Amazon’s investment could give the UK sector more confidence in modular housing, says Rory O’Hagan, director at London-based Assael Architecture.
Amazon’s Alexa Fund, alongside Obvious Ventures, have invested £5.14m in prefab housing startup Plant Prefab in the US.
O’Hagan said: “The size and standing of a company like Amazon could help produce the confidence and, most importantly, the scale needed for this build technology to make a more robust contribution to the UK’s housing stock.
“Up till now the sector has been held back by a lack of investment due mainly to high upfront costs and a lack of investor confidence in the technologies ability to deliver.”
There is speculation Amazon’s investment could result in Alexa-powered devices being integrated into homes.
Plant Prefab has pledged to use sustainable construction processes and materials when building single and multifamily properties.
In the UK Legal & General launched a business to deliver modular housing in 2016.
The project, which could supply 3,000 homes a year, has been hit by delays but is thought to be on the verge of launching.