In order to assist the city of London and encourage constructions after Covid-19, the Mayor of London, with tech-led design practice Bryden Wood and leading residential consultancy Cast, have launched a new version of the housing design app PRiSM. Using the latest digital technology and data to help design and build manufactured homes, the freely available application will allow users to share expertise and use technology to transform the design process and get the city building the homes Londoners need.
Available at a city-wide level, PRiSM “is the latest development in London’s homebuilding strategy and the next step towards the technology and training that City Hall’s Covid-19 Housing Delivery Taskforce called for in July”. London, the first city in the world to make a freely available app of this kind, is hoping through this technology to encourage modern methods of construction systems. Originally developed in 2019, in collaboration with the Mayor of London and residential consultancy, Cast, the app will also help develop a certain type of housing suitable for many sites across London. In fact, L&Q, the leading charitable housing association, residential developer, and co-founder of PRiSM 1.0, has been using the app in-house for the last year.
The Mayor and I are determined to harness the latest technology to build the homes that Londoners need, so I’m delighted to support the launch of PRiSM 2.0. The app is a ground-breaking solution to housing design which will help encourage the use of new modern methods of construction across the capital. This open-source programme shows the huge potential of digital innovation in housing and can play a key role in getting our city building again, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. -- Tom Copley, London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development.
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The first step towards a digital planning approach, the new features allow users to design their housing scheme in a 3D environment. Moreover, it introduces details in building and neighborhoods, local amenities, ecology (location and species of trees) and weather patterns, road information, transport infrastructure, and site accessibility as well as land classifications. Moreover, PRiSM 2.0 offers now a larger pattern book of housing types such as new typologies, including mansion blocks, basement, and podium design functionality, apartment setbacks, manual core positioning, and visualization of windows and roofs.
The audience for the app is very broad. Developers are using it to assess initial feasibility of PMH for their sites. Designers are using it to understand the potential for manufacturing systems. Manufacturers are exploring it as a design tool. And local authorities are applying it to standardise their estates. We designed the app with collaboration front of mind – so it’s really simple for multiple users to share and revisit designs again and again. -- Phil Langley, Board Director, Bryden Wood.
Combining the Mayor of London’s spatial planning rules with housing manufacturers’ expertise, the design app will “allow architects, planners, and developers to assess very quickly the viability of developing a site for modern methods of construction, using multiple permutations of housing type and size”. Finally, “homes built using modern methods of construction can be constructed twice as fast as conventional developments and to higher quality standards”.
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