Tuesday 8 November 2016 12:02 am

Construction begins on Europe's tallest modular residential block

Work has begun on Europe's tallest modular residential tower block, the latest innovation scheme to help combat London's housing crisis.

The 26-storey tower will be built in Mapleton Crescent in Wandsworth, and is constructed entirely from modular units – compact flats assembled in factories before being installed with cranes.

Read more: How innovation is transforming the property industry

The 89-unit development will feature 53 flats for first time buyers and 36 private flats – at a total value of £39.7m. It is due to be completed by 2018.

The homes are built for singles and couples with an average income of around £37,000. The block will be developed by Pocket, a company who intend to build more affordable housing for the public, providing them with a 20 per cent discount.

Wandsworth Council Leader Cllr Ravi Govindia hailed the innovation. 

"These compact starter homes are a superb innovation and offer a new, affordable housing option in the heart of Wandsworth town centre," he said. "I’m sure they will be a popular choice with local residents and we hope to see more schemes like this developed in the years ahead."

Read more: Britain needs an industrial house-building revolution 

The council is aiming to build 18,000 homes in Wandsworth during the next ten years, but many people can no longer afford to buy because of soaring house prices.

Pocket’s chief executive Marc Vlessing said: “If we’re able to scale up modular construction it has the potential to help solve London’s housing crisis. Factory built modular homes are quicker to build than conventional buildings and result in significantly less disruption to local residents – with 60 per cent fewer trucks coming to sites and 90 per cent less waste.

“To increase the number of modular developments constructed we need to find ways to support SME builders who are able to respond to local need and build 100 to 200 homes at a time.”