A modular future

Nick Myall
Monday 23 Oct 2017

The modular nature of this residential development ensures each home is future proofed and expandable to suit the needs of the owner

Atelio, a new and innovative environmentally-conscious model for modular zero-carbon housing, was launched at UK Construction Week earlier this month. Highly customisable and created from cutting edge technology and recycled materials, Atelio is an exciting and dynamic entry into the housing industry.

Developed by a team consisting of Grimshaw, SAM Architects, manufacturer Tufeco and the Carbon Free Group, Atelio was unveiled with a prototype installation at the Build Show for UK Construction Week, 10th – 12th October in Birmingham.

Atelio enables homeowners, developers and investors alike to create an ideal affordable living environment shaped to suit their needs. The system provides a diverse set of configurations using pre-fabricated panels connected along a grid-like system. The modular nature of Atelio ensures each home is future proofed and expandable to suit the needs of the owner, with a discreet central service column passing through the heart of the house, joining subterranean heat and storage systems to the floor underfoot.

While a singular Atelio modular house can be built, the system is designed to work in harmony within a broader master planned community, offering large-scale developments an opportunity to build houses that form a neighbourhood with a distinct identity.

Grimshaw Associate Principal, Paolo Vimercati said, “The Atelio vision empowers a new way of community living, and our methodology reflects a fresh approach to earth-friendly living. We have developed a landscape driven planning concept that encourages a community spirit through engagement with the environment.”

Sustainability has been kept at the forefront of the team’s thinking when developing Atelio. The innovative composite material used to create the system is engineered from recycled materials. Through energy positive design and innovation in materials there is a lower cost of living and credible recycle-reuse lifecycle for every Atelio home.  Each building is rated ‘zero energy’ thanks to renewable energy systems built into the house, which are paired with the extremely efficient performance of the envelope, providing owners with freedom from hefty utility bills.

The shell of each unit is made of recycled material and Atelio is produced in a fast, automated manufacturing process, which produces an engineered quality controlled product. The dynamic digital control of production – directly from a BIM model to the production line – means that the current time for ‘printing’ an average house is five hours. The shell of a house can be erected within four days, while the fit-out can be completed and ready for occupation within 21 days.

Melanie Schubert, Partner at SAM Architects explains, “Atelio brings a new concept to the housing market with a modern customisable design for everyone. The houses and apartments focus on natural daylight with large floor to ceiling windows, rooms with dual aspect focussed on a connection to nature. Atelio provides houses and apartments which don’t just meet the minimum standards.”

Jon Gunn, Director at Tufeco, said: “Our new build system is a great example of British innovation and comprises a simple monolithic form that is both structural and highly thermally efficient. The same panels in Atelio are used for walls, floors and the roof and require minimal labour or specialist equipment to build with.”

Carbon Free Group Co–Chair, Anthony Morgan said: “Atelio challenges the perception that low impact zero-carbon housing cannot be delivered cost effectively. All aspects of the construction chain are being targeted to minimise ecological, environmental and wider global impact. Carbon Free Group believes Atelio is able to lead the way as an exemplar model of how the challenges of climate change can be met through a collaborative approach.”

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Nick Myall

News editor

Key Facts:

Architecture
Residential
United Kingdom

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