Almost 450 Energy-efficient Homes to be Delivered in Kent
ilke Homes plans to deliver up to 449 highly energy-efficient homes in partnership with the housing association The Riverside Group. Housing Industry Leaders looks at how the modular housebuilder will use AI to provide sustainable and affordable housing to those who need it.

Subject to Reserved Matters planning approval from Thanet District Council, ilke Homes plans to deliver a mix of houses and apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms across a mix of tenures. This includes social rent, shared ownership, and build-to-rent.

The homes will be delivered half the time of traditional methods

Being delivered on a 21-acre site owned by The Riverside Group, most of the homes will be manufactured offsite at ilke Homes’ 250,000 sq ft factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.

ilke Homes have revealed that it was selected via a procurement exercise managed by EN Procure Ltd; it said: “ilke Homes were chosen because of the company’s ability to deliver value for money, and a quality product whilst unlocking an accelerated delivery programme.”

The site will be delivered under its ‘design and build’ offering, by which it gains planning permission, manufactures the homes and develops the site. This vertically integrated approach will help control build costs and speed up construction programmes.

Using precision-engineering techniques means that ilke Homes will be able to deliver the 449 homes in half the time of traditional methods. This is due to most of the construction taking place offsite. By manufacturing offsite, the homes delivered will be of the highest quality, as ilke Homes can benchmark standards at numerous stages of the build cycle.

The modular housing company is using AI, robotics, and digital design to create well-insulated homes, meaning that fewer heat escapes and, therefore, bills can be reduced. This will help to reduce household bills for tenants, who are the most likely to be affected by the cost-of-living crisis while minimising operating costs for The Riverside Group.

Tom Heathcote, Executive Director of Development at ilke Homes explained that there is an increasing need for becoming more sustainable: “ilke Homes continues to partner with some of the country’s most well-known housing associations, largely in part of our ability to deliver high quality, energy-efficient homes quickly.”

The Riverside Group, as part of its adopted ESG strategies, has acknowledged the increasing importance of sustainability and our partnership will help future-proof their investment from rapidly changing building regulations and government guidelines.

He continued to express that collaborating with stakeholders is crucial to moving forward: “We look forward to working with both local planning officials and other stakeholders to progress the proposals through planning to deliver a truly sustainable and well-designed community that will be providing much-needed, high-quality housing for the area.”

Investors are under increased pressure to reduce their environmental impact

An increasing number of housing associations are choosing to deliver their schemes using offsite manufacturing, where homes are precision-engineered along production lines due to four key factors.

Quality is the first, the precision-engineering techniques employed in the factory mean that the finish of every home is to an exceptional standard.

Following this is sustainability because it is no secret that we need to meet our net zero targets plus investors are under increasing pressure to reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint of the homes they manage.

All of ilke’s homes achieve the highest EPC ratings, and A means that investors will not have to undergo costly retrofitting programmes once new building regulations come into force in 2025.

Another huge benefit of using precision-engineered homes is due to the speed of production. Short and certain construction programmes mean revenue streams can be accessed as soon as possible, allowing investors to reinvest income into new housing.

As households are struggling with the cost of living crisis, finding ways to decrease energy bills is crucial. Companies that can reduce the burden of energy bills are increasingly attractive affordable housing providers and ilke Homes’ techniques are working to lower average energy bills.

ilke Homes will be submitting a Reserved Matters planning application to Thanet District Council at the end of April and subject to planning, anticipate starting work on site in early 2024.