Understand the Latest News on a UK Modular Tech Business, Bedminster Building Site, Five Cutting-Edge Green Buildings, and Streamline Housebuilding

According to a press release from the company, Modulous, which is based in London and develops software that automates the design, pricing, and programming of modular multifamily projects, has raised $11.5 million as part of its Series A funding in order to further develop both its physical and digital technologies. Meanwhile, the builders have been making the lives of the neighbours a living hell for months, but it appears that the authorities have done little to no enforcement action. Furthermore, in honour of World Green Architectural Week, edie and our innovation partner Springwise have compiled a list of five of the most cutting-edge building innovations from around the world, ranging from a complex of vertical forests to a high-rise clad in solar panels. Moreover, housebuilders are able to fulfil their building goals with the help of project management software, as David Simpson, worldwide product manager for Elecosoft, explains to PBC Today.

UK modular tech business raises $11.5M, names US head

Original Source: UK modular tech firm raises $11.5M, appoints new head of US division

Front-end costs are a major barrier to mainstream modular adoption, says Modulous CEO Chris Bone.

According to an NAHB study of Census Bureau data, only 1% of multifamily structures were erected utilising modular and panelized methods in 2021. The group noted that despite expectations for wider use, penetration is down from 5% in 2011 due to industry restraints.

Two of these obstacles are the high cost of creating modular factories and the difficulty of moving components to job sites. “Modulous’ software lets developers and construction businesses design modular homes without capital-intensive factories, “Bone said.

“Modular delivery is the only solution to tackle the housing crisis, but the upfront capital expenditure has held back the industry’s growth,” Bone added. “We want to show that by working, the sector can move forward with openness and cost certainty at the forefront.”

The Modulous platform automates multifamily design, budgeting, and programming. The firm claimed that means developers, architects, and contractors can price a site and decide if it’s viable within hours.

Using its kit of parts, general contractors may deliver multi-story modular or prefab residential complexes without the use of expensive factories. Instead, Modulous’ supply chain partners deliver subassemblies to contractors for final assembly.


Modulous’ asset-light approach differs from that of bankrupt Menlo Park, California-based offsite construction startup Katerra.

Instead of buying and bringing its supply chain in-house, Modulous exploits existing supply chains and concentrates on establishing a technological platform that enables modular construction by coordinating the work of each partner.

Other modular companies take a similar asset-light approach, like Philadelphia’s Volumetric Building Companies and Assembly OSM.

Gioia: “The U.S. needs more housing, a clear path to net-zero development, and a home-building approach that enhances communities by integrating new construction with the surrounding environment.” Modern construction methods support all three goals by standardising operations to boost manufacturing efficiency.

Modulous investors include SFV, the venture arm of German developer Patrizia, Regal London, a U.K. developer, CEMEX Ventures, the venture arm of construction major CEMEX, and Blackhorn Ventures of Boulder, Colorado.

GroundBreak Ventures of Toronto, Ontario; Goldacre and Leela Capital of the UK also participated.

Bedminster building site objections were ignored by the council

Original Source: Council ‘turning a blind eye’ to complaints about nightmare building site in Bedminster

Neighbours of a ‘horror’ development site in Bedminster say Bristol City Council ignores their complaints.

Residents of Brendon Road and Mascot Road say builders have made their lives miserable for months by using harsh language, damaging trees and garden walls, leaving the street muddy and slippery, and hurling stones at each other and parking cars.

Several residents have complained to the council, but enforcement officers, whose job it is to avoid problems, have taken little action. Councillors questioned the planning department’s “lax attitude.”

Responding to concerns, the site’s developer is selecting a new project manager. Both have committed to handle all issues and mend relations with the surrounding community. A council official refused to say if enforcement agents were investigating or taking action, but claimed they “closely monitor all development sites.”

Speaking at a development control committee last month, Councillor Ed Plowden stated, “For over a year, residents have complained about poor procedures and a lack of respect for neighbours. After six months, the planning enforcement team visited, wrote a letter, and issued a notice, then did nothing. This seems to have encouraged the contractors to work as early as 6am and as late as 10pm, even on bank holiday weekends.

“Children are exposed to bad language and there is a culture of disrespect and aggressive responses to issue-raisers. The site’s administration is so poor that a street confrontation between staff and management broke out, with rocks hurled and the manager driving at workers demanding cash.

