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Sun June 13 2021

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Urban&Civic selects Top Hat prefabs

11 Jun 20 Start-up modular house-builder Top Hat has been selected by master developer Urban&Civic for a pilot project at its Houlton development in Rugby.

Top Hat prefabricated modular units could be used for build-to-rent properties on Urban&Civic sites.

TopHat boasts that it is “the UK’s leader in technology-driven modular housing manufacturing”.

Founded in 2016, TopHat began production in early 2018 at its factory near Derby but has yet to break into profit. Last year Goldman Sachs took over majority ownership and committed £75m investment to it.

Urban&Civic said: “After extensive research and due diligence, we have agreed in principle to run a pilot construction programme with Top Hat as our modular provider at Houlton.”

It said: “Build to rent affords considerable potential to increase absorption rates without cutting across core private sales.  Modular construction is better suited to the demands of that particular market. 

“We are also exploring cost effective methods of delivering build to rent using more traditional means. We see the two delivery routes as providing more design flexibility and being complementary. 

“Should purchases prove slow to recover post Covid-19, institutional rentals could compensate for any weakened demand for owner occupation.”

Last month Top Hat won a five year contract to supply two- and three-bedroom houses to BoKlok UK, the budget housing joint venture of Skanska and Ikea.

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