The aim of the app is to help developers and others evaluate options for factory-built homes for specific sites.
The Prism housing design app has been developed by design practice Bryden Wood, building on work by building consultant Cast and in collaboration with the Mayor of London’s office.
It is a response to a call from the London Assembly planning committee in 2017 for better design guidance to enable the wider adoption of manufactured homes to speed up supply.
The app therefore combines the Mayor of London’s spatial planning rules with modular housing manufacturers’ expertise to allow architects, local authority planners and developers to determine viable options for their site.
The development of the app was funded by the Greater London Authority as well as Transport for London, housing association L&Q, and private investor-developers Legal & General and Greystar.
The developers hope that by open sourcing the app, it will encourage collaboration, leading to it being further developed by designers.
Bryden Wood architecture director Jami Cresser-Brown said: “Technology has revolutionised so many sectors from finance to automotive and it is time for the construction sector to do the same. This is the only way that we will be able to meet demand for housing and other social infrastructure. The scale of the challenge is so great that we will only succeed if we work together. We have deliberately opted to make this app open-sourced so that anyone can play a role in the design process and its next stages of innovation.”
Cast chief executive Mark Farmer added: “Modernisation of London’s construction industry is vital if it is to overcome growing challenges in terms of lack of resourcing, skills & training, diversity and poor build quality. This app will enable designers to concentrate on aesthetic quality and placemaking, whilst allowing greater consideration of manufactured building systems and components that can make the homebuilding process more productive and predictable, delivering better outcomes for London.”