Four homes are being built on Brendon Road. The property had been unoccupied for years and was utilised as a builders’ yard before construction began.

76-year-old retiree Peter Wall, 76, lives on Brendon Road near the construction site. He’s had workmen stop in front of his driveway, dust blown into his house and garden without warning, muck piled against his garden wall, threats, and fast food delivered to his door.

He said, “Everything was covered with dust, and we changed our bedsheets.” No one told us. We were meant to be notified of traffic issues, but we never were. No contact information has ever been shown on the gate. They deliver meals. So far, 13 deliveries. A man wanted to transport bricks once.

The council is to blame. This is sad. We understand they’re busy and short-staffed, but with so many complaints, it’s time to investigate this matter. Nobody has done anything. They just ignore everything.

A Mascot Road neighbour who begged not to be named said four enormous trees in the back of his garden were destroyed, with earth piled up inches from the trunks. A damaged and destroyed fence separated the trees from the building site.

He said, “Our biggest priority is tree protection.” We have four big trees in our backyard. A dirt mound is 5 inches from the trees. I think it created long-term harm. The back fence is gone. Our fence was demolished and stolen without authorization. We want things put back.

“I have complained to the council many times.” The enforcement team is a waste. No concerns have been addressed. The builders pay lip service to planning restrictions, and the council ignores them. “The council is letting them off.”

A narrow lane connecting Mascot Road to the building site has been damaged by huge diggers, he claimed. He said developers or builders should pay for a tree surgeon to evaluate the trees in their backyard.

Several neighbours highlighted concerns about safety, harsh language, and poor communication at a residents’ meeting on September 9. Ward Cllrs Ed Plowden and Lisa Stone invited a representative from the council’s planning enforcement division to answer questions, but no one showed up.

A resident added, “We live behind the building site.” It’s been improved. With new contractors. It’s hard for us to talk to anyone about the upheaval in our lives. Horrible swearing lasted months. I spoke to several people who stated they’d talk to them, but nothing has changed. We couldn’t use our garden since the kids heard horrible words.

A resident said, “A building contained chemicals, gas canisters, and other stuff.” I watched a contractor remove gas canisters from the demolition site while smoking. Canisters were housed in garages under tower blocks [Holroyd House, near to the building site]. The council was terrible; it required many attempts to persuade anyone to visit.

Residents described an incident last month when three teenage contractors and a site manager threw stones at each other and damaged cars along Brendon Road. The dispute started when contractors said they weren’t paid.

Bristol City Council didn’t say if enforcement officials were investigating or taking action. A spokeswoman said planning enforcement officials monitor all development sites.

At the community meeting, Cllr Plowden said, “I have some compassion with planning enforcement, since there are practically three of them with an entire city to deal with, it’s quite a challenge.” I don’t think that justifies their laziness, but it explains why they’re not doing their best.

Developer Feng Zhang bought the site in June 2017 and started building soon after. He apologised to nearby residents and stated a new project manager would remove the site and repair garden barriers “as quickly as feasible.”

He apologised to Mascot Road and Brendon Road neighbours in a statement. I spoke with my main contractor about the difficulties since the community meeting; he’s been hospitalised since last Thursday. But we have a new project manager, and we aim to clear the site and install garden walls as quickly as possible.

Five cutting-edge green buildings

Original Source: Five of the world’s most innovative green buildings

The concept of the “concrete jungle” has been popularised by Bob Marley and the Wailers and is featured in novels and films. A 2020 analysis found that man-made materials like concrete currently exceed all biomass on the planet. The difficulty for humanity is that concrete and metal buildings cause urban sprawl and harm the environment.

According to the World Green Building Council (WGBC), 40% of worldwide carbon emissions are from buildings. To reach the IEA’s net zero by 2050 scenario, all new buildings and 20% of the existing building stock must be net zero by 2030. We’re not on schedule to fulfil this target.

World Green Building Week is September 12-16. It’s a WGBC campaign to increase awareness of the need to scale up solutions for low-carbon, highly resilient built environments.

To celebrate, we’ve highlighted three green structures and two sustainable building technologies that show what can be achieved by applying sustainable construction principles.

Australian highrises with solar facades

Australian architecture firm Studio Kennon is creating a solar-powered high-rise in Melbourne.

The building will do this with 1,182 solar panels on its façade and roof. The façade will feature panels made by the German company Avancis that appear like outside building glass. Each glass panel has the same thickness as a normal façade panel, but thin-film solar cells are incorporated into it. Panels range in colour from dark grey to deep blue.

