Innovative pre-built homes set to be craned into place on Bristol’s famous Park Street

July 29, 2019

Urban Creation is behind a pioneering approach to construction that will see pre-built homes craned into an existing building on one of Bristol’s most famous thoroughfares.

Modular construction – where homes are fabricated off-site in a factory – has been used widely for new builds, but this is believed to be the first time in the UK that homes have been specially made to fit into the shell of an existing building.

The site – 50 Park Street – was formerly a nightclub but was vacant and in a dilapidated condition when Urban Creation bought it in in 2018. Whilst most of the buildings in Park Street are Georgian, 50 Park Street was built in the 1950s after the previous building was bombed during World War II.

Over three nights, from August 11th to 13th between the hours of 8pm and 5am, nine pre-built apartments will be lifted into 50 Park Street through the open roof into the cleared shell of the building, after having been driven by lorry from a factory in Southampton. Urban Creation has applied to Bristol City Council to have Park Street closed during these hours.

Urban Creation has teamed up with modular construction specialist Go Modular on the project, which has created bespoke, ready-to-go homes built specially to fit into the building. This is an unusual approach as usually modular units are created in uniform shapes and sizes. The apartments are already fully fitted out and decorated with kitchens and bathrooms already in place.

Jonathan Brecknell, director at Urban Creation, said: “We’re very excited to be taking modular construction to a new level, using a highly innovative approach that could have huge implications for home building in the UK.”

As the UK grapples with a housing crisis in the face of a significant construction skills shortage, modular construction is tipped to be the future of home building. Compared to traditional builds, modular homes can be delivered quicker, they cause less disruption to neighbours and the construction programme isn’t at the mercy of adverse weather. There are also fewer snagging issues as the build is carried out in a much more controlled environment.

The simple fact is most people live in cities, so whilst modular construction has been used widely for new builds, often on greenfield sites, Urban Creation’s approach shows what’s possible in tight urban sites, which could help meet the need for homes.

The building team has already stripped out 50 Park Street, removing the internal floors and walls, stabilised the shell of the building with a steel structure ready for the big lift-in.

The homes at 50 Park Street will be let to the student market.