Housing is an environmental and human crisis – 1.8bln people globally live in sub-substandard accommodation and 39% of all carbon emissions in the world come from building and construction.
Etopia’s vision aligns with challenges presented by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Etopia believe that true long-term sustainability relies on creating innovative ways we can work with it, rather than against it. They have pioneered “Eco-MMC” in response, to think beyond construction methods to truly optimise how energy, construction, and intelligent technologies (which they call “ECITech”) can be integrated to ensure our technologies and houses are not only modern today, but for years to come.
Powered by Etopia takes Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to the next level – supplying a flexible building system for a Zero Carbon Building in 3 steps:
- Construction – Use of a panellised 4Wall system to provide an airtight superstructure.
- Energy – Renewable technology provides heating and hot water through solar panels to enhance the mechanical electrical and plumbing.
- Intelligence – An IoT system monitors and controls the heating system, blinds, lights, air conditioning and more.
The average EPC for a completed home is A – 105/100. All homes achieve Edge Accreditation and qualify for ESG funding and exceed the proposed Future Homes Standards from 2025.
The Hyper-Sip panels or “Super Bricks” have been developed by 4Wall and are manufactured at multiple sites in the UK. The system is:
- Fast – average house superstructure is up in 5 days
- Lightweight – easy to transport and install
- Fire resistant – 77 minutes and then the test was ended
- Load-bearing – multiple floors can be erected without any additional support
- Strong – each panel has a structural loading strength of 825kn or 80 tonnes
- Weatherproof – the system can be installed in the rain and can withstand winds of up to 472kph or hurricane strength
Etopia can translate any existing design into their panelised system. They can work directly with architects to create homes bespoke to an individual’s vision or brand. Etopia partner with Main Contractors who provide all other works on site, such as ground works, infrastructure, and foundations. They also install the brick slips and complete the internal fit out of the home and external works and landscaping.
Etopia’s partnership with Samsung provides the latest Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) technology and hot water. Their homes are hyper efficient meaning they are Net Zero ready. Adding solar panels generates the energy the home requires for heating and hot water and helps with other electricity requirements.
Etopia’s IoT products make smart interiors with self-powered wireless light switches, autonomous blinds and generation sensors controlled by a hub. This technology audits the performance and provides luxury level controls. This system is also designed with Samsung, allowing integration into any other existing smart home technology such as Bose, Sonos, Yale, Ring, Nest and more. The sensors are always monitoring the air in the home, alerting the residents to unhealthy particles and pollution, and automatically boosting the MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery) to keep the home healthy.
Etopia want to see tangible progress in how society views sustainability. By building to a green ethos and a high-performance metric, Etopia’s housing solution is both accessible and scalable. Whether you are building a community, buying a home or upgrading existing infrastructure, Etopia acts as a reflection of your values and a stepping-stone to other environmentally and socially responsible.
The cost of Etopia’s system is comparable to traditional building methodologies. The system replaces block and brick work and gas boilers. Savings are made from smaller, shallower foundations and prelims, because time on site is reduced by a third. Efficiencies are also made on reduction in scaffolding, mortar silos etc that are specific to 4Wall. Etopia work with customers to help them maximise the potential savings that can be achieved through using 4Wall.
Etopia properties also secure Edge Accreditation, which makes them eligible for ESG funding – saving between 0.2 and 1% on development finance costs. Residents of the home will face lower bills as the super-efficient homes require less heating, which is mostly powered by solar panels.
The increase in costs and availability of materials and labour have had a significant impact on costs for traditional construction. Etopia’s product significantly reduces the impact of these issues as they do not rely on bricks, blocks or timber.
Etopia have their own development company – Etopia Homes – whose first scheme at Corby is nearly complete and sold out. They also have a further 3 development sites commencing before the end of March 2022.
The 4Wall system has been used in many bespoke homes for self-build clients. Etopia are currently working with Rippon Homes delivering the first development with them at Melton Mowbray of 36 units. An example of a SME developer moving to MMC for the first time in their history.
Etopia are also working with large main contractors and developers on several framework applications, large PRS developments and open market schemes.