Even More Innovative Building Systems in the Capital

Even More Innovative Building Systems in the Capital

Elements Europe is to deliver yet another student accommodation scheme in central London using their modular building solutions. Working in conjunction with the main contractor Elliott Thomas Group, they will deliver 200 bedrooms for student accommodation.

The modular student housing project which is located in Ewer Street in the heart of central London has seen Elements Europe manufacture and deliver 200 fully volumetric Room Pods. The high-end accommodation has been designed to form clusters of 6 bedrooms per individual flat which has a shared communal area.

The student bedroom pods these days are more like high-end residential accommodation, they are studio rooms featuring kitchenettes, en-suite bathrooms and study and living areas. These rooms offer luxury items such as underfloor heating.

Kevin Arthur of Elements Europe comments “Gone are the days of leaking showers, peeling paint and freezing cold student bedrooms now the accommodation offers all of the luxuries you expect from a high-quality hotel room. The room pods used in this scheme are a high-end design featuring all of the mod cons.”

“Off-site construction is well adapted for the student accommodation market as it provides a cost-effective and time-efficient solution enabling the development to be open in time for the start of term” he adds.

The 7-storey scheme which is located near to Southwark tube station has also seen Elements Europe provide the stair cores, corridor cassettes and a modular pre-cast concrete shaft system.

Manufacturing began at the end of September with installation scheduled to start on-site in February 2013 ready for the start of term in September 2013.

For more information please read the Ewer Street, Student Accommodation case study.


Image Copyright to TP Bennett.

All set to manufacture student bathroom pods for a new London scheme

Elements Europe has been appointed by main contractor, McLaren Construction, to manufacture and deliver 184 Bathroom Pods for a student accommodation scheme in Paris Gardens, London.

Installation is set to be complete for the beginning of the academic term in September 2013. The modular construction company, Elements Europe, has manufactured and installed a total of 184 bathroom pods,  into the student accommodation located in the heart of London.
Due to the Central London location logistics of this project need to be carefully planned and managed. The installation process will be completed out of hours on Saturdays only, highlighting the flexibility Elements Europe offer during installation.
Elements Europe’s Kevin Arthur comments: “We are pleased to have won another student accommodation project. Modular construction is ideal for this sort of scheme as it offers many key advantages including a quicker build programme, enabling the student development to open in time for the start of the new academic term.”
“Modular manufacturing also offers the benefit of improved quality of finish as the rooms are constructed in a quality controlled manufacturing environment. We take pride in working to international quality standards and in ways that limit our environmental impact and energy use.”
Elements Europe manufactures the bathroom pods at its facility in Shropshire to international quality and environmental sustainability standards. The company is part of The Pickstock Group which consists of property and food related businesses.
For more information please read the case study Paris Gardens, London.

Bathroom pods completed at 3 more Premier Inn Hotels

Elements Europe has successfully manufactured and installed Bathroom Pods in three more Premier Inn Hotels.


Working with three main contractors, Leadbitter for the Dorchester hotel, ISG Jackson for the Ipswich hotel and Bowmer & Kirkland for the Croydon hotel.


These three schemes are a further extension of Elements Europe’s experience in delivering on behalf of the Whitbread Premier Inn hotel brand.  This has seen the development of sites implementing the bathroom pod and room pod off-site construction methods.


168 of our off-site manufactured Bathroom Pods have been installed at the Croydon-based Premier Inn hotel, 85 in Ipswich and 65 for the Dorchester hotel. Approximately 5% of the Bathroom Pods installed for each of these projects are accessible rooms, ensuring that the room dimensions are suitable for wheelchair users. Other features include lever taps and accessible sinks, DDA compliant bathtubs as well as some showers.


The dimensions and nature of these Bathroom Pods are specified to ensure access for all users.  All Bathroom Pods were designed according to the specification designated by Whitbread Premier Inn hotel brand.


Michael Shand of Elements Europe says “we are very proud of our relationship with the Whitbread Premier Inn Brand and our continued experience in delivering pods for their hotel schemes. Modular construction methods are ideal for the hotel industry as they provide fast and effective solutions meaning that hotel operators can open their doors sooner.”


Elements Europe’s manufacturing facility is based in the West Midlands. The company provides a range of innovative modular construction solutions to many sectors of the construction industry including hotels, care homes, student accommodation and defence.


For more information please read the case study Premier Inn Hotels: Croydon, Ipswich and Dorchester.


Image Copyright to Axiom Architects.

Welsh Housing Minister visits Affordable Housing Scheme

Welsh Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis, paid a visit to Dolwyddelan, North Wales, following Elements Europe’s successful completion of an affordable housing scheme in Glan y Gors.  


Two affordable, three bedroomed, semi-detached family homes were built in 2010 for Cymdeithas Tai Clwyd, working in partnership with the local community, Forestry Commission Wales, the Rural Housing Enabler, Conwy County Borough Council and Welsh woodland charity, Coed Cymru.  Tai Clwyd are a North Wales charitable Housing Association, providing housing for rent to people in housing need, with an emphasis on young families and elderly people.


Welsh Housing Minister Huw Lewis said “It’s great to witness how this exciting housing scheme is using new construction methods to make good use of Welsh timber. This innovative partnership is not only for providing a roof over people’s heads but also setting a great example to others in sustainable building practices.”


Elements Europe completed the sustainable residential housing scheme in January 2010, manufacturing off-site using indigenous Welsh spruce timber at their factory based in Shropshire.


