow us to deliver homes more efficiently.”

As such Home Group is launching an ambitious live research project in collaboration with ENGIE, to test a wide range of modern methods of construction products and smart technology on one site.

Work for Gateshead Innovation Village will begin on site this summer and a complete community is expected to spring to life before the end of the year. The project takes place during the Great Exhibition of the North which kicks off in June, and where Home Group will sponsor a gallery within the Great North Museum’s ‘Which Way North’ exhibition which includes content about social housing.

Brian added:

“The project draws on the expertise of a wide range of partners, from ENGIE who is constructing the site on our behalf, to some of the UK’s leading modern methods of construction suppliers, smart tech developers, sustainable energy suppliers and of course our research partner.

“Our aim is to robustly test and compare a wide range and combination of products on the one site, working with all tenants to regularly evaluate the benefits.

“We can then make a case for the increased use of modern methods of construction nationally, and even internationally, using our findings to support and inform all elements of the process – from product design and build to financial lending decisions for potential modular homeowners.”

Rob Pearson, general manager for the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber at Homes England said:

“What Home Group are doing at Gateshead Innovation Village is great. We are very keen to explore how we can increase the rate at which homes are built and the adoption of modern and innovative methods is a key part of this. We also need to work with partners to ensure that the new skills for the construction of the future are being taught now.

“The long term study being undertaken will also provide valuable information to make the homes of the future even more energy efficient than they are now.”

Andrew McIntosh, regional managing director for ENGIE, said:

“This is an incredibly unique project and one which we are proud to be a part of.  Home Group has demonstrated exceptional commitment to not only tackling the housing crisis but doing so with the public’s interests at the fore.  By thinking outside the box and working collaboratively with respective experts, we have been able to bring the Innovation Village to life.

“Our aim is to build a variety of homes, using different methods of construction; so we can evaluate and report on the quickest, most efficient and cost effective ways of delivering the much-needed new homes our country needs and wants.”

Councillor Malcolm Brain, Cabinet Member for Housing, Gateshead Council said:

“We welcome this project to build around 40 new homes, many of which are being built using modern methods of construction, for affordable rent in Gateshead – especially at a time when affordable housing is a big issue.  Modular housing has huge potential to speed up the delivery of new homes and we look forward to showcasing the best designs here in Gateshead. ”

Home Group and its partners will be documenting the full project through a range of multimedia. To keep up with the developments, visit www.homegroup.org.uk