Group 05

"modularArch" will be developing a series of modular housing options in collaboration with Manchester City Council. In collaboration with key regulatory bodies (Building Control and Planning), the project aims to explore adaptable options for a range of sites across the city within budgetary requirements. We will be considering materiality options and environmental strategies along with the lifecycle costs of the modular units. Utilising Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), this project aims to develop energy efficient affordable housing ranging from 2-bed flats to 3+ bed dwellings.

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Lok Hang Harry C / Christian Anthony Cunha B / Thomas David O

Harry Chan

MArch Year 5 Atelier: CPU & AI

BArch: University of Nottingham

Worked at: DLN Architects

Skills: Revit, AutoCad

Interested In: I like to explore different building design and constructions using computational designs through software like Grasshopper. I am also experienced in residential high rises from participating in a few projects during placement year.

Outside the Studio: Squash, Bouldering
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:40
Meet our external collaborators – the fantastic Manchester City Council!

modulARCH will be collaborating with Manchester City Council who are considering future-proof modular housing options for upcoming residential development.

Working closely with Carol Western (Project Manager) and Emily Colgan (Project Assistant), this project aims to explore flexible affordable housing options taking advantage of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) through panellised and volumetric design.

Taking advice from the Planning and Building Control Departments, the goal of this project is to consider different concept modular options within budget alongside a materiality matrix, lifecycle data, high levels of energy efficiency and carbon ratings.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:40
We will be using software such as the adobe suite, in particular developing skills working with Photoshop and InDesign to edit and layout our work. In addition, we will also be using modelling softwares such as SketchUp and Revit paired with the skill of physical model-making to give us a greater appreciation for the architectural spaces we are creating. These programmes will be partnered with rendering softwares such as Enscape and Lumion, to create photorealistic imagery which is an critical skill for future study and work.

As we are participating in a team, communication will be one of the most important skills for our project. We intend to develop this skill by regular online meetings and catchups, utilising a variety of social media such as Microsoft teams, Zoom, Facebook and Instagram.

The skill of professionalism will be developed through hosting conferences with external collaborators and monitoring the attendance and punctuality of members.

Finally, we intend to develop each members creativity through fun and interactive activities, challenging existing skills to develop new ones which will have a practical use for their future career in Architecture.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:40
Modularch aims to provide solutions using modern construction methods which will have a lasting social impact on the community. Sustainable solutions will reduce energy thus, contributing towards a net-zero carbon city. New construction will create new jobs thereby, improving the employment in the local area. Affordable housing developments will ensure more housing for people in need.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:42
Name: Jemma Baldwin

MArch Year 5 Atelier: Advanced Practice

Worked at: Peter Dickinson Architects

Skills: InDesign, Photoshop

Interested In: I’m interested in the possibility of a circular economy in contrast to our existing linear economy as a means to achieve long-term sustainability, in partnership with technological advances for the reuse of waste materials.

Outside the Studio: I enjoy sports training, photographing landscapes and lots of caramel lattes.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:42
Name: Christian Brown

MArch Year 5 Atelier: &rchitecture

BArch: Sheffield Hallam University

Worked at: Arc3 Architects and PB Architects

Skills: Illustrator, Photoshop

Interested In: I am passionate about architectural research and ideas surrounding green architecture and sustainability. Alongside that, the relationship between people and space has always interested me and how an understanding of context and history can shape a design narrative.

Outside the Studio: I am obsessed about anything sport, music or art related.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:44
Name: Tom Oldham

MArch Year 5 Atelier: INFRA.Space

BArch: UWE, Bristol

Worked at: Arkhi Architects + Planners as an Architectural Assistant and Junior Planner

Skills: SketchUp, Revit

Interested In: Urban design, masterplanning and modular construction. Through my dissertation, I’m currently exploring the ‘neighbourhood’ as a vital block of UK urban planning when designing in resilience for post-COVID-19 cities.