In addition to solar power, solid panels will be utilised on one wall to reduce air conditioning. The finished building will create more renewable energy than it requires and be carbon-negative.

Record-setting all-wood buildings

With cross-laminated timber, timber-framed buildings are having a renaissance (CLT). This engineered wood product is constructed from solid-sawn lumber. By bonding wood at correct angles, CLT may be strong and flexible. The material is gaining popularity among architects since it’s more sustainable than steel, concrete, and glass and offers health benefits.

In 2026, a Swiss project near Zurich will be the world’s highest timber residential structure. The Rocket & Tigerli project will include four buildings and a tall tower.

At 100 metres tall, the skyscraper will set a record for residential timber construction. Timber is a feasible alternative to concrete and steel, even for skyscrapers.

Tiny, self-powered homes of the future

According to the National Association of Realtors, housing shortages in the US are urgent. Since 2001, the research forecasts an “underbuilding gap” of 5.5 to 6.8 million housing units. The shortfall is raising home costs and rental rates.

Cosmic, a San Francisco business that builds tiny houses, is tackling this issue. The company’s founder, Sasha Jokic, thinks these houses can create new rental properties. Cosmic’s energy-efficient homes help cut carbon emissions from the housing industry.

The design’s success is a basic frame with built-in solar power and batteries. Every tiny house has a built-in roof, floor, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The modular design allows for rapid and easy assembly without the need for construction workers. These energy-efficient homes can be powered totally by renewable energy sources.

No energy bills in Britain.

Octopus Energy, the UK’s largest independent energy supplier, teamed with ilke Homes to develop the first homes with zero energy expenses.

It will be the UK’s largest zero-carbon housing development. Two factory-built semi detached homes powered by free, round-the-clock clean energy are being installed to celebrate the cooperation. 101 of the development’s 153 homes will be zero-carbon (meaning they will generate their own clean energy).

The residences will have air source heat pumps, solar panels, and battery storage to regulate energy consumption and guarantee tenants only consume as much as they need. As a result of the development, Ilke Homes will add 3,500 homes. Under ilke ZERO, the business plans to develop 10,000 zero-bills houses by 2030.

Vertical forest in Hubei, China

Stefano Boeri Architetti China finished its first vertical forest in Huanggang, China, this year. The 4.54-hectare complex has five towers, two of which are vertical forests. Open and closed balconies feature 404 trees, 4,620 bushes, and 2,408 square metres of perennial grass, flowers, and climbing plants.

Plantings in the vertical structure not only add to its aesthetic appeal, but also absorb 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide and produce 11 tonnes of oxygen every year. All of the plants were chosen for the local climate and carefully placed. Both forest towers have 209 flats, and tenants have moved in.

According to the architect, the two towers reflect a new manner of development. The elevations incorporate cantilevered pieces to create movement. Open and closed balconies create a “transitional area between nature and the human living environment.”

Using project management software to streamline housebuilding

Original Source: Streamlining housebuilding: Using project management software to meet construction targets

UK homebuilders confront problems. They must manage numerous developments simultaneously while addressing increased lead times and material pricing, getting the correct tradesmen on site, and keeping consumers pleased. The sector isn’t meeting government goals.

In 2021, the government demanded 300,000 new residences but only delivered 181,810. It was the greatest shortfall since 2007. To accomplish future goals, modifications are needed.

House building has a strong local focus, so construction companies naturally organise regionally. Planners use Excel sheets or other tools to plan locally for project management and scheduling. No matter the site, project planning is the same.

Software saves time and shares knowledge.

Planners in different locations can integrate their knowledge, minimise their administrative load, and free up time by employing project management software throughout a national firm. With project management software, you may set up and change project templates to avoid beginning from scratch.

The team will keep track of the project by updating the project planner. This improves visibility and communication with client colleagues and contractors. It might be a baseline for future initiatives or a dispute record.

Bloor Homes, Lovell Partnerships, and Durkan have met their house building targets.

Eighty places, one view

Bloor Homes is the largest family-run housebuilder in England. Bloor staff operate on 80 sites simultaneously. Software was used to keep all of these sites running efficiently and transparently.

The organisation used cheap web- and app-based project management tools. It required specific maintenance and setup for each site, creating extra administrative work.

