Six models for modular housing

Modular housing is gaining traction in the UK, with COVID-19 helping to accelerate its adoption.


  • Adam Branson

06 August 2020

Image: Project Etopia

Project Etopia

Founded by Joseph Daniels, Project Etopia is dedicated to building the most environmentally friendly homes possible. The company’s first UK development, Etopia Corby, is under development and will comprise 31 houses and 16 apartments. Completed units were tested recently and came out with an EPC rating of 103 – in other words, they generate more clean energy than they consume.

Ilke Homes

Modular specialist Ilke Homes builds its units in its 250,000 sq ft factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. It has a track record of working in partnerships, most recently announcing a tie-up with Network Rail to build 40 sustainable modular homes on a 2.2 acre brownfield site next to Beeston station in Nottinghamshire.

Apex Airspace

Apex Airspace

Apex Airspace identifies residential blocks and other properties where additional storeys of housing could be added sensibly. The company lobbied hard and was instrumental in getting the government to recognise the concept of airspace development in the National Planning Policy Framework in July 2018. A new permitted development right for upwards development was confirmed in June this year.

L&G Modular Homes

L&G Modular Homes

By 2024, Legal & General Modular Homes hopes that it will be producing 3,000 modular homes a year from its factory in Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire. The business is still scaling up, but as of June 2020 the company had added 350 units to its pipeline since the start of the year. In May, it won planning permission for 154 homes in Selby, North Yorkshire.

Urban Splash

Urban Splash

The creation of House by Urban Splash saw the veteran regeneration developer move into the modular space with a design that can be reconfigured according to needs of buyers. In June last year, Japanese modular giant Sekisui invested £22m of new equity into the business alongside £30m of equity and debt funding from the government’s Home Building Fund.


The Swedish partnership between Ikea and Skanska has already built 12,000 homes across Norway, Sweden and Finland since the early 1990s. In June 2020 it received planning permission for its first site in the UK in Bristol, where it will deliver 173 units as part of a wider pilot scheme for MMC projects.