Leeds construction business develops net zero building system using MGP support | Manufacturing Growth Programme

Zero Carbon Workshop was set up to demonstrate the viability of zero-carbon homes in Yorkshire and surrounding areas. They have built a factory flow consistent with the lean principles and 5S.

The objective of the company is to be amongst the Pathfinders in the modern methods of construction sector, providing a product which is carbon zero (or can be easily achieved with the introduction of some renewable energy), affordable to local authorities, easy to cost and process from enquiry to an installed home.

The UK government has pledged their commitment to building zero carbon homes, this has spurred the business on to achieve their growth ambitions. As such, they are currently aiding the construction of 20 homes for Pure Acre Park in Drighlington in Bradford.

The Manufacturing Growth Programme has supported two projects with the company. The first was to develop a roadmap from product design to the commercial launch of the company’s timber frame offsite panels. It was also to investigate raw material requirements and identify potential suppliers.

The project objectives were to produce a product which is affordable across all sectors of the housing market and could be erected on site in a few working days. The process should be suitable for CNC, linking architect’s 3D drawings, with timber frame design and out putting cutting and framing data.

The second project was to help develop the factory layout and machinery required. The business was able to access grant funding towards the cost of designing the factory layout, determining the equipment required and developing their manufacturing processes. The Programme also helped them identify the right consultants to assist with establishing the ISOs and the BOPAS (Built Offsite Production Assurance Scheme) accreditation that they wish to implement.

Managing Director Kevin Pratt stated, “The grant has helped us with improving the efficiency and reducing the cost of the build system. MGP is an excellent initiative which boosts the economy through identifying and working with companies looking to make an impact in the manufacturing business.”

The business is now in production and has produced their first home and will build twenty more. They are in talks with York Council to make 110 carbon-free homes which may lead to continuing to develop the 490 remaining homes in the 600 home low energy plan. About 100 sq. metres of their panelling goes into every home.

David Whiteley Manufacturing Growth Manager in the Leeds city region; introduced the business to the Leeds City Region Growth Hub to access the capital grants that they provide. The company are seeking additional private sector investment to help scale up production. David also introduced them to Huddersfield University who manage the Leeds LEP’s Supply Chain programme which proved beneficial, as the programme is ready to support an ISO9001 (Quality Management System) implementation as soon as the company has built its first four homes.

David Whiteley stated, “This is a pre revenue company in a market that will experience high growth which is driven by government targets and regulations. The company projects to turnover £500K in its first 6 months and they have secure £200K of funding from external investors.

Since the project with MGP, Zero Carbon Workshop has created new employment opportunities and plan to put in place a process for developing a culture which nurtures and develops new recruits. Their five-year plan is to build 1,000 homes a year and this would represent a turnover of £10m per annum with 150 employees.

More details on Zero Carbon Workshop will be available at www.purehaus.co.uk

West Yorkshire Combined Authority