Module, Factory & Teaching Visit to Off-Site Manufacturers

As part of the practice’s on-going process of continuing professional development, as well as exploring the latest techniques and technology to provide a better value and quality of construction to our clients, we visited Totally Modular in Birmingham. Their state-of-the-art factory, capable of producing around 800 modular houses a year, is just one way that the industry can address the housing crisis, skills shortage and environmental issues that are being faced by Britain at present.

Starting off by visiting Dudley College, which they have partnered with to assist in teaching and training, there was a four-modular three-bedroom house with an innovative flood-resistant technology on show. Finished to a high standard, with factory-condition construction enabling better thermal performance alongside speed and cost controls – this seems to be a unique relationship for the cross pollination of ideas between education and industry.

Afterwards we visited their factory and two of their modular designs. These options, one for a self-contained microflat and another for a two-storey house, are both quick and easy to produce, with a great deal of flexibility about internal layouts and exterior finishes. They also provide flexibility as each of these modules has been moved numerous times, sometimes up and down the country, meaning that their lifespan could outlive their initial purpose on any specific site, but they have the ability to move elsewhere and transform themselves accordingly to meet need.

Overall this was an inspiration visit that afforded us the opportunity to see the advances that are taking place to revolutionise the construction industry. Although not a perfect or complete replacement, companies such as Totally Modular are pioneers that are laying foundations for the future of construction. We hope to work with them in the near future!