MMC Award 2023

ZED PODS innovative ultra-low carbon modular housing – ZED PODS, Linc Cymru Housing Association, Renelec Groundworks


Award sponsored by 

Using innovative grid-based design and volumetric construction methodology, ZED PODS (ZP) has designed and built 12 low-carbon new homes for people living in temporary accommodation in Newport by working closely with Linc Cymru and Newport City Council (NCC), funded by the Welsh Government

Key features:

  • 12 brand-new homes, allocated under local lettings policy.

  • Savings to the NCC by reducing spend on expensive temporary housing.

  • Using offsite MMC to deliver homes more quickly than traditionally built.

  • Permitted development under targeted new powers to bring forward new homes.

  • No demolition of existing buildings - minimal negative sustainability impact

  • Considerable enhancements to biodiversity and green space.

  • Welsh Government decarbonisation compliant.

  • Major positive impact on new residents’ lives from having permanent address.

ZP hand hold the client at every stage from concept feasibility to completion and handover. They invited the key stakeholders to their award-winning housing scheme in Bristol, dispel myths and won ‘hearts and minds’. This early engagement helped to bring confidence in MMC-led housing.

Our inhouse architectural team have designed the units for superior energy-efficiency, building performance, safety and reducing thermal bridging following a robust Sustainable Policy for all activities from material choices to renewables.

They have minimised environmental impact throughout the supply chain and at every stage of the building lifecycle. The modules were built in a UK factory, then they were transported & installed in 3 days, minimising disruption, noise, pollution, construction traffic and carbon footprint. Along with light foundation, MMC has reduced the amount of onsite building work by 90%.

Built with ‘Fabric First' approach, the flats are super-insulated and airtight from 0.87 to 0.98 m3/h/m2 air changes per hour @ 50 PA. Roof-mounted PV panels, MVHR system to tackle overheating and mould formation, solar-assisted heat pumps to provide affordable, low-energy hot water and heating with no gas connections and no impact on air quality either during construction or afterwards.

The development promotes ‘active-travel’ and is completely car-free for residents, as it situated close to train station and local amenities. They have given tenants an easy-to-understand ‘Residents Guide’ to help them adapt and use the homes.

Use of local labours and local supply chain is an integrated part of their business strategy. Their design team has worked with local consultants, civil engineers, drainage/landscape designers etc during planning. Welsh-based Building Control with officers nearby to site, ensured rapid inspections and minimised carbon footprints. During the construction phase, a South-west based groundworks contractor together with local bricklayers, renderers and labourers helped with site works such as blockworks and railings were inspired by local precedent. Materials e.g. concrete, timber and ducting were procured from local builders merchants and site equipment was hired from Welsh-based providers.

This project is a pioneering, environmental and socially focused MMC development and shows how precision manufacturing can be used to build innovative housing and address “affordable” housing crisis.