It sought increased program and process management openness.

Decision makers chose Elecosoft Powerproject after analysing numerous alternatives. Four network licences and 36 standalone licences span seven areas. Site Progress Mobile licences under the Site Progress Mobile module offer site-to-office progress reports from site managers utilising mobile devices around the country.

Bloor’s financial and ERP software requires bespoke integration and tight collaboration.

Bloor’s construction directors, contract managers, and site managers utilise the program to plan and report on projects.

Bloor stated that Site Progress Mobile’s field data collection was a huge time-saver.

Bloor has saved time, enhanced planning efficiency, and improved reporting accuracy since using the software. Bloor’s approach to project management has helped the builder stay on schedule, as indicated by its Home Builders Federation five-star rating in 2021, which recognizes customer happiness and quality.

Awarded to Major Housing Partnership

Morgan Sindall Group’s Lovell Partnerships uses technology to deliver projects more effectively. The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk hired them as housebuilders for a 1,000-home urban extension. Lovell uses Powerproject software to schedule project delivery in phases and track progress from 2014 to 2025.

Orchard Place was a difficult first phase. A lengthy foundation was necessitated by the high water table, tidal deposits, and rich soil. The “Beast from the East” and 2020 Covid-19 delayed progress. The software’s scheduling and management tools helped the team catch up.

Michael Saunders, builder Michael replied, “We can look at the complete project on screen and negotiate resources.” Seeing changes instantly with PowerProject helps you stay focused. Once we knew the cost and duration of groundwork, we altered the delivery sequence to save time. We brought in precast ground beams instead of building them on site.

When COVID safety measures required three daily site cleanings, it was easy to add them to the program templates. When this constraint was lifted, the team used a dynamic scheduling tool to repurpose the time. The project management software makes it easy to discuss schedules with customers in real time, boosting delivery trust.

Software helps teams function swiftly and consistently.

The pandemic disrupted Michael’s team’s supply chain, but software helped. They could filter by contractor and share data with subcontractors using Powerproject. The software also helped Lovell create templates for each style of Orchard Place property. Its staff worked promptly and consistently.

Michael won a gold prize at the 2020 UK Construction Manager of the Year Awards for the first phase of the project, despite unanticipated hurdles.

The East Anglia team aims to use Powerproject for the MHP’s remaining sites. Michael continued, “As a business, we have pleased clients and want to secure comparable contracts.” Our team uses Powerproject. We’ve merely scratched the surface! “

In 139 weeks, Durkan built 354 dwellings.

Durkan also had success with the software.

Two blocks of a 354-home project for Southern Housing Group (SHG) in Ilford were finished early. Patrick Phillips used Powerproject to manage project specifics.

Patrick added, “We used Powerproject to control site access, avoiding periods when traffic was heavy or the road was blocked by supply trucks.” This enhanced local relations because our equipment didn’t block access to surrounding facilities.

Software influenced design and production decisions. Patrick said, “For example, traditional crane-based procedures take 62 weeks.” Slipform allowed us to pour one floor every day, saving 10 weeks. Powerproject accelerated our timeframe. “

Realising software’s potential

Construction is difficult, so project management software may help bring order to chaos. Powerproject by Elecosoft stands out since it was designed for the built environment and can provide both a detailed and high-level perspective. This helps homebuilders finish on time.

Summary of today’s construction news

In today’s construction news, I suppose you have enjoyed reading and understanding the updates we’ve made. In particular, Sam Gioia has been appointed to the position of head of U.S. manufacturing and assembly, with responsibility for coordinating the production and distribution of the company’s modular kit of parts for the construction of multi-family homes in the United States. This round of funding is the most recent indication of investors’ eagerness to back businesses that work to reduce carbon emissions in the building and real estate sectors.

Additionally, Bedminster residents who live near a “horror” building site claim they have been ignored by Bristol City Council. The location is located in Bedminster, between Mascot and Brendon roads. Around the trees in the backyard of a Mascot Road home is a mound of dirt.

In addition to that, Bob Marley and the Wailers helped popularise the idea of the “concrete jungle,” which has since appeared in fiction and cinema. According to a study from the year 2020, man-made materials like concrete already outnumber all biomass on Earth.

Over and above that, the government required 300,000 brand-new houses in 2021, but only 181,810 were built. There hadn’t been such a huge deficit since 2007. Alterations must be made in order to achieve long-term objectives.

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