A project on Tyneside that could affect the future of housebuilding in the UK will today reach a major milestone.

Newcastle ’s Home Group has been trialling five types of construction at its Gateshead Innovation Village in a bid to see which will provide the best homes.

It is hoped that modular building - where houses are made out of pre-fabricated parts that are assembled on site - and other modern methods of construction (MMC) could increase the speed of housebuilding and help ease the housing crisis that is affecting many parts of the UK.

At a conference in Gateshead today, Home Group will outline initial findings from the construction phase before bringing in tenants who will work with researchers over the next year to measure the homes in a number of areas.

As well as the cost and speech at which each house can be built, Home Group wants to assess elements such as energy efficiency, quality, durability, value for money and sustainability.

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Will Gardner, director of development at Home Group, said: “To tackle the housing crisis we need to do something differently – MMC and modular gives us the opportunity to do that.

“If we keep doing things in exactly the same way, it’s going to be extremely difficult to meet the Government’s target as last year showed – a target many people believe is already an underestimate.

“But we can’t just rely on the assumption that MMC and modular provide quality and efficiency, we must prove this. That is precisely why we embarked on the Gateshead Innovation Village project.

“Today’s conference will reveal findings that will give us all the confidence to look at MMC and modular as a real opportunity to tackle the shortage issue we are facing. The key to being successful rests on all stakeholders working together to make this type of construction mainstream.”

The Innovation Village has been built at a time when the UK is building just over half of the 300,000 new homes the Government believes is necessary to meet current demand.

Home Group has built 41 houses at the site alongside the Felling bypass, six using traditional construction methods and the others from modern methods that include volumetric timber frame, volumetric light steel frame, panelised light steel frame and aerated concrete panel.

Home Group has worked with Homes England and Gateshead Council on the project, and will now embark on a year’s research with the Building Research Establishment and Northumbria University to find out what it is like for people to live in these types of home.