Why housebuilding is ripe for disruption

Friday 17th October, 2014 | 8am-9.30am

Vitra Ltd
30 Clerkenwell Rd, London EC1M 5PG

Urban Splash is known as a pioneer of urban regeneration and an advocate for good design. In the 1990s it helped kick-start the loft-living revolution. Two decades on, and it wants to do the same for housing.

Using modular construction methods, the developer’s new house concept aims to increase choice in the new build market by challenging the traditional housebuilder’s business model, which relies on safe “pattern book” designs.

Instead consumers will be able to specify their own house, and choose from a range of sizes, floor plans, finishes, and fitted furniture items.. The first ‘hoUSe” has been designed by ShedKm

Pre-fabricated housing using modular or volumetric construction has been around since the late 1990s, and was pioneered by the Peabody Trust. But despite its many advantages, leading housebuilders continue to favour a site –based approach that’s low on capitalisation and highly responsive to economic downturns.


Tom Bloxham MBE is chairman and founder of award-winning property company Urban Splash, which has received 327 awards to date for architecture, design and business success. The company is responsible for development projects across the country, including Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Bristol and Plymouth.
He is chair of the Manchester International Arts Festival, vice-chancellor of The University of Manchester, and a Trustee of Tate. He was awarded an MBE in 1999 for services to architecture and urban regeneration, and is an honorary fellow of RIBA.
He founded Urban Splash in 1993 with Jonathan Falkingham.