Outside the Studio: You’ll find me dabbling in photography, tending to my houseplants and perfecting cheesecake recipes.
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:48
Jamie Talbot 

MArch Year 5 Atelier: INFRA.Space

BArch: Liverpool John Moore’s University 

Worked at: Purcell Architects (Manchester Studio)

Skills: Illustrator, Photoshop

Interested In: An aspiring architect, with experience working on conservation projects whilst working in practice. My interests lie within the Renaissance architecture, urban design, and spatial experiences. I enjoy expressing my ideas through various mediums such as hand drafting and computational design.

Outside the Studio: Football, Golf, food and travelling 
Posted 1 Mar 2021 18:50
Tasawar Rahim

MArch Year 5 Atelier: Advanced Practice

BArch: University of Kent

Skills: Revit, InDesign

Interested In: I am an aspiring architect with interests in sustainability and modern methods of construction. My passion for the built environment has its origins in user experience. I am always intrigued by the power of the built environment in influencing people's behaviour. As a result, I strive towards producing designs that uplifts an individual’s feelings. I am experienced in residential projects at both small and large scales from private houses to apartment blocks.

Outside the Studio: Music, TV, Movies, Cricket
Posted 2 Mar 2021 10:44
Come and join the Monday morning meet and greet! As we meet the faces behind Modularch team!
Posted 9 May 2021 12:34
Follow our progress over the next two weeks though our instagram @modulararch_msa
Stay tuned for live updates!
Posted 9 May 2021 12:35

We are pleased to announce Michael Swiszczowski from Chapman Taylor will be joining us for a live presentation followed by a Q&A session and open discussion at 10:30 on the 11th May.

Michael is a Director at Chapman Taylor with considerable experience in the residential, hotel and student accommodation sectors. He will be talking to us about Umbrellahaus – an innovative affordable off-site housing model made up of volumetric modules that can be adapted to any context.

As modulARCH start to develop affordable modular housing proposals, Michael will also be re-joining us later in the project to help provide professional architectural critique.
Posted 9 May 2021 16:25

We are pleased to announce Philip Watson from HLM Architects will be joining us remotely for a live presentation followed by a Q&A session for an open discussion at 14:00 on the 11th May.

Philip Watson is a Director and Head of Design at HLM with extensive knowledge and experience designing for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).

MMC helps to deliver quality and efficiency with benefits of social and environmental sustainability which will provide an important theoretical basis for modulARCH’s residential design proposals for Manchester City Council.
Posted 9 May 2021 16:27
Check out the schedule for day 1 Events!
10:00 - Group Welcome
11:00 - Brief Introduction
11:30 - Online Questionnaire
12:00 - Risk Assessment
12:15 - Overview Presentation on Construction Methods & Group Discussion
14:00 - Precedents Analysis
15:45 - Presentation & Discussion
16:30 - Debrief

Posted 10 May 2021 09:39
We launched MODULARCH this morning with a group introduction, an icebreaker quiz, and details on previous projects, followed by a presentation from Tas and Jemma on how they have integrated modular construction into their PS1 project, and an overall risk assessment.
Posted 10 May 2021 12:54
Great discussions today on what modular housing means to us!
Posted 10 May 2021 16:50
Group research on different types and methods of modular housings presenting using Miro (Flying Factory)
Posted 10 May 2021 22:44
Group research on different types and methods of modular housings presenting using Miro (Prefab)
Posted 10 May 2021 22:45
Group research on different types and methods of modular housings presenting using Miro (Modular)
Posted 10 May 2021 22:45
Day 2! We have invited some special guest in to share their experience on modular housing today!

10:00 - Briefing
10:30 - Guest Talk (Michael Swisszczowski)
11:30 - Group Discussion on Miro
12:00 - Design Concept
12:45 - Lunch
14:00 - Guest Talk (Philip Watson)
15:00 - Presentation & Discussion
16:30 - Debrief
Posted 11 May 2021 09:26

Michael Swiszczowski from Chapman Taylor joined us this morning to talk to us about modular design and construction with specific reference to Umbrellahaus and the design factors we should be considering.

