Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Sekisui House Enters British Modular Housing Arena

Britain, one of the countries that is embracing modular in a big way with encouragement from their government is about to take a giant leap in how to produce new housing.

Urban Splash modular factory production floor

Developer Sekisui House will use “Japanese expertise” to drive a ten-fold increase in the modular housing output of UK developer Urban Splash, according to the boss of the firm’s UK operation.

Sekisui House production floor

Japanese housing giant Sekisui House took a 35% stake in Urban Splash this year, allowing the Manchester-based developer to continue to develop its modular housing product.

Following the deal – which took 27 months to secure – the Japanese firm established a team of four executives in London which it expects to help boost capacity at the UK firm’s Alfreton factory eventually from 200 homes a year to 2,000.

Sekisui House, which has already built more than 2.4 million homes across the Far East, Australia and the US and has 3,000 architects and 1,000 R&D specialists, has been looking to expand into new markets for some time.

Sekisui House interior 

Sekisui House interior 

The firm was aware of the housing situation in the UK where the government has set the sector a target of delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

While countries like England, Sweden and Poland are quickly becoming the new faces of modular, the United States, a leader in modular construction, seems to be holding back from joining their industry siblings in adopting the newest trends.

Yes, the US is opening more specialized modular factories today than we have in the past 25 years and yes, we are beginning to embrace automation and innovation in those new factories but the majority of those new factories are designed to meet the cookie cutter demands of commercial construction more than single family home construction.

Which brings forth the question of “Why are there few new SFH modular factories being built in the United States, especially East of the Mississippi?


Tom Hardiman said...

Last week you "definitively" laid to rest that the US modular industry would not embrace automation. Now you ask why US modular companies are holding back from adopting the newest trends like these from Sekisui House??? Seems like that automation idea may be creeping a little closer to the US shores this week.

Ned Shay said...

Tom, Coach did not say the US modular industry would not embrace automation. He said automation would stop at the wall panels because everything after that would need to have human attention.