Modular construction could be the answer to unlocking undeveloped land with meanwhile projects

Modular construction could be the answer to unlocking undeveloped land with meanwhile projects

There is huge potential waiting to be unlocked in redundant, undeveloped land that could be utilised temporarily with meanwhile projects. The flexibility of modular construction means that the growing demand for temporary accommodation or commercial space can be met temporarily until a permanent role for vacant land is established. 

In London alone there is more than 6,700 acres of undeveloped land, despite having planning permission for homes, offices or shops. Modern methods of construction and the skills to deliver meanwhile schemes are ready and waiting. Getting developers and councils on board to provide access to land is the challenge.  

Designed to be permanently portable, ISO Spaces’ modular buildings are manufactured in a factory-controlled environment by a team of skilled fabricators, ensuring a high-quality finish is achieved without delays from weather or site security issues. Using innovative design and precision engineering, modular units can be manufactured efficiently and effectively in a shorter lead time than traditional methods of construction. 

Because modular builds do not require conventional foundations, they work well on brownfield sites, remote locations, off grid and on sites that would not be suitable for conventional construction.  

Modular builds are extremely flexible and can be configured to make the most of site space and designed to fit in with any existing external aesthetics. Modular buildings have the added benefit of being transportable, meaning land could be occupied on a temporary basis with the option of relocating a project when the land is required back from the owner. This also means the whole development can be reused in a new location without having to demolish or rebuild anything saving energy and resources. 

A huge benefit of modular construction is shorter install times. Depending on the scale of the development modular buildings can be up and running in a matter of hours or within a few weeks for larger scale projects. Reduced time spent on site minimises disruption to the surrounding area as well as reducing construction waste on site. 

There are a multitude of meanwhile projects that modular buildings can be appropriated for to make the most use of unused spaces across the UK. The most prominent being accommodation and commercial space. 

Emergency housing and accommodation schemes

Prefabricated modular housing is growing in popularity across the UK as an alternative, faster method of construction for developers and councils to provide emergency and affordable housing. Maximising the potential of vacant land such as car parks to house people facing homelessness.  

Meanwhile housing schemes are a clever way of using empty sites that have already been identified for new homes in the future and filling a void in the market for short-term renters and start to build a sense of community before permanent homes are built.  

A successful example of modular emergency housing is Hope Gardens delivered by ISO Spaces for QED and Ealing Council. The project consists of 60 fully furnished one, two and three bedroomed container homes, a communal space, an onsite management office, laundry services and refuse storage, providing a sense of community for its new residents. 

Additional university space or accommodation

Modular construction is a suitable solution for proving additional student accommodation for universities. Modular units can be used to create mass accommodation for single occupancy units that consist of a bedroom, kitchenette and bathroom for independent living, or blocks of shared accommodation with communal living spaces and individual bedrooms.   

Office space

Modular offices can provide temporary space for growing business while new offices are built or can be beneficial for companies looking to relocate without being tied to a long lease. Providing office space for local business can also help regenerate disused areas and help build a business hub. A good example of this is Innovation Studios in Watermill Wharf, which was developed in response to Medway Council’s requirements for more enterprise space. The project regenerated a run-down area of Strood, providing a purpose-built space for start-up and burgeoning micro-firms, largely in the digital and technology sectors. 


Modular and offsite construction clearly demonstrate several advantages for delivering meaningful, temporary use of vacant land. Whether more developers and councils harness the potential available for unused and undeveloped land remains to be seen.  

If you are a developer or council with vacant land that you wish to utilise, get in touch with ISO Spaces today:

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