Designing for longevity is key, especially as we move towards a net-zero carbon society. Alongside some current housing market context, Michael used project examples to show how modular apartment housing can create community cohesion through active ground floor frontages and community amenities. These amenities can be modified, along with the façade materiality, allowing the scheme to be adapted for multiple urban contexts.

Modular construction allows us to concentrate on quality as the manufacture is completed within controlled factory style environments. By using a Just-In-Time (JIT) construction process, less materials need to be stored on site and 50-90% of construction waste can be saved compared to traditional methods.

Find out more about Umbrellahaus:
Posted 11 May 2021 21:23

Philip Watson, of HLM Architects, joined us this afternoon to talk about his perspective and experience designing with Modern Methods of Construction in mind.

As a finalist of the 2030 Forever Home competition, HLM have developed a platform design dwelling that can be adapted for multiple sites. Its users can fully customise the dwellings that have been designed around central courtyard for private outdoor space and to increase natural daylight within the floorplans.

A standardised kit of parts has been developed levelling the procurement playing field from SMEs to Tier 1 contractors. Taping into this circular economy, inhabitants are able to purchase and sell back housing parts as the household grows and shrinks over time so they can be refurbished and reused. This allows for customisation of dwellings externally and internally contributing to a strong sense of place within walkable neighbourhood communities.

Read Philip’s article about positive trends that will shape procurement in 2021:
Posted 11 May 2021 21:23
Day 3! We have invited a guest from the MSA to talk about social housing and 'The Workhouse Project'! We will then Continuing with the site analysis and concept ideas.

10:00 - Briefing
10:15 - Client, Stakeholder and Site analysis
11:30 - Break
11:45 - Guest Talk (Dominic Sagar)
12:45 - Debrief
Posted 12 May 2021 08:45
After some insightful talks from Michael Swiszczowski of Chapman Taylor and Philip Watson of HLM Architects, it was apparent that there were some hurdles when it comes to implementing modular construction. Both highlighted the issues that come with public perception, initial capital and building control. As a team, we hope that we can jump these hurdles and show the effectiveness of modular construction through our proposals!
Posted 12 May 2021 11:15
Our number one consideration for our collaboration with Manchester City Council is affordability, keeping costs low by utilising modular construction. Secondly we want to highlight sustainable materials with an aim to reducing the carbon footprint of the design. Lastly adaptability of spaces and modules will ensure the longevity of the project!
Posted 12 May 2021 20:32
Massing session on chosen site using blocks to explore ways of adaptive modular designs.
Posted 12 May 2021 22:16
Day 4! We will Continuing with concept ideas and building strategies

10:00 - Briefing
10:15 - Presentation & Discussion
11:45 - Concept design
14:00 - Material concideration
15:30 - Structural strategy
16:30 - Debrief
Posted 13 May 2021 09:48
Today some of the students have been experimenting with the form of residential housing using a 5m x 5m structural grid. Some of the experimentations done involve stepped housing, more traditional housing and a cluster typology. After discussing the pros and cons of the ideas with specific focus on natural daylighting, privacy, amenity and accessibility we’re looking forward as a group to progressing with the design!
Posted 13 May 2021 21:56
Some great work on plan development for the internal modular living space!
Posted 14 May 2021 00:29
Day 5! We will produce a initial concept design and review with our Guest Michael Swiszczowski in the afternoon.

10:00 - Briefing
10:15 - Presentation & Discussion
11:15 - Break
11:30 - Compile presentation
13:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Review with Michael Swiszczowski
15:30 - Design Development
16:30 - Debrief
Posted 14 May 2021 09:40
This week we have been exploring materiality options for the modular housing units (apartments and dwellings) looking closely at how they will be applied in controlled factory conditions and on site as the modules stack together.