The three bedroomed houses were built using Elements Europe’s Ty Unnos Modular system, which is fully certified to BA Trada standards. The Modular system can be used to build homes of up to three storeys using locally sourced Welsh Sitka Spruce Timber to provide a robust structural frame produced from a renewable material. Ty Unnos Modular maximises the use of Sitka spruce and adds value to Welsh timber as an environmentally friendly product.


The off-site manufacture of these modules meant that there was no delay in project completion due to adverse weather conditions. Elements Europe delivered the modular system to the site and they were installed over two days. Two semi-detached houses were assembled in just four and a half hours; each home compromises two complete modules, one on each floor.


Elements Europe’s parent company J R Pickstock was appointed as the main contractor of the project, undertaking the traditional construction work. The site had many constraints due to its rural North Wales location and narrow bridge for access. The site itself was located on a hill which had to be dug into, the geo-technical properties of the ground meant there was a high proportion of slate which required a pecker on site throughout.


A meeting was held in September 2012 with Huw Lewis, Welsh Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, using Dolwyddelan as a prototype site to show what can be achieved using sustainable Welsh-sourced timber. The homes all achieve the Code for Sustainable Homes level four.


Kevin Arthur from Elements Europe, who attended the site meeting, comments “The Ty Unnos system developed by Elements Europe was well-suited to this housing project; all modules were manufactured off-site so they  instantly  provided a water tight, internally completed home once they arrived on site. The modules were sited on pre-prepared foundations then external finishes were applied to the facade and roof, along with the site wide external landscaping.”


David Jenkins, director of Coed Cymru, said “Ty Unnos was conceived around an engineering formula, which is easy to use and teach, it can adapt to a wide variety of modern and traditional architecture, materials and trades.”


“The benefits of using timber are significant in the move to a low carbon society: it is a renewable, carbon neutral raw material of low embodied energy. It promotes the sustainable management and use of out forest resource, while providing much needed affordable housing units, training and employment opportunities.”


Please read the case study, Modular Housing Solution Dolwyddelan, for more information on the project.


Welsh Housing Minister visits Dolwyddelan

Welsh Minister, Huw Lewis (second left) listens to Kevin Arthur from Elements Europe during his visit.



Snoozebox Success Makes the BBC Business News

BBC World Service visited a Snoozebox site to see the portable hotel being assembled.


Since its inception last year, Snoozebox has seen phenomenal growth providing accommodation for events ranging from the Queen’s Jubilee equine extravaganza to Silverstone as well as the Edinburgh Festival and Stoneleigh Park.


The innovative concept all began in a tent in Le Mans, France in the small hours of a summer morning in 2010. Snoozebox founder and chief executive Robert Breare was fed up with the discomfort of camping that he had to endure to attend events such as the Le Mans 24 hours motor race.


“I began thinking, there must be a better way to do things than this,” says Mr Breare.


Working with architect Jonathan Manser, managing director of the London-based Manser Practice, Mr Breare created the events accommodation solution that is Snoozebox. It is a modular hotel solution like no other, made from steel shipping containers. Each 45 foot by 9 foot container typically contains four ensuite rooms equipped with luxuries such as flat-screen TVs and air-conditioning.


Having worked up detailed designs with The Manser Practice, Snoozebox hired Elements Europe, part of The Pickstock Group, early in 2011 to deliver the solution. Elements Europe won the 5 year global manufacturing agreement shortly after.


Elements Europe is responsible for the purchase of the steel shipping containers – which Mr Breare stresses are always new – and their entire fit-out, with the work done at their Telford factory. Having had holes for each room’s doors punched out of the containers prior to delivery to Elements Europes’ facility, the firm then sets about installing partitions, insulation, furniture and all the necessary plumbing and electrical services. The Telford factory can produce around 50 hotel rooms – between 12 and 13 containers – per week and a further 40 room pods and 100 bathroom pods per week from their Oswestry factory.  Prior to their delivery to Snoozebox, collapsible external canopies and walkways are added to the containers by a steel subcontractor.


Mr Breare is keen to point out that there was a “huge amount of work done on sound and temperature” at the development stage ensure customers’ comfort.


“You can yell at the top of your voice in one room and not be heard in the room next door,” he says.


“The sound proofing is better than many permanent hotels. Having air-conditioning and control of the temperature in the rooms was also critically important – this had to be a solution that would work anywhere in the world.”


Shortly after appointing Elements Europe in early 2011, Snoozebox received its first order, from the Silverstone racing circuit. The order was for a 40-room onsite hotel at that summer’s Formula 1 British Grand Prix.


Mr Breare says the level of activity involved to turn his dream into a reality in time for the British Grand Prix was “frenetic”, and credits Elements Europes’ commitment in making it not just possible but a success.


Such a success that Silverstone upped its order to 200 rooms for this year’s Grand Prix, and to 320 for next year. Snoozebox was also hired to provide accommodation at the recent Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and will be making an appearance at this year’s Download and Hop Farm music festivals.


The key to Snoozebox’s apparently instant appeal, says Mr Breare, is that the hotel can be “dropped anywhere”, requiring no services or foundation work. In addition to the room containers being delivered onsite – which because they are standard shipping containers can easily be transported by sea, rail or road – there is another container delivered that Mr Breare refers to as the mothership.


This is a 40 foot-long shipping container that includes a water and wastewater storage system, a hot water and a vacuum system for drawing away the wastewater from the rooms. To complete the onsite self-sufficiency, mobile generators supply electricity. Apart from the mothership, there is one more container delivered to site that is not used for accommodation, and that comprises a supplies store room and a site office / hotel reception.


For Mr Breare, the next stage is broadening its application beyond hotels at major events.


“Customers are building up quickly for a more utilitarian version to use for staff
accommodation,” he says.


You can see the BBC video here Snoozebox



Latest Case Studies