Building Live: Investor’s housing boss Ian Eggers looking for potential clients and professional partners

Investment giant Legal & General has begun searching for potential partners to deliver its 3,000 unit a year factory-built home plans, the investor’s modular housing delivery boss Ian Eggers has said.

Speaking at Building’s BIM Show Live conference in London this morning, Eggers said: “We are looking for clients and professional partners. Lots of people are knocking down our door already.”

Legal & General plunged into the offsite housing market in spring this year, after purchasing a 13-acre warehouse in Yorkshire (pictured) that it is now busy transforming into a giant housing factory.

It also recruited Eggers - a former Mace director who led the company’s early work on the Shard - to lead on delivery.

Eggers said the firm has installed 10 production lines and up to £60m of manufacturing equipment in the facility.

He also confirmed that the first prototype homes – made of cross-laminated timber sections ready-to-assemble on site like giant pieces of Ikea furniture – would be produced by the end of the year, or by early next year.

Legal & General will target the build to rent and housing association markets, but its ambitions extend beyond this, Eggers said, to “hotels and student accommodation – basically anything with a bed”.

Eggers said the key thing the client was looking for from potential partners was “cost surety”, as well as efficiency, so the firm could concentrate “more time up front on designing”.

He said working for such a large client – Legal & General is one of the UK’s largest investors – would help him deliver improvements through the supply chain, including on BIM.

He said: “For the first time in 30 years I’m working in a client organisation. Design is integral. I’ve got the whip hand and I’m going to change a few things.

“BIM is part of that process. Without it, how do I start manufacturing?”