Gateshead Innovation Village.


ilke Homes was one of five modular manufacturers chosen to take part in the Gateshead Innovation Village Project with Engie.

We were asked to deliver 40 homes using a range of modular methods of construction, including timber frame, concrete panels, light gauge steel frame and traditional.

This project saw the development of a village that comprises a mix of traditional and modular homes, with renewable energy and smart technologies at its heart.

It was made possible by Homes England grant funding and is part of the Home Group Strategy to build 10,000 homes by 2021. Home Group has collaborated with Newcastle University and the BRE on a report that addresses key benefits of the modular technology used throughout this development.

Our role.

We worked closely with all departments of Keepmoat, guiding them through all stages of the construction process from the initial assessment of the site, planning submission and engineering design right to the installation and the handover process.

Our solution.

Energy efficient technology.

Thermal All homes use a thermal battery to store heat for hot water using phase change materials. This allows heating and hot water to benefit from lower cost electricity tariffs.

Solar All homes have a dual aspect solar PV system providing a more stable level of power for longer periods. Any excess solar energy is automatically diverted to the hot water storage system.

What’s more, all homes are zero carbon and fossil fuel free and use different innovative technologies to achieve this. Home Group was keen to test the benefits of electric heating and smart home technology throughout this development.

Developed design principles.

We conducted a site appraisal with Home Group and our architect. We also reviewed opinions and discovered that people were really interested in introducing innovative techniques on the site.

We chose front gable roofs for The Holt, a 2 bedroom, 4 person house. Contemporary materials were used on the external facades, including white brick slips, weatherboard and grey windows. We also took into consideration standard design features, roof forms and considered how the glazing works with modular systems. The result was a unique appearance with a distinct kerb appeal. 


Each 81m, 2 bedroom home was created from just three volumetric modules with the following, all factory fitted:

  • The ground floor was a brick slip finished, steel frame module, complete with kitchen and WC
  • The first floor was a weather-boarded and steel framed module, complete with bedrooms and bathroom
  • The roof was concrete tiled, 40 degree timber truss module complete with dual aspect solar PV arrays

We transported two pairs of homes, equalling 12 modules from our Yorkshire based factory and installed them in a day. The volumetric module was complete with concrete roof covering, solar PV panels and weather-boarding to the gables as a single, fully timber truss roof module with timber lifting beam. To finish the homes onsite, we completed services connections, a row of brick slips and the stairs joint. 

Working closely with the structural engineers.

ilke Homes worked closely with the project specific consultants who were designing the Civil and Structural elements for the scheme. Taking the Structural Engineer as an example, we set the dimensions for the frame, location of services and pop-ups. We also highlighted substructure related design considerations which needed to be taken into account when designing the foundations, like Chapter 6.10.4 NHBC Standards.

Creating a contemporary look.

By working closely with Engie we developed the design. This meant collaborating with new specialist suppliers for the brick slips and internal M&E. Our approved suppliers sourced the specialists and agreed contracts with them under our terms. It reduced administration processes and made sure we met our timelines.

Reducing maintenance.

A big part of our design ethos is to create homes with very low or no ongoing maintenance needs. For instance, to ensure great air quality indoors, we use a system three ventilation solution. It provides continuous mechanical extraction from a single central fan. This eliminates replacing the filter and reduces noise pollution.

Secured structural warranties.

Securing the 10 year structural warranties from NHBC Buildmark or Building Life Plans has enabled us to achieve a standard mortgage-ability that’s accepted by all major lenders.

Achieved zero carbon.

All the homes are zero carbon homes, built to original Code for Sustainable Homes CfSH Level 6 for zero carbon.

Delivered ahead of programme.

The first pair of homes were structurally complete before the end of the Great Exhibition of the North and before any of the other construction types were out of the ground. This demonstrates how fast we can construct these homes. We also installed the homes incident free. Without the need of scaffolding and limited work at height it greatly reduces health and safety risks.


We were very proud to win the Best Use Of Volumetric Technology at the Explore Offsite Awards 2019, for our superb homes installed at Gateshead Innovation Village.

Our awards.

  • Best use of Volumetric Technology
  • Building Innovation award
  • Inside Housing Award
  • Best Use of Hybrid Technology Award
  • British Homes Award - Winner 2018

Sign up to ilke Homes' newsletter.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.