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Thu January 20 2022

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Young eco-entrepreneur plans his first modular estate

18 Dec 18 The erection of 47 kit homes on a site in Corby represents the first housing development of an ambitious young entrepreneur seeking to take the market by storm.

Jospeh Daniels
Jospeh Daniels

Joseph Daniels from Essex already has 27 directorships under his belt and he is still only 26 years old. One of his ventures, Project Etopia, has secured £3m backing from hedge fund speculator Stanley Fink earlier this year – a man who earned his seat in the House of Lords after donating millions to the Tory party (and raising millions more).

Joseph Daniels' other businesses include E-Smart Home Systems, E-Airway Ltd, Omnia Group, Vaxis Ltd and Edge Systems Group, to name but a few.

Project Etopia wants to build homes from modular kits using structural insulated panels, to be made in a new factory set to open in Deeside in January.

Project Etopia has bought a site at Prior Halls in Corby and plans to put up 47 eco-homes fitted with energy saving and storage technology. The homes incorporate Daikin mechanical ventilation, heat recovery, air purification and solar power as standard.

Jospeh Daniels plans to start groundwork this month, while construction for the 47 homes, comprised of 31 houses and 16 apartments, will begin in February. By constructing the exterior shell in a factory, costs are lowered. A four-bed house is expected to sell for between £320,000 and £350,000, while new brick-and-mortar builds in Priors Hall Park generally cost between £450,000 and £575,000. His target market is young Londoners prepared to put up with an expensive commute in exchange for a foot on the housing ladder.

The factory planned for Deeside is co-owned with Istidama, a company run by Christopher Moss that was previously called Ecomech Structurally Insulated Panels. Its planned capacity is 2,000 units a year.

Project Etopia also co-owns a production facility at Butterleigh Sawmill near Tiverton with its home build partner Etribus.

The first four homes in Corby are expected to be completed by the end of March, with each unit taking no more than six to eight weeks to build, and the whole scheme done by autumn 2019 – as shown below.

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Joseph Daniels said: “Old building techniques are exacerbating the housing crisis and it’s totally unnecessary. Corby is leading the way in showing how villages of the future should be built. Modular building is now so advanced, it is senseless to cling to bricks and mortar, which takes longer to build and is far more expensive.

“With a desperate need for more housing stock around the country, it is vital developers and investors finally let go of preconceptions of modular building. These are homes people really want to live in and they present huge environmental benefits from being energy neutral to requiring less on-site traffic during the build.

“However, a lack of acceptance for alternative building methods was enough to almost drive this development into the ground.

“The reality is these homes have more Internet of Things technology than the average traditional new build and that also plays a role in keeping energy consumption down.

“Commuter villages like this offer younger would-be homeowners the wage benefits of working in the capital but without the high property costs, and Etopia Corby will be a model other councils can follow.”

Joseph Daniels other businesses include E-Smart Home Systems, E-Airway Ltd, Omnia Group, Vaxis Ltd and Edge Systems Group, to name but a few.

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