Metropolitan Workshop have worked with French energy supplier Engie to develop a new suite of modular homes targeted at the suburban market. We have also created a flexible masterplan framework that employs our ‘homestead’ concept, to allow these home-types to be deployed over various sites across the United Kingdom. We have created a Design Guide & Specification document to allow Engie’s regional delivery teams and/or architects to use the house typologies and our approach to the masterplan to prepare outline and detailed planning applications, before moving through to construction and delivery of major new suburban developments – for which Engie will supply energy and reatain management of the sites. All developments will include Engie’s new sustainable energy infrastructure providing affordable, greener energy to homeowners, with any excess energy production feeding back into the National Grid.

The masterplan framework’s design pushes cars to the periphery of the homesteads, in which a range of the house types are grouped together. This allows the homesteads’ private and shared spaces to be optimised for residents, making more space available for communal uses, while ensuring each home has good private amenity. House types are arranged around generous, overlooked shared gardens and yards encouraging neighbours to come together and allowing children to play safely. Further hierarchical squares, courts and yards encourage collegial living creating opportunities for interaction, fostering more inclusive communities. The Engie Homestead allows greater density compared to traditional suburban housing whilst still providing generous, green communal amenity within an efficient and legible grid structure. The Homestead can be tessellated to respond to site conditions and within a phased development can flex to respond to changing market trends, mix and tenure demands.

All Engie Homes have been designed to modular spatial parameters to allow the homes to be prefabricated off-site. This will provide extensive benefits compared to relying solely on traditional build methods. [MOU3]  Each house type can be customised in the factory to deliver maximum consumer choice and a high-precision finish. The principal feature of Engie/Living is a prefabricated service and circulation core which reduces the amount of construction work required on-site, whilst allowing allows a suite of house types to be generated from a base module. Remaining living and bedroom modules are also designed to off-site spatial design parameters but can be built in traditional construction methods if required. The design approach offers ways to incorporate different degrees of prefabrication depending on the most economical and viable route. It allows easy future extension and adaption with standard service or living modules being able to be added at any point. Engie’s house range is designed to accommodate growing demographic trends such as multi-generational homes and live-work studios, all stemming from the core module concepts. There is also a modular apartment type that provides further variety and can accommodate later living. All the home-types can be provided within the ‘Homestead’ cluster and flexed in terms of numbers and types to suit local need.

Engie/Living is a truly flexible product with the service engine as the key. This module captures the wet rooms, circulation, services and Engie’s smart energy infrastructure. It consolidates all of the homes construction complexity within a pre-fabricated module that is easy to build, replicate and transport. It delivers variety in the living formats with simple living modules that can be built in various methods simply added, where required.