A Rapid and Affordable Homeless Solution

12th October, 2021

For 25 years Jimmy’s has been providing help to people experiencing homelessness in Cambridge, delivering emergency support and accommodation. With a shared ambition, Jimmy’s and Foundation200 worked in partnership to change lives for the better – with MODULHAUS™ providing the solution.

Through an unparalleled range of skills, the offsite manufacturing experts at VOLUMETRIC™ have dedicated time to developing a practical, robust and cost-effective homeless solution to specifically meet the needs of those who have limited resources and yet are striving to put an end to rough sleeping.

VOLUMETRIC™ adopts a partnership approach and works in close collaboration with Foundation200 – a newly formed charitable trust set up by the Hill Group to commemorate their 20th anniversary. Hill Group has pledged to help the homeless by gifting 200 fully fitted homes – but these are also available for purchase by Local Authorities. 

Based on extensive market research and utilising modern methods of construction, MODULHAUS™ - a new concept in volumetric modular homes for rough sleepers, has been developed and rigorously tested to help overcome the nationwide crisis. As modules have been designed and manufactured to meet a specific need, close collaboration with Councils, Local Authorities and Third Sector Organisations was facilitated to ensure the design and specification is fit for purpose.

People in Cambridge who found themselves sleeping rough have been given a great opportunity to restart their lives with the opening of 16 MODULHAUS™ units across three sites in the region which have been gifted by Foundation200 and installed on land owned by Cambridge City Council. Jimmy’s will manage and provide support to the new residents and work with the Council and other local organisations to continue to provide help to people who need it most. 

Robust and Relocatable

BOPAS certified and LABC Assured, MODULHAUS™ is a relocatable and robust one-person home with a 60- year design-life that offers exceptional energy efficiency, outstanding functional performance and superior quality. Accommodation modules are delivered to exceptional standards, fully equipped and future-proofed for Building Regulation changes – arriving 100% complete, ready for simple site connection and commissioning. 

Design features include 24m2 of internal fully fitted living space with furnishings, shower-rooms and kitchens complete with white goods and utensils. Stackable to two storeys, MODULHAUS™ sits on six foundation pads to minimise groundworks and requires only electric, water and waste connections.

Offering a safe, independent and innovative interim housing solution – MODULHAUS™ exceeds the guidelines outlined by the Future Homes Standard – energy costs are reduced to less than £5 per week. This innovative volumetric solution provides greater dignity and independence to the most vulnerable members of society whilst also relieving the burden of ongoing expenses and fuel poverty associated with traditional temporary accommodation.

Mark Allan, Chief Executive of Jimmy’s Cambridge, said: “These modular homes provide further opportunities to people who are homeless. They are a steppingstone for people who have been sleeping rough to give them real support and renewed hope to overcome a very difficult period in their lives.”  

Sustainable and Energy Efficient

To maximise the benefits of modularisation, modules are conceived to optimise a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) methodology and allow for the highest levels of offsite added value. This strategy reduces waste and makes best use of materials – all offcuts are reused or recycled.

The energy strategy for MODULHAUS™ is designed to exceed the Future Homes Standard with Environment Band A rating and emissions as low as 229.5KG CO2/year. Significantly exceeding energy efficiency and sustainable requirements – modules are 100% factory fitted, delivered in one load, virtually eliminating traffic to site. Installation on six foundation pads, reduces groundwork and minimises concrete requirements. 

Low energy lighting and white goods together with controlled flow shower mixers and dual flush cisterns are factory fitted to minimise energy and water consumption. Renewable energy technology is built into every unit including Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP), Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems. Combined with a highly airtight and well insulated structure, U-values as low as 0.09W/m²K are achieved.

As there may be a requirement to stack the modules the structure is formed from hot rolled steel point loaded corner post frames, infilled with insulated profiled steel panels. Walls are lined with a fire rated A1 non-combustible board to provide fire and acoustic performance, whilst encapsulating building services. Internal floors are formed using steel profiled joists within a steel ring beam. Roofs are formed following the same principles as the floor construction but with a spray applied roofing membrane – guaranteed for 25 years to first maintenance. 

The fully non-combustible modules have minimal externally mounted features to avoid damage. Integrated gutters and downpipes reduce the potential for vandalism. For additional security, all modules include Secured By Design windows and external doors.

Life Changing Opportunity

We live in one of the most advanced countries in the world and yet too many people still sleep rough on the streets every night. Advanced volumetric modular technology has been used as a positive force to help alleviate the crisis.

A resident who moved into one of the new homes said: “I’m loving my new place, it’s perfect for me and I’m enjoying having my own safe space. I feel lucky and am really grateful for this opportunity.”

For more information visit: www.volumetric.co.uk 

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