A new eco-school in Oxfordshire

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It is a pleasure to have been chosen to deliver an eco pod solution for the Treehouse School where there is a commitment to inspire and motivate primary school aged children to give them the best start in life and where their individual interests are respected.

The Trustees of the Treehouse School in Cholsey, Oxfordshire, have today decided today to proceed with an order for a series of 3 linked ARCTM buildings that will be the school's new home according to the planning permission that has been granted.

The Treehouse is an alternative non-fee paying primary school where the curriculum is bespoke and designed around the children's needs and interests. 

It is expected that ground clearance and site foundation work will commence in the next couple of months, to be followed in the new year by a phased delivery of the ARCTM buildings.

Lee Ryman, Head Teacher has confirmed...

"The Treehouse Trust are very excited that Green Unit, a growing local company who manufacture eco pod structures with high eco-credentials, has been appointed to build their new eco school in Cholsey village, Oxfordshire and we are looking forward to working with them on our innovative school project."

This forms a part of Green Unit's sales prospect pipeline which exceeds £9m.
The business is forecasting sales of £2.5m in 2018 rising to £6.3m in year 4.



Green Unit takes on the efficiency challenge eluding the construction industry

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green unit takes on efficiency challenge

Oxfordshire based Green Unit is seeking to address the poor efficiency levels in the construction sector with investment in its ARC™ modular manufacturing process.

According to The Economist in August 2017, the construction industry holds the dubious honour of having the lowest productivity gains of any industry over the last twenty years (source: McKinsey).

In over twenty years, Germany and Japan, the paragons of industrial efficiency, have seen minimal growth in productivity in the construction sector. France and Italy’s productivity has fallen by one-sixth. In America productivity has plunged by half since the late sixties.

The McKinsey report makes it clear that the cost of materials is not to blame, neither is complying with the burden of regulation. They highlight two key causes of the poor productivity in the construction sector:

  • Industry's inability to gain efficiency from scale
  • Lack of capital investment

So how will Green Unit’s new approach address these issues?

Firstly: Green Unit has developed the completely unique ARC modular manufacturing process, which enables the components of buildings to be rapidly fabricated on production lines, creating huge efficiencies.

Secondly: Green Unit has developed a series of interchangeable modules for creating a wide range of buildings for many different market sectors.

Following an extensive period of testing and development, Green Unit is now poised to raise new capital for scaling-up its manufacturing capability, quadrupling production space and more than doubling its staff; creating exciting employment opportunities.

The new investment capital is being raised through Crowdcube: interested investors can learn more by visiting HERE.

The ARC modular manufacturing process, pioneered by Green Unit, creates quality bespoke buildings at reduced cost due to the efficiencies of off-site construction.

Green Unit’s ARC eco-friendly buildings offer comfort and space with minimal carbon impact. They are tailor made for customers in residential, office, retail and educational sectors.

Further details can be seen at www.greenunit.co.uk


Five Global Green Building Trends – Green Unit is on message

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five global green building trends

Phil Clayden, Head of Design at Green Unit, reviews five global green building trends and how they relate to the Green Unit ARC design.

The World Green Building Trends report the percentage of global builders with at least 60% of their projects certified as green will double from 2015 to 2018.

The main motivation is to reduce carbon emissions, the most successful way of doing this is in reducing energy usage. That is reducing energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency.

“We started in 2012”, explains Phil Clayden, “when we first started our programme of researching, developing and testing our designs for the ARC buildings.  After four years we exhibited a concept building at the Ideal Home Show and then developed prototypes.  The response from customers has been immense and we have sold all our prototype buildings.”

The five global green building trends identified involve; 

  1. sustainable building materials
  2. passive building design
  3. home energy storage
  4. home energy management systems
  5. solar panels

The Green Unit ARC uses sustainable building materials, is built according to passive building design principles, and embraces innovative smart technologies.  Therefore, home energy storage, solar panels and energy management systems can all be catered for.

The Green Unit off-site modular manufacturing process is also recognised as one of the most energy efficient construction methods with low levels of waste, high labour utilisation and high energy efficiency.

Green Unit is now raising new finance through Crowdcube to extend its manufacturing capacity and expand its range of buildings to cover three primary markets; commercial offices, residential and the premium holiday lodge market.

