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Business Development and Marketing Officer joins SO Modular

Timber frame construction specialist, SO Modular, has brought in a new Business Development and Marketing professional to join its rapidly growing team and build relationships with key stakeholders and the wider community. Lisa Amphlett has been brought into the new role with the remit of creating, maintaining, and strengthening relationships

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SO Modular invests in new talent after uplift in demand

Timber frame construction specialist SO Modular has created two new jobs on the back of an uplift in demand, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The Neath-based company has brought in two new apprentices and partnered with Cyfle and Neath Port Talbot College to give them

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

so modular

Business Development and Marketing Officer joins SO Modular

Timber frame construction specialist, SO Modular, has brought in a new Business Development and Marketing professional to join its rapidly growing team and build relationships with key stakeholders and the wider community. Lisa Amphlett has been brought into the new role with the remit of creating, maintaining, and strengthening relationships with SO Modular’s clients and partner organisations. These include housing associations, local authorities, main contractors, sub-contractors, private developers, and national homebuilders. Her role also sees her managing the company’s marketing initiatives, developing project leads, assisting with tender submissions, and organising engagement opportunities with the wider community. As part of this wider engagement, Amphlett also takes on the role of tenant liaison officer, based on-site at the County Flats development in Sandfields, Aberavon. Her remit in this role includes maintaining communications and developing relationships with the residents and wider community. Amphlett joins SO Modular with five years’ experience within the construction industry in an office-based capacity. She has previously worked as a recruitment consultant for Involve Recruitment in Pontypridd, specialising in the recruitment of temporary construction site operatives. During this role, Amphlett developed extensive experience liaising with clients ranging from multi-million-pound principal contractors to local trade-specific sub-contractors. Lisa Amphlett, Business Development and Marketing Officer at SO Modular, said: “I am delighted to be working at such an innovative and forward-thinking company as SO Modular, and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I will be based at the County Flats development in Aberavon, and very much look forward to taking on the additional role of tenant liaison officer at the site. “My role with SO Modular is varied and my remit wide ranging, and I hope that the skills and experience I bring can benefit the company by increasing awareness throughout the industry and wider community of its innovative and sustainable products and working practices.” Charlotte Hale, Operations Director, SO Modular, added: “We are delighted to have Lisa come on board with us, here at SO Modular, as we look to accelerate our production capacity and develop our growing business. Her new role is key to raising awareness of our products and services, and ensuring strong communications and relationships with our clients, partners and the wider community.”

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SO Modular increases production capacity by 700% with six-figure investment in new equipment

SO Modular, the Timber Frame construction specialist, has increased its production capacity by 700% thanks to a significant six-figure investment in new machinery at its new 350,000 sqft timber and modular manufacturing facility in Neath, South Wales.  The development of the facility began in April 2020 and is set for an official launch at the end of summer 2021. Once completed, with all the new machinery installed and running, the site will immediately be able to expand from its current production capacity of 500 homes per year to 3,500 homes per year on a single shift.  The timber and modular manufacturing facility will also be a zero-carbon, sustainable site, creating a number of skilled employment opportunities in the local area.  SO Modular has been able to fund the purchase of its new machinery through an Innovative Housing Programme (IHP) loan with Tai Tarian – one of the largest social landlords in Wales.   The new machinery is considerably more efficient – both in terms of speed and energy usage – than that currently being employed by the company. It will also produce less waste and will contribute towards the company sustainably manufacturing low carbon homes.   The new machinery includes a treatment tank, Production Lines, a biomass boiler, a Hundegger TURBO-Drive II Saw, a vertical saw and a factory blow insulation machine.   The Hundegger TURBO-Drive II Saw will speed up timber processes, increase accuracy and reduce waste with the use of computer software technology. The saw’s optimisation software means that any offcuts it produces are automatically cut into smaller standardised pieces, which can then be used as other functional aspects of modular joist and cassette manufacture.   The biomass boiler will ensure waste timber is used to reheat the facilities, and avoid it being transported to landfill for disposal. As well as heating the factory and offices, the boiler is also used to dry treated timber in the facility’s new in-house treatment tank, helping the company reduce its own fuel costs and aiding in its goal to create a sustainable, renewable process for timber frame manufacturing.  The new treatment tank will allow high- and low-pressure treatments, meaning SO Modular will be able to treat not only standard timber but also timbers that require a higher level of treatment such as sole plates. This makes it far more cost effective than imported pre-treated timber, helping the company to achieve its affordable homes target.   Charlotte Hale, Operations Director at SO Modular, said:  “We’re very excited to announce the purchasing and acquirement of new machinery, with the help of the IHP Tai Tarian loan.  “These new, efficient machines will go a long will in aiding us to establish a state-of-the-art, sustainable manufacturing facility in Wales.  Furthermore, this acquirement will allow us to create new jobs in the area and provide even more affordable, low carbon homes to help the UK meet zero-carbon targets, protect the environment and address the country’s need for affordable housing.”  

