Seymour Civil Engineering has begun laying the foundations for one of the UK’s most innovative housebuilding projects, the Gateshead Innovation Village
Home Group has set up Gateshead Innovation Village to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of modern methods of construction (MMC).
Home Group is working with five MMC manufacturers to develop 35 modular homes and panelised houses as well as six traditional, bricks and mortar homes, which will be assessed by specialists for a range of issues over a year-long period.
Seymour Civil Engineering has been contracted by ENGIE who is delivering the project on behalf of the Home Group, to look after the roads, sewers and foundations at the site.
The Hartlepool-based civil engineering firm has been laying the foundations at the site and is also responsible for the internal and external drainage, services and hard landscaping.
Thomas Brown, Seymour Civil Engineering site manager, said: “This is the first time we have worked in this way – and it is so interesting to watch the process. The main difference is the way we lay the foundations.
“With traditional construction, perimeter walls and load-bearing walls need deep foundations – and therefore deep excavation – to support the load of the structure.
“However, the modular homes require shallow excavation with concrete and blockwork plinths as the weight of the property is spread across the site.”
Brown added: “The time taken to erect a modular house is a fraction of the time it takes to construct a traditional build.
“Myself and the team have found this project fascinating and amazing to watch the homes as they are erected and complete in such a small space of time.
“I’m 100% certain that this is the future of housebuilding in this country.”
Stuart Dickens, Seymour Civil Engineering construction director, added: “Seymour is always keen to take on board projects where the expertise and skills of our engineers will be utilised in new and innovative ways.
“We feel that Gateshead Innovation Village does just that as well as giving us all the opportunity to be involved within the future of the housebuilding sector.
“It’s exciting to be involved and we look forward to seeing the first residents move into their pioneering properties.”
Seymour Civil Engineering started on the project in June last year and the development is due for completion in May.
Have a read of our coverage of the Gateshead Innovation Village here.