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    Press release - 8 July 2020

    Buyers in Manchester can now design their own home – and this is what they’ll look like

    08 July 2020

    The modern housebuilder House by Urban Splash has launched a first-of-its-kind online tool that allows buyers in Manchester to design their future home to their own specification.

    The tool can be used to create Town House homes at New Islington, a brand new canalside neighbourhood adjacent to Ancoats and the Northern Quarter. All of the homes will come with parking, a private terrace and a communal garden – a new CGI of which has also been released today.

    The House configurator heralds a new era in the way homes are designed and bought, paving the way for Mancunians to design and own their perfect home –something that is usually reserved for those who have the means to self-build.

    House by Urban Splash customers can use the tool to design their dream home at New Islington. They’ll not only be able to choose how they wish to live – for example, by specifying open-plan or sub-divided spaces, as well as select internal and external finishes – but also experiment virtually with different internal layouts and material finishes, moving walls to create different areas and changing the position of kitchens, living spaces and bedrooms. All changes are shown in real-time, helping the customer to visualise and specify the best layout to suit their way of life.

    Communal gardens at New Islington

    Urban Splash residential director Guy Ackernley said: “We launched our first customisable House by Urban Splash homes in Manchester in 2016 – all 43 of them sold out and are now fully occupied, so there was definitely an appetite for this exciting new way to create a home.

    “We’ve since launched further phases at New Islington and now, with this revolutionary, new online tool, buyers can experiment digitally to create a completely bespoke home by the New Islington Marina.

    “Now more than ever, customers are keen to move to a house that can be multi-functional; in recent months our homes have had to transcend their usual role, evolving into social hubs and places of work. The legacy of that will be a keenness amongst customers to create a home that works for them – that’s why this new tool is so important as it passes that power onto buyers.”

    The next-generation design tool is a first for the housing industry – with Mancunians the first in the country who will get to use it. It’s been created the latest gaming and cloud computing technologies, so that buyers can create an immersive, 3D model of their future home.

    The configurator has been designed by Liverpool-based architectural visualisation studio Uniform, as well as digital agency Tokyo Digital and House by Urban Splash brand partner Smiling Wolf. The team has used innovative pixel streaming technology that until now, has been employed by car manufacturers for its customers to virtually build their own cars, but has never before been used in the homes market. This latest technology allows for a much more detailed experience, without slowing down buyers’ computers, meaning that it is compatible with all home devices, including tablets and mobile phones through a standard web browser, and is therefore accessible and inclusive to everyone.

    The tool launches at a time when property tech and remote sales tools have never been more important for the home buyer, and underpins the wider Urban Splash desire to always push boundaries within in the residential property market; it begins with their family homes, Town House, and will roll out across the whole product portfolio within the next year to incorporate smaller and larger homes, plus apartments.

    House by Urban Splash is a joint venture between Urban Splash, Homes England and Sekisui House – one of the world’s leading housebuilders specialising in modern methods of construction and factory built sustainable homes.

    House by Urban Splash configurator

    Jonathan Falkingham MBE at House by Urban Splash, and co-founder of Urban Splash added: “Having been at the vanguard of design for the past three decades, we have now invested in this new technology to help usher in a new era in housebuilding.

    “An innovative application of technology is more crucial than ever before, with customers conducting more interactions online – particularly in the past six months. With our new configurator, we hope that customers will increasingly approach their homebuying journey in the same way, allowing them to make crucial decisions about how their new home will feel, look and function.

    “A new first point of contact for House customers, our configurator perfectly aligns with the broader journey in which we use modern methods of construction to build high quality homes with a short build time. These new ways of working will play a huge role in our industry moving forward, and I hope that they raise the bar – opening the door to increased customer choice and great design.”

    Uniform creative director Nick Bentley said: “By leveraging the latest gaming and cloud computing technologies, we have been able to bring about the best home configuration experience to every user, on any device. The end-user doesn’t need a high-end computer, creating an accessible solution for affordable housing. In the same way that new technologies such as Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud will redefine the way we play games online over the next decade, we at Uniform believe that this technology will change the way homes are configurated and as a result, marketed and purchased.”

    George Clarke, architect, TV presenter, and shareholder in House by Urban Splash concludes: “I’m hugely passionate about raising the standard of homes in Manchester – and across the UK – through modern methods of construction. House is leading the change and I hope that many customers will join us as we explore a new way of doing things – and make great design the norm in UK housebuilding.”

    For more information, or to view the online design tool, visit housebyurbansplash.co.uk.