Off-site building brings new homes to Derwenthorpe in just eight weeks


Posted on23 Oct 2018

The Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust and housing developers Melius Homes are building two new homes at Derwenthorpe in eight weeks, when it usually takes six months.

Together with Melius Homes, we are building two new houses at our Derwenthorpe community near York.

By making the walls, floors and roofs off-site in a factory, these components can be put together very quickly on-site. The homes were up and weather tight within just three days, and the rest of the build and the interior features will be in place by the end of eight weeks. Most other houses take around six months to finish.

The Birch and The Oak are the first off-site homes to be built at Derwenthorpe, the JRHT’s mixed tenure community in Osbaldwick. They demonstrate how the Trust continues to innovate with new approaches to design, sustainability and technology.

“We know that there is a shortage of housing in York,” says JRHT Sustainability Manager Owen Daggett. “This off-site approach really speeds up the build and means that high-quality homes can get onto the market much more quickly. For a city like York, where the supply of new housing can’t keep up with demand, off-site manufacture could be part of the answer.”

The home owners will benefit from low energy bills due to the sustainable, energy-saving design incorporating highly insulated walls and roofs, integrated solar panels, home battery storage and air source heat pumps enabling the homes to be heated and powered from the sun or the power grid.

“Home buyers now demand high standards of insulation and options around renewable energy” added Owen. “It’s important that these off-site built homes also meet people’s expectations around energy use, and actually save them money over time.

“JRHT hopes to build more houses using off-site manufacture in the near future; making new homes available in York much more quickly.”

The roof goes on to one of the Melius Homes at Derwenthorpe

Melius Homes will work with homeowners to ensure they get best value from the money-saving technology, by monitoring the performance of the homes for the first 18 months.

Rob Lambe, Melius Homes Managing Director, said: “We are challenging the status quo and raising the bar in terms of quality, energy performance and speed of delivery. We’re able to monitor the performance of these homes via a smart control system and provide feedback and support to the homeowners to ensure they get the most from their new home.”

The Birch and The Oak, which are on the market through York estate agents Lancaster Samms, have been designed to be sympathetic to the rest of Derwenthorpe’s architectural style. Buyers will benefit from the full range of advantages of life at Derwenthorpe, including social activities organised at the Super Sustainable Centre at the centre of the community.