Green Unit – Helping to fix our broken housing market

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green unit helping to fix our broken housing market

Key proposals in the Government’s 2017 Report to encourage diversification in the housing market will create opportunities for Oxford Based Green Unit

The Department for Communities and Local Government report entitled Fixing the Broken Housing Market sets out a range of proposals.

These Include:

  • Backing small and medium-sized builders to grow, including through the Home Building Fund
  • Supporting custom-build homes with greater access to land and finance
  • Giving more people more choice over the design of their home

Green Unit create quality bespoke buildings at reduced costs due to the efficiencies of off-site construction using modular manufacturing processes.  The business is now scaling up its manufacturing capability creating exciting employment opportunities in Oxfordshire.

The increase in manufacturing capability is being funded through a crowdfunding campaign on the market leading site Crowdcube.

Are Modular Homes The Future?

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Mud may be glorious if you are a hippo living in a hot country, but less so when oozing from a building site next to your property.  In such circumstances, it may be heartening to hear of an increase in off-site construction, with its potential to speed up building work considerably.

Social, economic and environmental changes have reversed many of the pros and cons of on-site versus off-site construction. Traditional methods of building in situ are giving way to alternatives where component parts are manufactured off-site, transported and fitted together on-site. 

Unlike mobile homes, on wheels and ever moveable, these properties can put down roots on arrival or, in the case of Green Unit ARC buildings, you can build a permanent structure that can be relocated, or added to simply by creating new sections or linking buildings together. 

small versionIn many instances foundations are still required but with the rest of the building being manufactured off-site the full build can be achieved in half the time of that of traditional construction methods.  Some Modular builds like Green Unit’s ARC™ are constructed on lifting frames (which avoids the need for costly foundations) and can be sited on pads or piles, on an existing slab or even on a flat roof.

Until recently, a quick build was not necessarily attractive to property developers.  They built to sell on the open market, finding buyers took time and a quick build could mean supply outstripping demand.  Now in the UK we have a much-publicised housing shortage and a government target of building 1 million new homes by 2020.  Off-site construction is suddenly attractive.

Environmental factors are also influential.  Off-site construction offers advantages over traditional building methods both in terms of using sustainable materials and producing a more energy efficient home.  Timber is capable of absorbing up to 90% of atmospheric pollutants, and timber panels are a key component of off-site construction. The industry has invested in developing sustainable building materials with greater insulating properties.  These reduce the energy costs (financial and environmental) of central heating in winter and air conditioning/ventilation in summer.

Until recently, much off-site construction took place outside the UK.  The carbon footprint from transporting property parts to the UK could off-set any environmental gains, as well as driving up costs.  Now, modular home factories are springing up in the UK, meaning much reduced transportation.  Indeed, the government has earmarked funds to support the development of off-site construction; alongside its aim of diversifying the house building market (currently just ten companies build about 60% of new homes). [Housing White Paper]

And what of the solicitous house buyer who, having addressed his neighbour’s exposure to mud and the wider world’s exposure to environmental damage, turns to his own needs?  He can eagerly anticipate:

·         Savings in time and money.  An off-site build can be as much as three months quicker than a traditional build, which has a knock-on effect on costs.  According to one developer, you can save as much as 3% of total costs [variohaus.co.uk].

·         No weather related issues during the build from rain, frost and snow as the property is mostly built in a factory.  Once settled on its foundations (if foundations are needed), all that remains is sealing sections together and connect plumbing and electrical lines.  Again, in the case of some modular buildings the majority of this work has taken place and only final connections are required.

·         A finished product of a uniform quality, as most of the building is done using state-of-the-art machines manned by qualified engineers.  Little, if any, risk of shoddy workmanship.

·         High grade building materials resulting in:

o   A durable property.  Legal & General Homes Modular manufacture homes in timber panels which come with a 10 year warranty and 60 plus year design life assessment.

o   Green Unit ARC™ buildings come with a 10 year warranty and an estimated 100 year life expectancy.

o   More efficient use of space.  External and internal walls are thinner than in a traditionally built house, adding as much as 6% to the living space.

o   Better sound-proofing, high-performance insulation and lower heating costs

o   As much or as little input as the buyer wants into the property’s design and specification: they can commission anything from a house that is ready to move into, to a “bare bones” property giving them free rein over all but the basic structure.

Clearly a modular home constructed off site is an attractive proposition for anyone – so much so that even the UK Government appears to be coming round to the idea!