Home » Welsh contractors deploy MMC for net-zero homes

Welsh contractors deploy MMC for net-zero homes

by Sion Geschwindt
SO Modular's MMC timber frame factory

Two Neath-based construction companies – J.G. Hale Construction and SO Modular – are set to build 55 new homes, and retrofit 72 existing flats, using modern methods of construction (MMC).

The development, located in Sandfields, Aberavon, will eventually provide 127 net-zero homes for social housing provider, Tai Tarian, delivered across three phases, over three years.

All new homes will be constructed off-site at SO Modular’s timber frame factory.

The project is a continuation of an existing relationship between J.G. Hale Construction, SO Modular, and Tai Tarian, and is funded by the Innovative Housing Programme (IHP).

The scheme will achieve carbon neutrality via a range of in-house green and sustainable initiatives.

Most notable of these is the use of natural, eco-friendly forms of insulation made from three unusual and innovative materials: welsh sheep’s wool, locally sourced from Neath-based Crynant Farm; mycelium, the vegetative filament root structure of mushrooms; and a wood-fibre insulation developed in-house at SO Modular.

The pioneering insulation methods are providing a pilot study for the viability of their use in the wider construction industry.

David Harrhy, managing director of J.G. Hale Construction, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with SO Modular on this incredibly innovative project for Tai Tarian.

“The development, when completed, will be completely unique in its use of new sustainable materials and technologies, which we are sure will become more widely used within the construction industry.”

Charlotte Hale, operations director, SO Modular, said: “The use of these ground-breaking materials, along with our modern methods of construction, should set the standard for similar, future developments.

“Our commitment to using local sub-contractors and training local people will, undoubtedly, improve the skills and opportunities for those in the Swansea and Neath areas, making the region the go-to place for knowledge on these new sustainable materials and methods.”

In collaboration with Neath Port Talbot College, the partnership will also be providing specialist, innovative traineeships, via their in-house training academy. The trainees will be supported by in-house mentors, who are specialists in their respective fields.

Image: SO Modular’s offsite timber frame factory (Credit: SO Modular)

Read next: Ultrapanel wins Best Offsite Innovation at Building Innovation Awards

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