Modular student homes completed in record timescale next to Tube station

Tide Construction Ltd - Holloway. Copyright - Richard Southall.

Tide Construction and their offsite manufacturing company, Vision Modular Systems, have completed Chapter Highbury II, a 257-bed student accommodation scheme on Holloway Road in partnership with US property company Greystar, which will be operated by its student housing brand Chapter.

The 700 sqm site was able to be brought forward for development due to the use of innovative modular construction methods and was built in record-breaking time of nine months, ensuring that it was delivered in time for the first students moving in for the 2018/2019 academic year.

Tide Construction used their award-winning methods to build a modular scheme on this site and, by using their pioneering techniques, the project has overcome space constraints with minimal disruption to the local area, within an extremely tight programme.

The development is located on a long, narrow site of land next Holloway Road Tube station which is partially owned by TfL, and is also on one of the capital’s designated priority “Red Routes”. This meant that Tide Construction had to take advantage of the space and ensure that only a minimal impact was made on those wishing to travel across the capital.

Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems had to work in close collaboration with TfL. The site was also situated close by to Arsenal Football Club’s Emirates, so it was vital that the development did not affect the fans wanting to make their way to watch their team play at home.

The development is comprised of 308 modules that were manufactured using production-line techniques in Vision’s Bedford factory. After a rigorous quality control process, each module was then transported to the site in Holloway Road before being craned carefully into place.

“Modular construction is increasingly being favoured for development on tight urban sites due to the many benefits it brings”, said Christy Hayes, CEO of Tide Construction. “Many of the smaller sites in cities like London are too restricted for traditional construction methods to be successfully applied. This has created a huge opportunity for systems like ours, which use offsite manufacturing facilities to help minimise the disruption to the local area.”

“The success of the scheme and the speed of development highlights the potential of modular construction for restricted urban sites. Working closely with Transport for London, we were able to take advantage of this exciting opportunity and ensure that only a minimal impact was made to those wishing to use the Tube to travel across the capital.”

Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at Transport for London, said: “Working in collaboration with Tide Construction and Vision Modular Housing, using part of our land next to Holloway Road Tube station, we have been able to provide housing that the capital desperately needs, while raising vital revenue that can be reinvested in the transport network. This project shows how the industry can use fresh and innovative approaches to unlock complex, challenging sites, which might otherwise be impossible to deliver using conventional methods of construction, and ensure that any impact on those travelling across London is kept to a minimum.”

Chapter Highbury II includes onsite amenities for residents such as a gym, cinema room, games area and other state-of-the-art communal facilities. This project will be the 3rd scheme that Vision’s modular techniques have delivered for Chapter, and their 10th student scheme in London.

Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems are active in the residential market with over 1,300 apartments currently under construction, and many other sites under advanced negotiations, illustrating this form of construction has become mainstream.

They have recently commenced their George Street project in Croydon, south London which has a total construction programme of just over 2 years. Upon completion, Tide Construction will deliver the tallest modular towers in the world, reaching 38 and 44 storeys, and offering 550 homes for private rent.

Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems are also working in partnership with Greystar on the first phase of the Greenford Build-to-Rent scheme in Ealing, whereby they are delivering 400 homes within an 18 months programme. They have recently completed a 100-unit apartment building for Pocket Living in Wandsworth – Mapleton Crescent, which again was developed on a constrained urban site, and are currently delivering a 120-unit modular, residential scheme for Pocket in Ealing.