Sadiq Khan supports creation of app from Bryden Wood which allows quick feasibility testing of offsite schemes

Off-site construction consultancy Bryden Wood has re-launched an app created alongside the mayor of London aimed at enabling the rapid design of a wave of prefab and modular homes in the capital.

structural insulated panel SIP offsite shutterstock_465609092

The Greater London Authority (GLA) said the freely available “open source” app, called PRiSM, has been updated to harness the latest digital technology and data to help design and build manufactured homes.

Bryden Wood has developed the app, which has already been used extensively by housing association L&Q, in partnership with consultancy Cast and with the support and endorsement of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

PRiSM, launched originally in 2019, is a design tool which works with Building Information Modelling, specifically set up to enable the design of buildings that can be manufactured using forms of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). It incorporates GLA planning rules, enabling developers to very quickly test the viability of designs using different forms of MMC.

The new version provides a fully 3D environment in which buildings can be placed, including greater detail of existing buildings and neighbourhoods, amenities, road information, and even the location and species of trees.

The idea is that this gives designers greater understanding of sites’ constraints and restrictions, which will mean better planning for construction and improved intelligence about which manufacturing process might suit developers’ requirements.

It also includes a greater array of pattern books and housing types, including mansion blocks, offering more design flexibility.

Tom Copley, London’s deputy mayor for housing, said he was delighted to support the launch of the “ground-breaking” PRiSM 2.0. He said: “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.”

Phil Langley, board director at Bryden Wood, said the app could be used by developers to test feasibility, manufacturers to aid design, and councils to standardise their estates. “We know it can be difficult to design and assess the feasibility of delivering new homes using MMC,” he said. “That’s why we developed this free and open-source app to take you from concept to workable MMC design in minutes.”

“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.”