The McAvoy Group, one of the UK’s leading offsite construction specialists, has been awarded its first contract in the residential sector following the announcement of its expansion into offsite housing.
The £4.7m contract for Clanmil Housing Association will be the first offsite housing scheme to be built in Northern Ireland. The use of the McAvoy offsite housing solution will reduce the build programme by around 60 per cent to just 40 weeks.
Designed by Knox Clayton Architects, the Joymount development in Carrickfergus will provide 40 much needed homes to help address the severe shortfall in social and affordable housing in Northern Ireland. It will feature 8 one- and two-bedroom apartments for couples and families; 17 two-bedroom apartments for active older people, and 12 two-bedroom houses for families. There will also be three detached bungalows specifically designed for individual families with complex needs. The scheme is due for completion in spring 2019.
The homes will be manufactured and fully fitted out offsite at The McAvoy Group’s production centre in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. This will improve the quality of construction and will allow earlier handover to move people from the housing waiting list.
McAvoy will manufacture 111 steel-framed building modules and the homes will be installed on site, complete with bathrooms, kitchens, partitions and glazing.
Carol McTaggart, Group Director of Development at Clanmil, said, “We have been exploring different delivery models for social housing to help address the rising cost of building materials, the shortage of skilled labour in the construction industry in Northern Ireland, and the uncertainty created by Brexit. There are currently 24,000 households in housing stress in Northern Ireland. We want to be able to deliver new homes more quickly for people on the housing waiting list whilst still maintaining our high standards of design and build quality. We also need a solution that will deliver a range of energy-efficient homes with affordable running costs for our tenants.”
“Significant time savings can be achieved with offsite construction. Offsite manufacture avoids delays caused by poor weather and it improves both quality and health and safety – with less impact on the environment. By partnering with McAvoy on this pioneering project and using advanced offsite construction technology, we believe we can reduce the build programme for these 40 new homes by around 56 weeks which is crucial to reducing waiting lists.”
Eugene Lynch, Managing Director of The McAvoy Group said, “It is fantastic to see such a progressive provider of social and affordable housing as Clanmil who are looking at more innovative ways of delivering high quality new homes, more quickly to address the housing shortage in Northern Ireland.”
“This scheme is the first to use our new modular housing solution and successfully demonstrates its application for apartments, detached and semi-detached homes. It also illustrates our capabilities as a principal contractor. We are not just supplying building modules on to a pre-prepared site but are responsible for the full range of services for Clanmil – from site preparation and clearance of this brownfield site to design, manufacture, factory fitting out, building installation, landscaping and infrastructure. We look forward to creating a much needed and vibrant new community for this area.”
The Joymount scheme is located adjacent to a Conservation Area, close to the 12th Century Carrickfergus Castle. A historic wall forms one of the boundaries to the site which McAvoy will undertake works to preserve.
The design of the scheme reflects its location and draws inspiration from the historic buildings nearby. Materials such as slate roofing, white render and timber windows have been selected to be natural and in keeping with the Conservation Area.
The new homes are designed in accordance with Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards, and will benefit from timber-framed double glazing, more precise factory construction processes, and high levels of insulation to help reduce heating costs and energy consumption.