The affordable housing proposals should be adaptable for a series of contexts, so a pre-approved material palette will provide greater flexibility when it comes to the façade cladding treatments respecting contextual surroundings.

Next step is to superimpose material options onto massing models to explore elevational treatments and key technical details.
Posted 15 May 2021 17:14
We have researched on the framing using Light Gauge Steel. This is a rigid material that could be beneficial when building 6-10 stories high apartments.
Posted 17 May 2021 10:03
Day 6! We will be meeting our collaborators today to discuss about the construction sequence and costing.

10:00 - Briefing
10:15 - Discussion
11:30 - Meeting with Manchester city council collaborators
13:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Introduction to building regulations
14:45 - Group discussion
16:30 - Debrief
Posted 17 May 2021 10:10

DAY 6 – modulARCH were joined by Carol Western and Emily Colgan from Manchester City Council (our external collaborators) to review sketch plans along with environmental, structural and materiality strategies.

This proved to be an important meeting as we assessed the project’s outcomes so far and how best to progress the schemes further as we enter week 2 of the Live Project.

With feedback from our external collaborators, we continue to develop plans and strategies in more detail.
Posted 17 May 2021 20:13
Day 7! We will continue developing our scheme and aim to finalize the layout of each module by today.

10:00 - Briefing
10:15 - GA Drawings Development
11:30 - Finalize Drawings
13:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Design Code Catalogue
15:30 - Review Progress
16:30 - Debrief
Posted 18 May 2021 00:27
Today we have made a lot of progress in the housing scheme collaboration with Manchester City Council. We have refined floor plans for both the apartments and the housing whilst considering key elements such as Manchester City Council’s space standards. The massing models you’ve already seen have also been progressed to include a Scandinavian style roof. Both the apartments and housing are being situated on a site at Wadeson road, Manchester to test the prototypes fully.

A presentation was given from our 5th year student - Christian about social housing and the impact on the community which provided brilliant insight to some of the main factors we need to consider to design affordable yet high quality housing for this project!
Posted 19 May 2021 00:51
We have decided to use panelized CLT frame for the houses due to its sustainability and ease of construction. This is different from the lightweight steel structure used the apartments due to the scale of each building. These CLT panels will be sourced sustainably and transported to the site for construction. For the facade we are using brick slips to align with the heritage of the local Manchester area. We then modelled the structure of the panels to explore the connections and building techniques.
Posted 19 May 2021 00:54
Day 8! We will finalise the design for the apartments and houses. Models for the scheme and structure will be modelled.

10:00 - Briefing
10:15 - Design Review
11:30 - Break
11:45 - Refine Proposal
12:45 - Debrief
Posted 19 May 2021 01:02
The site we selected to site our prototype on is on Wadeson Road, Manchester. Surrounding the site is a wide mixture of residential, commercial and community areas dissected by busy roads. The narrow nature of the site made it challenging to site both the apartments and housing - if you want to see how we managed keep an eye out!
Posted 19 May 2021 13:47
Today we have completed the apartment layouts and the facade details. Here we present the 3 types of modular rooms that are going to be used. Each modular would be manufactured offsite and delivered on site to be assembled.
Posted 20 May 2021 09:19
Today we have completed the house layouts and the facade details. Each house unit is assembled through a panelized system using CLT as the structure. The CLT panels would be manufactured offsite with facade details and the house would be assembled on site.
Posted 20 May 2021 09:26
Here we present the different panel parts that are going to be used in this construction.
Posted 20 May 2021 09:27
1 more day until the submission! We will be finalizing all designs and drawings today and start formatting our outputs and publications.

10:00 - Briefing
10:15 - Render Visuals
11:15 - Break
11:30 - Refine Design and Renders
13:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Presentation Outputs
15:15 - Break
15:30 - Combined Documents
16:30 - Debrief
Posted 20 May 2021 09:43
As we put together the final amendments to the housing schemes, we have been detailing the apartment modules to understand how the modular units could be manufactured off-site in factory conditions to ensure high-quality fabrication.

