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Local manufacturer and landlord demonstrate their range of homes that nod to the past and look to the future

A collaboration between two South West based organisations, Magna Housing and Rollalong, has taken a big step forward in tackling the challenges of affordability and quality of housing, by bringing together five decades of manufacturing know how and extensive knowledge of what people want from their homes.

Magna is an innovative and forward thinking housing association, operating across Dorset and Somerset, managing over 9,000 homes. Last year Selina White was appointed as their new Chief Executive and she is passionate about the future of development.

Selina said: “Magna is committed to creating great homes together with our partners and this is exactly why we have chosen to work with Rollalong, the largest permanent offsite construction company in the south of England. Throughout our tender process they demonstrated a clear understanding of our vision and commitment to providing quality homes to be proud of, where people choose to live.

Paul Read, Head of Development and Sales at Magna, said:  “We have a five year development strategy to deliver a programme of 600 affordable homes. We are delighted to be working with Rollalong to expand our capacity by building affordable homes and get the quality we need from the disciplines we see in the manufacturing sector.”

On 29 August, Steve Chivers, Managing Director at Rollalong, unveiled the results of months of work in creating one of Magna’s three bed family homes at their factory in Wimborne, Dorset. The prototype is now on show as an on-site demonstration home and he confirmed that the first orders for these homes are now running through the factory.

Steve said: “It was a great opportunity to showcase what we’re planning to deliver for Magna to the wider housing community.

“We are proud to have been awarded the contract to design and build these modular homes that will provide a range of high-quality, affordable housing for everyone. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive comments about the build, particularly with regards to the finish we have achieved.

“This has also been a great opportunity to demystify modular housing for some and champion the benefits that this style of housing can provide in the face of a nationwide housing crisis.”

The collaborative partnership is taking tried and tested homes that people love to live in and putting them through the rigorous design processes in Rollalong’s in-house design team. Five of the designs were on show, demonstrating the vast array of looks that can be achieved to match the diverse vernacular of the local authorities in which we operate. 

As well as a tour of the demonstration home, guests at the open day had a tour of the manufacturing facility to gain a more detailed understanding of how modular houses are constructed, and how modular building delivers environmental benefits too. Guests were also able to witness the high level of quality control that offsite building is subjected to.

By manufacturing the homes within a factory setting, Rollalong can control or guarantee the following aspects:

  • Consistent quality
  • Higher fire safety standards
  • Moisture prevention during the building process
  • Quicker build time
  • Lower carbon emissions in the build process
  • Reduced waste on site

Paul added: “Whether you are a landlord like Magna or someone looking to buy a new home, there is always a doubt about how well your new home will be built. The demonstration by the Rollalong team shows that achieving high quality homes again and again is in our grasp, and that material waste and transport movements to build homes are significantly reduced compared to getting people, machines and materials to a traditional building site.  

The next step for Rollalong and Magna is setting work to further reduce carbon from the way we build and live in homes.”


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