The flexibility of the system allows any house type to be designed, supplied, and installed using ‘stock’ panels. These panels range from 1 brick, 215mm wide, to the largest panel of five bricks, 1125mm wide.
All the wall panels are 2400mm tall and are 185mm thick. There is no internal or external elevation. They are faced with 12mm cement bonded particle board (CBPB) and a metal profiled ‘perimeter’ to enable the panel-to-panel connections. All elements are fixed together with splines or extruded aluminium profiles.
The panels are filled with 160mm of blown PU foam insulation that bonds the entire panel together and gives it its high structural strength, airtightness, and low U-value of 0.144 W/m²K. Window and door openings have specific ‘lintel’ and ‘base’ panels that accommodate standard British brick dimension openings from 460mm to 1810mm. Wider openings are available using wide span lintels.
Our panels are manufactured at 3 separate facilities across the UK. Etopia can deliver over 500 homes per year from these facilities.
The state-of-the-art facility at Ellesmere port commenced commercial production in 2019 is a semi-autonomous manufacturing line that has a continuous running linear press, through which we feed our panel tooling.
Our facility in Butterleigh produces principally short run panels and the timber elements, these allow us to produce ‘any vernacular’ from a limited number of panels.
The facility in Broadclyst assembles the panels into large panel format elevations and handles logistics to site.
Your project will have a high pre-manufactured value (PMV) due to full elevations arriving from factories; in excess of 55% can be achieved when combined with other high PMV products.
Etopia is finalising its management system, this connects our site and potential site requirements to the factory production in real-time.
We can deliver homes as small panel or large panel formats. Small format is installed by hand and used for constrained sites and complex building designs. Large format is delivered on stillages that can be manoeuvred then deployed to plot using tele-handlers, Hiabs or cranes. Large format delivers high volumes of panels rapidly and is therefore an efficient and effective method for large scale developments.
Our lifting devices are designed for fast attachment to the wall section and can adjust at the press of a button for aligning the lift to the of centre of gravity. They are small enough to be lowered into the scaffolding.
Health and safety
Modular construction provides safer working conditions. The factory-based conditions of offsite enable safety requirements to be more easily met and policed, which leads to better build quality through improved quality control procedures.
Not only is there a reduced risk of slips, trips, and falls – particularly as work at height is reduced – but there is also a reduction in onsite activity, thus ensuring health and safety always remains a top priority from start to finish.
Furthermore, if necessary, factory operations can continue 24/7 with less risk of noise and disruption to workers. Work is also unaffected by the weather and other environmental delays, which could result in the project being turned around even quicker.
Fully manufactured elevations means that there is no site waste in the Etopia delivery.
The impact on the local environment is also reduced, as there is less noise, packaging, and emissions. These matters will have been addressed and resolved in the factory, which allows for greater efficiencies in environmental control measures and materials.
In addition, when built to comply with specific sustainability standards, such as BREEAM, buildings can use resources more efficiently and may see a reduction in energy consumption and operational costs.
The majority of the manufacturing process is carried out offsite using specialist machinery in a quality-controlled factory environment, which in turn, reduces waste and increases quality, leading to a lower environmental impact. Any defects are captured at source in the factory before arriving on site.
Due to the structural stability of the panel there will be fewer housing defects once construction is finished and time-tested.
Speed is a vital factor with construction. The system enables a plethora of speed incentives:
- Internal and external works can commence immediately after lift day.
- Stair access immediately after install.
- Tidy presentable site, with free movement of traffic, after lift day.
- Customer can walk through home (if desired), soon after shell erected.
- Less damage and delay due to weather or material delays.
- Less dependent on skilled erectors and manual working.
- Site working practices much improved.
- Reduced manual handling, working at height, material handling
- Commercially competitive.
- Improved construction predictability and programme reliability.
- Reduces overall build programme, saving prelim costs.
- Improves front-end work planning, site organisation and upfront thinking.
- Reduce construction time on site, resulting in less disruption for existing residents.