Bollo Lane is a landmark mixed use development in Ealing, comprising 112 homes, two communal roof terraces and flexible office space that benefited from a volumetric modular solution.

Built on a challenging site previously occupied by a redundant warehouse and bound on three sides by railway lines, the difficult site context and the quality and time benefits led Pocket Living to utilise modular construction to deliver the development. This increased the speed of delivery, allowing first time buyers to move into their homes more quickly. This development was completed in 21 months from site clearance to handover.

Bollo Lane comprises 112 homes, of which 84 are sold at a 20% discount to the local market to first time buyers who live or work in Ealing. The discounted Pocket homes are 100% owned by the purchaser and remain affordable in perpetuity. The Vision Modular System was chosen as the preferred approach for Bollo Lane, enabling Pocket Living to overcome the site's challenges and save five months on typical construction.

500 volumetric 3D structural modules were manufactured on a controlled assembly line in a factory in Bedford for this development. The automated production lines, manned by skilled operatives, transferred the modules through the manufacturing process. The Vision Modular System extended from manufacturing to delivery of the modules to site, where the process continued with the module installation, followed by final connections and commissioning being carried out under strictly monitored procedures by Vision site-based personnel.

Pocket homes are well suited to modular construction as they are a standard layout. Each one-bedroom Pocket home is ergonomically designed within two modules: the kitchen/living space make up one module and the bathroom and bedroom the other. High ceilings and large windows make for light-filled spaces that offer views and bring the outside in, and there is plentiful builtin storage. This development shows the flexibility of modular construction methodology as it also provides one, two and three-bedroom Pocket Edition homes with balconies.

The use of volumetric technology at Bollo Lane has improved building efficiencies, optimising what part of the build is constructed traditionally (substructure and cores) and what is delivered as modular construction. By reducing the number of apartment typologies and completing a minimum of 80% of the apartment fit-out offsite, Pocket Living significantly reduced the complexity in the build whilst enhancing construction precision, simplifying procurement of goods and materials and improving the design of the homes through consistency and quality of workmanship in the modular element of the build. Consistency in build quality and process is due to factory processes, as it is easier to spot trends in products used if one is found to be performing well or not performing. There is easier assessment for maintenance, so if an item is failing, it is easy to isolate and remedy. Finally, logs of the factory process are significantly better than the on-site build process.

Completing much of the apartment fitout within the modular factory helped reduce both material waste and carbon emissions, contributing greatly to the build achieving a BREEAM Very Good certification. The ecological aspect of the site has been addressed by introducing green spaces in the form of planting beds on the two communal roof terraces provided. The drainage strategy was carefully designed to reduce and delay the discharge of rainfall to public sewers to minimise the risk of localised flooring and environmental damage. The majority of materials used in the building also hold a third-party verified responsible sourcing certificate to help reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, all homes are supplied with the latest technology: smart meters, remote control of heating and lighting through smart phone and a special secure parcel drop off storage system within the communal areas.

Bollo Lane illustrates why modular construction has won the support of both government and industry, showing high-quality, energy efficient homes can be built quickly and why modular techniques will play an increasingly important role in delivering more housing.

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