Delivering Design on a Budget with our Panel System.

Delivering Design on a Budget with our Panel System

Modular or offsite construction is an increasingly popular way to deliver building projects rapidly and cost-effectively. This project looked at how a UK architect leveraged modular to design and construct contemporary artist studios on a tight budget.

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The Client Brief

The clients were artists who wanted to add two new studios to their existing Edwardian house property in Lincoln, UK. With a growing family, they needed more space to support their creative practices.

Key requirements were:

Site and Planning Challenges

The architect faced obstacles in gaining planning permission and designing for the site:

  • The site was in a conservation area resistant to contemporary architecture.
  • Significant effort was required to finally gain consent.
  • The awkward angled site bounded by neighbours was very tight.

A traditional masonry build would be difficult and time-consuming on the restricted site. And with the client’s budget, the tender returns for conventional construction were 10-15% over.

Delivering with Modular Construction

The panelised system construction involved manufacturing building components. These prefabricated modules were rapidly assembled onsite.

The architect was introduced to Matrix, a Structure manufacturing firm that can provide a solution.

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System Benefits

  • Rapid erection time – the two-storey structural frame was erected within a week.
  • The prefab nature allowed tight access not possible traditionally.
  • Insulation is included so no additional elements are required.
  • Flexibility to accommodate non-standard angles.

Financial Benefits

  • Delivered the project for less than the lowest tender.
  • Access to financing so that budget-conscious clients could proceed.

The Outcome

  • Clients delighted with the contemporary design and rapid process.
  • The high-quality result on a difficult site is within budget.
  • The architect won over and will use the panel system again.

Key Takeaways

  • Modular construction can deliver quality rapidly and cost-effectively.
  • Works well on complex or awkward sites.
  • Collaboration early between architect and modular firm is key.
  • Financing opens modular benefits to budget-driven clients.


Thoughtfully utilising modular construction enabled the architect to meet the clients’ aspirations within their budget, despite a challenging context. The strategic use of offsite techniques delivered the innovative contemporary design rapidly, cost-effectively, and to a high-quality standard.

This case demonstrates the value of panelised construction for creatively overcoming site and budget constraints to provide design excellence. When implemented strategically, modular building can unlock many possibilities.

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