Are low carbon modular homes the answer for Swansea?

Ajmal Rahman, Chair of WElink; Chairman Peng, CNBM; Cllr Rob Stewart, Leader of the City of Swansea Council

Are low carbon modular homes the answer for Swansea?

Swansea Council has signed an agreement with Live Verde to explore options that could help tackle the city’s need for more housing in future.

Live Verde is the WElink Group’s off-site housing manufacturing solution in the UK, which was launched in late 2016 as a partnership with the China National Building Materials company.

Formal talks will soon be taking place that could lead to hundreds of new homes being manufactured off-site in Swansea every year.

Quickly and efficiently manufactured off-site through a production line process, Live Verde’s modular homes benefit from advanced energy efficiency technology.

Swansea Council’s agreement with Live Verde could soon see the council working alongside the company to identify sites in the city for the development of these types of homes for sale or rent.

It could also lead to hundreds of local jobs and a manufacturing facility in the Swansea area.

All market research, planning and construction costs would be met by Live Verde and elements of affordable housing are to be included within individual schemes.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “Post-Brexit, we’ve been working hard to develop new partnerships overseas for the benefit of Swansea people in coming years, especially in China.

“This agreement is a demonstration of a growing economic partnership between Swansea and China, where we’ve been busy promoting Swansea as an innovative, business-friendly city where inward investment is embraced.

“We’ll now hold further talks with Live Verde as we look to establish a joint venture with the company that will help quickly tackle Swansea’s need for more housing, generate hundreds of jobs for local people and support Swansea supply chain businesses by ensuring materials and labour are locally sourced.”

Ajmal Rahman, Chairman of WElink Group, said: “We are delighted with this announcement that could see the expansion of our Live Verde business in the UK.

“Swansea offers great potential and opportunities for investment and along with our partners CNBM, I would like to thank the UK Government, the Welsh Government, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Swansea Council for their assistance in making this announcement possible.”

Live Verde is looking to construct 25,000 homes a year by 2022, which would make it the UK’s leading modular housing developer.

Helping tackle the UK’s housing deficit, they say their industrialised, off-site precision manufactured solution is up to four times faster than traditional housing construction methods.

Stephen Haigh, chief executive of Live Verde, said: “I’m pleased to have been able to secure this announcement with Swansea that could see significant investment in low carbon off-site manufactured homes in the region.

“Our housing solution offers a revolution in the delivery of homes in the UK with rapid construction and deployment, high levels of energy efficiency and the latest technology in energy management.

“The homes will be constructed using British produced light gauge steel frames that are manufactured to a high level of precision in a factory, with key components then transported to site and assembled.

“In addition, with the installation of solar panels and energy storage, it means that our homes are low carbon in both their construction and in their application.

“I look forward to progressing our agreement onto the next stage and see it reach its full potential.”