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New family homes ready in time for Christmas

Just 14 weeks since the modules were lifted into place, families are preparing to move into four new homes.

The modular homes have been precision engineered in a quality-controlled factory environment in Yorkshire using a light gauge steel frame before being lifted into place on site here in Sheffield. They look and feel like a traditionally built house, with a brick exterior and a pitched roof. The homes are of excellent quality and are built to the same high standard as our traditionally built new council homes.

The new homes are part of the council’s ambitious Stock Increase Programme (SIP), funded by the Housing Revenue Account with support from the Homes England Grant. The SIP is targeted at delivering 3,100 additional new council houses by 2028. The small-scale scheme is the first project where we have used ‘Modern Methods of Construction’ (MMC).

Janet Sharpe, Director of Housing and Neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council said:

“The Council has been looking at MMC as an alternative to traditional house building for some time. We were particularly keen to test for ourselves the benefits of this type of construction in terms of speed of delivery, quality assurance and energy efficiency - as well as reduced construction activity and disruption for our local communities.

“Early discussions on the project only began in January this year and by the end of August the modules that make up the new homes were lifted in to place. As our first MMC project, we have been impressed with how quickly and efficiently these homes have been delivered."

Councillor Paul Wood, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety at Sheffield City Council said:

“As a small-scale trial, we’ll be learning from this project, assessing what these homes are like to manage and maintain and how we would do things differently if there are further phases. We look forward to asking people what they think of how these new homes look, and importantly what it feels like for the families living in these homes.

“This project has been a real team effort – demonstrating what we can achieve when we work together across the Council and in partnership with others. We have delivered four high quality affordable family homes at pace with no COVID-19 related delays. The type of construction used has played a big part in this, but of equal importance has been the drive and determination of the whole project team.

“Our innovative approach has been recognised by Government and we have been successful in attracting financial support for this project from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government which has been used alongside Council investment.

“For me, knowing that as we approach Christmas families will be getting ready to move in to their new homes is a great way to end the year. This is not just fantastic news for these families, but also for the City.”

The project has used several local companies, contributing to both housing and economic growth. This includes Sheffield based Jump Architects who worked collaboratively with the Council, and M-AR Off Site, to develop the initial concepts from schematic design to full planning permission and building regulations submission in just 12 weeks.

Amanda Grimbleby, Partnerships and Business Development Director at M-AR Off Site (the contractor for this project) said:
“It’s never been more important than now to be able to accelerate delivery of quality built, energy efficient homes for families who need them most, and delivering the homes on Knutton Crescent in time for Christmas is just the icing on the cake!

“Whilst this project is relatively small, we’ve not only delivered some fantastic homes for the people of Sheffield, but have been able to work alongside a forward-thinking client team. Collaboration was apparent from the start, everyone working together to make this project a success and what a success it has been, even with added challenges of COVID-19.

“There has been a lot of local interest in Sheffield’s first MMC delivered homes and I’m looking forward to visiting the families when they have finally settled in, when COVID restrictions allow of course.

“On behalf of the M-AR Team, we would like to thank Sheffield for embracing the benefits of MMC and thank you to the local supply chain partners who have been part of what has been a very successful project.”