PRiSM housing design app by Bryden Wood

PRiSM is a free-to-use application that is open to all, and designed to help solve the shortfall in affordable homes. It is a world first, and has the potential to transform residential design and construction.

We developed the PRiSM housing design app to bring together central and regional government, funders, developers and manufacturers and drive a step change in productivity and quality in homebuilding. We worked in PRiSM with with residential consultancy Cast, supported by the Mayor of London. 

The free, easy-to-use and open-source app combines the Mayor of London’s spatial planning rules with Precision Manufactured Housing (PMH) manufacturers’ expertise to allow architects, local authority planners and developers to determine quickly the viability of developing a site using modern methods of construction (MMC), using multiple permutations of housing type and size. This accelerates the early design phase and allows designers to focus on the quality of the built environment. 

This pioneering app (launched in 2019 with a signifcant new version released in late 2020) 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 2020.

London is the first city in the world to make a freely available app of this kind, at a city-wide level, sharing expertise and using technology to transform the design process and get the city building the homes Londoners need.

The goal of this open source, free-to-use app is to encourage uptake of modern methods of construction (MMC) systems across the construction industry and to show that this type of housing is suitable for many sites across London.

Users experience a rich 3D environment in which to design their housing scheme and can explore numerous data sets about the surrounding area. These include:

  1. Building and neighbourhoods in greater detail
  2. Local amenities
  3. Ecology (location and species of trees) and weather patterns
  4. Road information, transport infrastructure and site accessibility
  5. Land classifications

Understanding of sites’ constraints and restrictions mean better planning for construction and improved intelligence about which manufacturing process might suit councils’, housing associations’ or developers’ requirements. The Prism app is the first step towards a digital planning approach.

PRiSM 2.0 included a much larger number of design and construction systems, including Bryden Wood’s Platforms approach to Design for Manufacture and Assempby (P-DfMA). 

In addition, PRiSM 2.0 offers a large pattern book of housing types and within these, wide design flexibility, such as:

  1. Multiple housing typologies, including mansion blocks
  2. Basement and podium design functionality
  3. Apartment setbacks
  4. Manual core positioning
  5. Visualisation of windows and roofs

Homes built using modern methods of construction can be constructed twice as fast as conventional developments and to higher quality standards. PRiSM will help shape the future of residential construction. 

You will find the PRiSM app here.