This exploded axonometric view of the details for the modular apartments shows the wall build-up from brick cladding to internal wall finish along with the steel structure system. These steel frame modules will be stacked on top of each other to form a mid-rise apartment building – although the number of floors can be amended depending on the site context.
Posted 21 May 2021 03:38
Every house is 74m2, which using an approximation of £150 per square foot (based on industry specialist advice) results in each CLT house costing around £119,400. The scheme consists of 12 houses costing an approximate total of £1,432,800. This figure is in line with Manchester City Council's approximate budget of £150,000 per housing unit.

The apartment measures 267m2 per floor, with 4 floors providing a total floor area of 1068m2. Using an industry experts' approximation of £180 per square foot. The total cost for the apartments is approximately £2,069,100.
Posted 21 May 2021 03:38
The apartments and the house sefaira analysis was conducted for the 21st March 12pm, overall the spaces are well-lit but require artificial lighting due to the UK climate.
Posted 21 May 2021 03:39
Take a look at a snapshot from our Miro Board that we have populated with useful knowledge, weblinks and readings conducted by the whole team.

Whilst working online, its important to maintain a teamwork space and Miro provided us with a collaborative online whiteboard space. We have used Miro since day 1 for collating useful team reading information, sketch design strategies and as a virtual presentation board in online design reviews with external partners and collaborators.

Over the last few days, we have been bringing work completed by all the groups within modulARCH onto the Miro Board to format and plan out the final outputs for the Live Project.
Posted 21 May 2021 03:42
Submission Day!! Today will be the final stretch to pull everything together for submission. It has been super busy for the last 2 weeks, we went through a lot of research and produced an incredible amount of work as a team. Well done and thank you to everyone who has contributed in this project.

10:00 - Briefing
10:15 - Finalise Output
11:00 - Group Discussion
12:00 - Submission !
12:15 - Debrief and Reflection
12:30 - Enjoy your summer!
Posted 21 May 2021 09:36
Final adjustments to the output of the project!
Posted 21 May 2021 13:10
Great work everyone!! Its has been a busy year and we are ending it by completing the MSA LIVE Project. Much has been learnt about Modern Method Constructions for the past two weeks for everyone.
Posted 21 May 2021 13:46
Check out our publication submission for our affordable housing scheme using the method of Modern Method Construction (MMC).
Posted 21 May 2021 19:54
Final site plans and elevations.
Posted 21 May 2021 19:54
We are using panelized system for the house construction. Here is the blow up details for the layers for each panel.
Posted 21 May 2021 19:56
Here we show the construction sequence of the house. A foundation of 500mm deep is constructed, raft foundation is used during this process as it is a low rise building and does not require a deep foundation. The ground floor slab is then constructed. Prefabricated wall panels are delivered to the site to be assembled using . First floor is installed using prefabricated CLT floor panels. Lastly, the roof is installed.
Posted 21 May 2021 19:57
Here we show the construction sequence of the apartment. Foundation of 2000mm deep is constructed. The prefabricated cores are constructed by stacking on top of the foundation. The volumetric modular flats are then stacked on top of the construction using a crane. After the roofs are constructed, details along the façade such as balcony and circulation walkway are then installed as components.
Posted 21 May 2021 19:58
We have considered the environmental impact of these schemes and here is our attempt on maximizing the sustainability of these dwellings. We have implemented solar panels on the roof and water harvesting system for both the houses and apartments.
Posted 21 May 2021 20:01
Final visual of the exterior view.
Posted 21 May 2021 20:02
Final visual of the exterior view.
Posted 21 May 2021 20:02
It has been an enjoyable project. We have all learnt a lot from this project. Thank you to all who have participated in this project. Special thanks to our collaborators and guests for guiding us to accomplish this!
Posted 21 May 2021 22:09