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SO Modular puts investment in Passivhaus standards education into practice at two new schools

Timber frame construction specialist SO Modular is reaping the rewards of an investment it has made in a specific type of construction standard based around environmental standards and energy efficiency. The Neath-based company has made a significant investment in training all the employees in its fitting teams to educate them around the importance of air tightness and Passivhaus standards. Passivhaus standards relate to the energy consumed by buildings and the extent to which they are energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable, applying stringent standards and certification criteria to buildings. The training was carried out by specialist design and manufacturing engineer, Verity Moorhouse, who SO Modular is working with us as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, a Welsh Government initiative designed to help companies innovate by matching the skills and expertise of individuals in higher education with companies. The initiative also represented an important landmark in its journey to establish a formal training academy at its headquarters, the former Metal Box Factory, in partnership with Neath Port Talbot College and Cardiff Metropolitan University. It is the company’s objective to create a cutting-edge training academy that will lead the way in teaching many types of modern construction techniques.  SO Modular is putting the new skillsets of its team to good use on a number of important projects including two exciting projects with Lloyd & Gravell that will embrace Passivhaus standards. One is a new 270-place, English-medium primary school with 30-place nursery and up to 23 full-time places for Early Years provision, is being constructed adjacent to the current Ysgol y Castell in Kidwelly. The current facility will be demolished on completion of the new build to accommodate a MUGA sports field and car parking area.    SO Modular is also working on the Ysgol Gorslas project, a new £6.8million project that will create a new 210 pupil capacity school building on land located behind Gorslas Community Park.  The scheme will provide space to accommodate nursery provision and facilities which can be shared by the community such as a large hall, school field and a multi-use games area. It is hoped the new school building can still be completed by Spring 2022. The project has been developed as part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Modernising Education Programme (MEP) in collaboration with the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme.   Both schools will be built to a BREEAM Excellent, and energy efficient Passivhaus standard. For both schools, SO Modular will build and install a timber frame structure including all steel and glulam’s required for the buildings as well as installing insulation to Passivhaus standards. Charlotte Hale, Operations Director, SO Modular, said: “We believe in the importance of training the next generation and the value of quality in everything we do. A training programme like this helps instil these values in our people, and ensures our staff are trained correctly.  “We understand that without the right training in place we cannot achieve the best results. Our aim is to inspire future generations to believe in producing a quality product and protecting our environment. “These are two fantastic projects to be working on. It is always great to be creating buildings that will play a vital role in educating and inspiring future generations. Evermore so when working with a partner such as Lloyd and Gravell who are such a remarkable Contractor to work with.  “We are also delighted to be able to apply Passivhaus standards to these builds. We have invested in training out staff in these standards and we look forward to putting that investment into practice.”

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SO Modular invests in new talent after uplift in demand

Timber frame construction specialist SO Modular has created two new jobs on the back of an uplift in demand, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The Neath-based company has brought in two new apprentices and partnered with Cyfle and Neath Port Talbot College to give them a rounded education and ensure they are fully qualified in their respective fields. Joseph Murnane joins us as a Trainee Designer and Harrison Davies as a Trainee QS. The course will mix classroom training with on-the-job experience, learning a number of skills in the process. Harrison Davies, apprentice quantity surveyor, said: “I am delighted to be a part of SO Modular. I am very excited to develop new skills, gain a plethora of knowledge from my colleagues and pursue my desired career in Estimating and Quantity Surveying.” Joseph Murnane, trainee timber frame designer, said: “I am happy to have started work here at SO Modular and I look forward to the challenges that lay ahead. I have already developed more knowledge and skills, including working the software needed for design, during the few weeks that I have been here. I have also learnt a lot about how the structure of timber frame is made. During my first year in college, I thoroughly enjoyed the design module, and this is why I wanted to start an apprenticeship based on design. So far, I have enjoyed the work that I have done at SO Modular.” Charlotte Hale, operations director, SO Modular, said: “We are enjoying a big uplift in demand as we move into 2021 and we are excited to be able to offer young people this opportunity. We look forward to watching our new apprentices grow with our company in 2021 – giving young people a chance is important in these challenging times.”

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