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Work starts on Digbeth boxes

20 Sep 23 Offsite modular specialist Elements Europe has started work on UK’s largest modular build-to-rent residential development.

CGI of the development
CGI of the development

Goodstone Living’s  £100m Smith’s Garden scheme in Digbeth will have 550 flats made from prefabricated modular units stacked in six separate blocks of up to 26 storeys.

The buildings are being manufactured offsite by Korean-owned Elements Europe at its modular factory in nearby Telford.

Elements Europe is acting as both the main contractor and offsite manufacturer, working with architect Darling Associates. Walsh Construction and Cast Consultancy are also working on the project.

According to the plans, the 1,143 modules needed for the project will be manufactured between November 2023 and January 2025. Construction activities started on the Birmingham site in July 2023 and phased handover of the six blocks of flats will be between September 2024 and January 2026.

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Goodstone Living construction director Lee Hawkins said: “Construction start at Smith’s Garden is another important milestone for Goodstone and a further illustration of our long-term commitment to the areas in which we operate.

“Smith’s Garden will raise the bar for sustainability, social impact and innovative construction methods. Relative to industry benchmarks, we will be reducing embodied carbon emissions by over 30% and operational emissions by over 50%. This will be achieved by pioneering new technologies, full electrification of the scheme, and the prioritisation of local materials wherever possible.”

Elements Europe is majority owned by South Korean construction giant GS Engineering & Construction (GS E&C), which took a controlling interest in 2020.  Co-founder John Pickstock retains a minority interest.

Start of work on site was marked by a ground break ceremony with (left to right) Goodstone Living construction director Lee Hawkins, GS E&C senior VP Do Young Kim, Goodstone directors Darryl Flay and Martin Bellinger and Elements Europe CEO Dave Jones
Start of work on site was marked by a ground break ceremony with (left to right) Goodstone Living construction director Lee Hawkins, GS E&C senior VP Do Young Kim, Goodstone directors Darryl Flay and Martin Bellinger and Elements Europe CEO Dave Jones

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