Housing Developers : How To Unlock Value Through Creativity

– What can housing developers learn from other industries in terms of innovation ?
– Why & how can BIM be adopted by both SME & large developers ?
– How can modular become more widespread ?
These were questions that were answered during this high level panel.

Here are the Key Takeaways from this panel:

Host: James O'Donnell – Senior Structural Engineer, ARUP


1. Giles Carter – Co-Founder & Director of ilke Homes
2. Barry Trout – Chief Operating Officer of U+I Plc
3. Steve Sanham – Managing Director of HUB Group UK
4. Nicole Bremner – Co Founder & Director of East Eight

Takeaway 1: The real estate industry has a big opportunity to learn from other industries. Take Formula One for example. They harness technology in an astonishing way. They set audacious targets and hire the right people that can deliver those goals.They challenge conventional norms and continually improve through targets.
(2:40 mins in)

Takeaway 2: We can learn a lot from modern modular construction methods. These builders are bringing world class manufacturing methods into the construction industry. This is about production, not construction. This technique leads to improvements in both quality and higher levels of  productivity. We are also seeing REAL investment in this area. Look at Katerra as a prime example of a successful modular company. (valued at $4bn)
(4:24 mins in)

Takeaway 3: Small house builders (under 350 units a year) would like to see large house builders and developers trialling and testing technology solutions to ensure viability.
(7 mins in)

Takeaway(s) 4: Building codes and building code practice is outdated. This should be overhauled. James asked a very good question – “How can we learn from sensors and real time data to change how we are building in the future?” Steve thinks we need to look closer at Post Occupancy Evaluations when building schemes, to really see how homes work for people.
(10 mins in)

Takeaway 5: If modular is going to succeed, the governement is going to have to back this technology. The biggest risk now is that if you go with a provider and they cannot complete on a job, no other modular company will want to step into that project.
(11.30 mins in)

Takeaway 6:  Katerra raised $825m – we need to see more of this certainty and security on balance sheets. People will not adopt this technology unless the companies get huge backing and support from the government and relevant associations.
(12:33 mins in)

Takeaway 7: In the day of 'instant writeups' on twitter, tenants should be able to rate their buildings and homes (PRS) in order for landlords and developers to improve on service and design. There should be a 'Trip Advisor' for home rentals.
(16.50 mins)

Takeaway 8: Residential Spacial Optimisers – a good opportunity to use tech to utilise space
(12 mins in)

Takeaway 9: BIM needs to be adopted from the start and should also be utilised as a property management tool
(24.15 mins in)

Be sure to check out our curated list of Modular Housing Developers, from Jitin Mitra

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