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Off-site manufacturing

We no longer need thousands of new homes we now need millions of new homes. Well designed, well made, well insulated and well-priced.

The principles

House builders follow technology, like the albatross follows the ship. We need new technology to replace old skills, and they must be in a factory, not a field. The challenge is to harness the technology, create pride in ownership and the community by good design.

Standardisation of the basic shell, and the simplification of the design of components that can be accurately made and fitted, reduces costs and ensures quality. The Foundation aims to deliver these standardised modules to volume housebuilders “at cost” to ensure the mass production benefits are obtained.

Computer generated images

This is not an artist impression; it has been generated by an advanced 3D design tool that our architects use. This has been used to shape the layout and model the scale and mass of the buildings based on off-site manufactured modules.

Aesthetical elevations

The Foundation tasked their Architects and Engineers with generating attractive modern buildings that combined different storey hights and roof forms to produce a distinctive and stylish aesthetic to the development.

The shallow pitched roof with expansive overhangs echoes the design of the villas to be found in the Lake District. The use of wood effect cladding, and natural colours has been inspired by autumn colours of the English countryside. By design the aesthetics have not been compromised by the engineering constraints of off-site manufacturing.

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Technology brings 3D design into the site

This technology has been used by the Foundation’s landscape architects to guide the location and scale of the villas.

Building manufactured homes on site

The on-site building period is substantially reduced. Initially all the foundations and infrastructure are completed. The site is then out of the ground and clean. During this time the individual modules that form together to make each apartment are being manufactured and stockpiled ready to be transported to the site.

On site the circulation core has been erected ready to accept the modules. These are delivered to site and positioned and connected to services over a two-week period. At this stage all twelve apartments are completely finished, sealed and ready to be commissioned.

The roof is delivered in prefabricated sections fitted and secured. The external cladding and downpipes are detailed, and the soft landscaping is installed. Each apartment is then commissioned and tested, building inspection approvals are completed and the new owners can move in.

The whole process is set out in timelines here.


The Fairliving Foundation Research & Development Centre

Based in the heart of the Cotswolds but close to the industrial Midlands with its design and engineering heritage, this facility will create the working environment for designers and engineers to bring their experience and innovation to volume house building. The Foundation’s Research & Development Centre will be in a 15,000ft2 purpose-designed building, located at Berrybank Park, near Stow-on-the-Wold.

The Research & Development Centre will house engineers, industrial designers and architects alongside a prototype-build facility. Set in the extensive grounds will be the model outdoor theatre and conference facility. The Foundation will use these facilities to develop and run a programme of performing arts that will be the marketing platform to deliver not only the homes, but also the lifestyle to be found in its new multigenerational communities.

Off-site manufacturing

Off-site manufacturing FAQs

How many apartments are planned in total on the site?

There will be 76 one and two-bedroom apartments catering for mostly single people of all ages. There will 36 one-bedroom apartments catering for mostly, but not exclusively, older people who need half or full board hotel services in their own home.

Will local people have priority for places in the facility?

Yes, this will also include their close family

Will there be eligibility criteria?

Yes, there will be eligibility criteria, based on individual need and circumstance.

Are Foundation suites envisaged as being considered as housing (subject to the council’s affordable housing policies) or will they be put forward on a class C2 basis?

The Foundation will put these forward as housing. They will be self-contained units that are the same units as those that will be occupied by younger people.

What are the design standards of the units (i.e. full kitchen versus kitchenette; accessible bathroom/wet rooms etc)?

All of the Foundation’s unit types have been designed for lifetime living. They have level access into the property and level access showers. The bathrooms and kitchens accommodate wheelchair turning circles dependent on need. The internal finishes and equipment are standardised for all units. There will be provision to isolate hobs and ovens if there is an operational requirement. Grab handles and mobility aids are added on a need basis.

As assisted living units are proposed, presumably the Registered Care Home is for specialist care?

The 36 units proposed will not be a registered care home. There is an adequate supply of care beds in the area. On this site, the Foundation will provide “Foundation suites” which are self-contained, one-bedroom apartments designed with some communal space in groups of just five homes, these come with a full-board, hotel-style service package: this includes three meals a day, the fridge constantly stocked with basics and a daily maid service.

What different types of accommodation modules will be established on the site?

There are five different apartment types ranging from 600ft to 1100ft. These are in small buildings with just five apartments on each level. Most buildings are three storeys in height, though some are four storeys where located on split levels

Will all blocks be built at the same time or one by one?

At any one time three blocks would be in build: the first block would be complete for occupation within sixteen weeks. The second block would be receiving the off-site manufactured modules, and the third block would just be starting in the ground.

Do you intend to have buyers occupying homes on site while other parts are still under construction?

Yes, because offsite manufacture permits an entirely different approach to the site’s development. The Foundation aims to target different demographics at the same time. By appealing to four different cohorts with a quality product at average local values, we’re confident that this will sell at the same rate as the volume housebuilder: over 1.5 units per week. With this confidence and by restricting the scale of any one site, all the services, roads and footpaths (including the immediate hard landscaping) will be completed before the first of any offsite deliveries.

What facilities will there be on the development?

The building will house the communal service areas on the ground floor. This will include a reception area off which will be the administration office. A resident’s lounge and screening room will be located here, together with a simple multi-purpose room which can be used for activities, club meetings, private parties and more. Leading off from the reception will be the Café Deli, which can hold up to 30 internal covers with more outside. Next to the Café will be the hairdressers, which like the Café Deli, will also have an external entrance of its own.

Will there be shops on the site, and will they be open to non-residents and local people?

Yes, there will be a Café’ deli which can be used by walkers and a hairdresser or barber shop and a multi-purpose room for creative activities, yoga, singing or club meetings.

Will there be facilities available such as you’d find in a village: for example, a pub, Post Office, laundry etc?

No, one of the Foundation’s aims is to combat loneliness through friendship-building within the development for people of all ages living on site and for those in the local community. We would not want to compete with other commercial enterprises.

Will you run a minibus service to the village or further afield, and will this be also available for village residents and local people too?

No. People have different life skills and resources: some will be able to drive, others won’t and we would hope people would car share.

What events are you planning for the amphitheatre?

Events that bring people of all ages together: simple low-key events such as children’s parties, book launches, music and spoken word and of course it would provide opportunities for local talent in the performing arts.

Events held in the open-air in the amphitheatre will be noisy for people living on or near Back Street: how can you alleviate noise pollution?

The amphitheatre is located on the edge of the woodland. The stage faces the woodland to the east. Two of the buildings will be between this performance space and the properties in Back Street and that will alleviate any extraneous noise.

Will your proposed circular walk be open for local people to use or will it be private?

The circular walk will be a permitted footpath and, as such, the public would be welcome.

Will this circular route connect to existing public footpaths?

Yes, at the north and east along greensand ridge. Subject to planning we hope to connect the eastern footpath as well.

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