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Tue April 20 2021

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BRE launches prefab show home

8 Sep 15 A new prefabricated house that is being touted as a potential solution to Britain’s housing crisis is being unveiled by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) this week.

The Üserhuus, just after assembly
The Üserhuus, just after assembly

The flat-pack Üserhuus is described as “an affordable, energy efficient, quality built home that is assembled in the controlled conditions of a factory in Wales”.

It is the first trial project of a Swiss technology-transfer company, also called Üserhuus, whose focus is transferring university research in the built environment sector to industrial reality. The Swiss firm is working with British partners Tigh Grian and JR Partners.

Two semi-detached Üserhuus show houses, made of structural insulated panels‎, were delivered to the BRE Innovation Park in Watford on 26th May 2015 and craned into place over an eight hour period.

They are being formally opened by the BRE on Friday 11th September.

The Üserhuus takes six weeks to make in the factory, a day to assemble on site and one or two weeks to complete on site to make ready for inhabitation. This halves the 16 weeks it takes, on average, to build a new home using traditional site methods.

The house arrives on site with kitchens, bathrooms and windows already fitted, walls painted, and even the LED lightbulbs in place.

Üserhuus is also trialling the first terracotta-look cladding and roofing PV system that will generate most of its energy and heating needs. Other project partners include GenClad and Taiwanese company NexPower, as well as EDM Spanwall and Solmatix Renewables.

BRE has produced a timelapse video of the one-day build.

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