Location: BRE Innovation Park, Watford
Introducing the Collida Living homes
We’re proud to have delivered the next generation of MMC homes – two innovative, highly sustainable prototype homes that have the ability to redefine affordable housing provision.
Designed to the Passivhaus Plus standard, the houses are research led and integrate R&D, digital technology, and modern methods of construction to deliver substantially lower environmental impact whilst addressing the fuel poverty crisis through a fabric first approach.
Delivered in collaboration with leading industry partners and the Building Research Establishment (BRE), the homes will enable local authorities, registered providers, and developers to respond to the climate emergency and meet the UK’s net zero commitments.
The Collida Living prototype homes explained:
Located on the BRE Innovation Park in Watford – widely regarded as a petri dish for exploring modern methods of construction – we designed the prototypes as a learning opportunity, not only for our team but for the entire industry.
On site assembly will complete in early September 2022. The two prototypes, thanks to careful research, design, and testing, are the first steel-framed residential buildings to target the Passivhaus Plus standard to deliver net zero carbon in operation and at least 35% lower embodied carbon than LETI benchmarks.
Each detail has been carefully considered to ensure optimum performance. From a high-quality 60-year lifespan brick cladding system, to a fully volumetric roof, to integrated ‘plug and play’ modular services, the homes have been designed to minimise both time and people required on site to assemble. Finetuned at each step, the homes can be delivered in as little 15 weeks, significantly lower than the 18–25-week industry standard. It also ensures 40% less labour is required traditional construction, resulting in a preliminary savings thanks to its optimised, MMC-led approach.
The Collida Living homes at BRE were assembled using a unique three-stage process.
The first stage saw the installation of the ground floor slab, light gauge steel frame panels, and the volumetric roof to form the Passivhaus air tightness line and weathertight box.
In the second stage, façade installations were assembled, and brick cladding solutions were completed.
The final stage included the interior fit out to complete high quality two-bedroom homes that can ideally suit a family of four. Air testing was undertaken at the end of each stage to ensure Collida’s rigorous performance standards were achieved.
Some key numbers about a Collida Living home:
Fabric-first approach, with u-values better than the 2025 Future Homes Standard, and an air permeability of just 0.25
Low energy bills – as low as £2 pounds a day. In a two-bedroom semi-detached home, this equates to as little as £783 per year to run, with £338 of this relating to heating
Delivers at least 35% less embodied carbon than LETI benchmarks
Uses 40% less labour to assemble compared to traditional construction projects
60-year lifespan for major components, aligned to BOPAS and NHBC Accepts certification
One of the first steel-framed residential buildings to target the Passivhaus Plus standard
Avoids costly retrofitting to achieve net zero carbon in operation, which has been estimated to cost 5x more than ‘doing the right thing’
Assembled in as little as 15 weeks per home
Delivers a total Energy Use Intensity (EUI) equal to or less than 35 kWh/m2/year (GIA)
Lorna Taverner, lead architect
“The design very much took a fabric first approach, future proofing the homes against legislative changes on the journey to net zero. We also took a flexible approach to the configuration, with residential providers able to mix and match floorplans and layouts to suit end users.
This includes the revolutionary ‘Home Zero’ unit, which houses the air source heat pump, mechanical ventilation heat recovery unit, sunamp thermal battery and electric vehicle charging unit outside of the home to improve internal storage and local authority access.”
Let’s get technical – what are the key details?
Innovative use of light gauge steel frame ensures dimensional integrity while also delivering a fully non-combustible form of construction.
Offsite manufactured brick cladding, in conjunction with a pre-manufactured volumetric roof, reduces installation time on site from six weeks (critical path) to three weeks (non-critical).
Isoquick pre-manufactured ground floor solution installed in less than a day and generates zero waste.
Three stage approach to onsite assembly ensures air tightness performance 20x better than 2025 Future Homes Standard.
Volumetric roof formed from 4 pre-tiled sections installed on site in one day ensured early watertightness whilst also housing photo-voltaic panels.
Collida’s external ‘Home Zero’ unit houses key MEP equipment, allowing ongoing maintenance without having to enter the property.
At Collida we only work with partners who share our values – particularly our core belief that our customers deserve an experience that is not just different, but significantly better than more traditional ways of working.rnrnIf our company values match yours then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us as we would love to speak with you.