Amazon move a shot in the arm for UK modular housing

Ryan Bembridge

October 11, 2018

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.

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