Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Goldman Sachs-backed modular firm set for build-to-rent job

11 June 2020

Modular builder Top Hat is in line to construct build-to-rent homes for a developer as part of a pilot to use modular construction on a project near Cambridge.

Developer Urban & Civic announced that it may incorporate modular construction into the Waterbeach development three miles from Cambridge Science Park.

Urban & Civic said: “After extensive research and due diligence, we have agreed in principle to run a pilot construction programme with Top Hat as our modular provider at Houlton. Build to rent affords considerable potential to increase absorption rates without cutting across core private sales. 

“Modular construction is better suited to the demands of that particular market.  We are also exploring cost effective methods of delivering build to rent using more traditional means. We see the two delivery routes as providing more design flexibility and being complementary.  Should purchases prove slow to recover post Covid-19, institutional rentals could compensate for any weakened demand for owner occupation.”

Top Hat was recently appointed by BoKlok UK, the offsite housing developer jointly owned by Skanska and Ikea, to build its first UK homes under a five-year contract. Top Hat is backed by investor Goldman Sachs.


We have been working with ESS Modular for 3 years delivering new Modular houses in Ealing and Wolverhampton areas so they are not the first to deliver such projects.
Should you wish any further information please contact myself or Ronan at ESS Modular.

David Morse, 15 June 2020