Housing secretary visits landmark Dundee modular homes project

SHONA Robison, Scotland’s cabinet secretary for social justice, housing and local government, recently visited the nation’s largest modular development of affordable homes, located at Victoria Dock in Dundee.

The visit allowed her to view progress and find out about the ‘cutting-edge’ construction methods being utilised on the £13 million development.

Cullross Ltd and Enevate Homes are delivering the project on behalf of Hillcrest Homes. It will comprise 119 affordable waterfront apartments close to Dundee city centre.

The development is utilising an offsite modular construction method, where pods are constructed at Enevate Homes’ Wishaw facility as almost fully completed sections of the apartment block, including wiring, plumbing, interior finishing and even some white goods.

The pods are then transported to the Victoria Dock site and lifted by crane in a specific order and position before being secured into place.

This method is described as allowing materials to be used more efficiently, meaning reduced waste and less demand on raw materials, with overall construction time also ‘drastically’ reduced. The method also allows for the ‘straightforward’ installation of additional floors should the need arise.

The first pods began arriving at the site in December, and completion of the two apartment blocks is anticipated for early 2023. The Scottish Government has provided £7.8 million towards the project.

The properties will be spread over two apartment blocks, one consisting of 53 homes for social rent, and one of 66 homes for mid-market rent.

Shona Robison said, “This bespoke modular offsite construction method will deliver 119 new affordable energy efficient homes in a prime location at Dundee’s waterfront. I am delighted that we have been able to provide over £7.8m in grant funding to support the delivery of these new homes for social and mid-market rent.”

Angela Linton, chief executive of Hillcrest Homes, added, “Our Victoria Dock development is a particularly exciting project. Not only do its cutting-edge methods raise the bar and greatly improve upon a number of construction aspects such as time on site, waste and demand on materials, it will also deliver a significant number of quality affordable homes in a fantastic location.”

Paul McIntyre, architecture manager at Enevate Homes, commented, “The Victoria Dock project offers an opportunity for Hillcrest and Enevate to promote offsite and modern methods of construction in Scotland, and deliver a highly sustainable development collaboration. Through its high-quality build, modular projects such as this will help tackle fuel poverty through items such as fabric energy efficiency measures, and provide a safe and quiet environment within which to live through our attention to fire resistance and acoustic attenuation.

“This type of construction has a low environmental impact through the use of localised labour, supply chain hubs and responsibly sourced materials with a very low maintenance requirement, resulting in less cost in the long run.”

Ryan Fletcher, MD at Cullross Ltd, added, “We have a strong track record in social housing having delivered several projects with Hillcrest and are delighted to support Scotland’s largest modular development of much needed affordable homes. This approach has massive environmental and economic benefits, as well as delivering and completing the homes efficiently.”