A local council in East Sussex has hailed its new modular housing development as a ‘game changer’ for social housing.
Palmerston House, Lewes District Council’s new development in Newhaven, features 13 one- and two-bed apartments, all built to modern sustainability and post-Grenfell fire safety standards.
The entire development consists of 36 modules built by Newhaven-based modular housebuilders Boutique Modern which have been craned into place.
The councillors say the groundbreaking development could inform the future of residential housing schemes across the UK.
Cllr William Meyer, cabinet member for housing at Lewes District Council, said: “Palmerston House represents a complete and hugely exciting departure in 21st century housing construction.
“These wonderful new homes provide a design template that I am certain will be replicated all over the UK as decision makers discover what we have achieved in Newhaven.
“There is no doubt that this is a game changer, not just in terms of raising the bar for sustainability and fire safety, but also in build quality and finish.
“The apartments are stunning examples of what social housing professionals should be striving for.”
Each of Palmerston House’s 13 apartments has its own solar panel and battery to store electricity generated during the day. This is anticipated to reduce mains energy use by 70% and take the properties ‘off-grid’ for up to three or four months of the year.
The building’s super-insulated modules are 40% more energy-efficient than traditional homes, while the apartments are also kitted out with their own mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems.
Despite being under 18 metres in height, Palmerston House also meets new fire regulations for buildings over that height, introduced following the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Anti-fire measures installed in the building include a MIST fire suppression system in every habitable room, automatic opening vents, and a communal fire alarm system.
Cllr James MacCleary, leader of Lewes District Council and ward councillor for Newhaven South, said: “When the Co-operative Alliance took over the council last year we put building homes and reducing carbon output at the heart of our agenda. Palmerston House achieves both of those things.
“On top of that, it is a truly cutting-edge building that just adds to the sense that Newhaven is a town where a lot is happening.
“It’s a great addition to our town and, most importantly, represents a positive future for local families who can now look forward to spending Christmas together in their new home.”
Families currently on Lewes District Council’s housing register will start moving into their new homes at Palmerston House next week.