McAvoy said that it had developed the concept to demonstrate the potential of modular housing.
The prototype house has been developed for the affordable housing sector but McAvoy says that the steel-framed building system can be used to construct both multi-storey apartments and houses in a variety of configurations to meet the needs of all housing tenures, from student housing to private market sale.
Designed and engineered by McAvoy in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast and Todd Architects, the prototype house has been manufactured and fitted out entirely offsite to showcase innovations in offsite housing.
McAvoy is inviting developers and housing providers to visit its Lisburn premises in Northern Ireland to take a look.
The floor construction is made from a recycled material with “excellent thermal performance and acoustic properties”, McAvoy says. The roof module is ready-tiled in the factory.
The lifting system has special load-bearing brackets to facilitate installation on site.
McAvoy Group head of manufacturing and innovation David Clark said: “We wanted to give developers, housing providers and lenders the opportunity to see at first hand the quality of finish that we can construct in the factory. The prototype house was a critical part of our design and engineering programme, allowing us to test innovative new building techniques such as the lifting system and the floor construction – which has proved to be a high performance, highly sustainable and robust alternative to pre-installed concrete floors.”
“The team at Queen’s University Belfast worked with us on the project in a collaborative knowledge transfer partnership, providing input on testing and structural design. In return, we were able to give valuable industrial experience and the opportunity for academic research into new methods of construction to address the housing crisis.”
The 95m2 prototype house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, constructed in four steel-framed modules, and two pre-tiled roof units that can be installed on site in just a few hours. It is designed to Lifetime Homes standards and has an accessible bathroom and provision for a platform lift.
Certified by BOPAS with a design life of at least 60 years, the McAvoy offsite housing system offers a variety of façade treatments. The homes can be finished in render, brick, composite panels, timber or stone cladding to address planning requirements and to complement local architecture. Roofs can be flat or pitched. And module configurations include offset modules for further design variation.
The system uses a light gauge steel frame to avoid the need for internal columns and offers the same ceiling heights as site-based building methods, McAvoy says.
McAvoy has produced a library of standardised layouts to help developers and housing providers reduce design time. Bespoke housing designs can also be developed, it says.