Construction has begun on a 47 home modular development, comprised of 31 houses and 16 apartments, in Corby, Northamptonshire.

Factory construction of exterior shells of the new homes will start in February and the first four homes are due to be completed by the end of May with each unit taking no more than fourteen weeks to build.

A renewable technology system by Caplin Solar will allow homes to remain self sufficient for heating and hot water all year round: An array of photovoltaic-thermal solar panels collect both thermal and electrical energy; an inter-seasonal heat store, called the Earth Energy Bank, retains thermal energy collected in summer for use during winter; and a ground source heat pump is used to extract heat from the ground and deliver it for space heating and domestic hot water.

Central to the technology is Caplin Solar’s Earth Energy Bank, which stores the excess heat generated during the summer months in the earth underneath the house. Unlike traditional ground source systems, the Earth Energy Bank doesn’t require any long trenches or deep boreholes. It is said to be easier and cheaper to install and, for the first time, enables the more efficient ground source heat pumps to be installed in dense housing developments.