26th April 2021

MMC for character development

SME housebuilder Autograph Homes chose the RäBuild system from H+H, based on Thin-Joint construction, to bring the speed of MMC to a site of character homes with natural stone facades.

A forward-thinking company, Autograph Homes is keen to experiment with new methods to improve the speed and quality of build. Managing Director Simon Taylor sees the benefit of using Modern Methods of Construction, but also recognises that many MMC options are better suited to large volume developments.

“I can see that prefabrication may be a good option for a site of standard house designs where the objective is to complete the whole site as fast as possible” he acknowledges. “But for us, building around 100 homes per year, we aim to match completions to sales and need the flexibility to speed up or slow down the build process.”

The development of 44 homes in the village of Rode, Somerset, is a classic example. Work started in 2019 and by spring 2020 around half the homes are complete and sold, with the remainder under construction. 

With natural stone facades a planning requirement in this lovely setting, Autograph Homes opted to use the Thin-Joint based RäBuild solution from H+H because it allows for the entire fabric of the home to be completed independent of the exterior stonework.

“These are traditional style homes and we really felt that our buyers would expect the robust reassuring mass of masonry construction. At the same time we want to be progressive and experiment with new ways of building.

“The Thin-Joint method was ideal. It enabled us to put up the weathertight shell of each house fast, allowing the interior trades to get on site while the external stonework was being completed. Using this system probably took a month of the build process for the first phase. I’m surprised more people aren’t using it.” 

The Rä-Build system used on the project is an all-in-one package, comprising ground floors, exterior walls, upper floors and partitions. It uses Thin-Joint blockwork and technical support with on-site training is part of the package.