Jan Snel modular construction
A previous modular development by Jan Snel, which opened its first UK office in Swansea this month

Modular specialist Jan Snel enters UK market

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Karl Tomusk

Dutch modular specialist Jan Snel has launched in the UK after being acquired by Japanese housebuilder Daiwa House Group.

Jan Snel has opened an office in Swansea and hired Ben Pemberton, former director of Cloud Offsite Construction, as UK manager. The company is now in discussions with the Welsh government about opening a factory in Wales.

Focused on the European market, including the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, Jan Snel was acquired in December by Daiwa House, one of the largest housebuilders in Japan.

The acquisition was part of Daiwa House’s plans to expand its modular construction business beyond its operations in Asia, North America and Australia.

Harry van Zandwijk, CEO of Jan Snel, said: “In the UK – particularly in the social housing sector – there is an urgent need for high-quality accommodation that can be delivered quickly.

“Modular construction is the ideal solution. By opening our UK office, we can meet this need expediently, combining our modular expertise with local market knowledge.”

On the company’s plans to open a factory in Wales, Pemberton said: “We want to bring more jobs to the area and make a positive contribution to the local economy, and we are incredibly excited about what lies ahead.

“Jan Snel’s product is head and shoulders above everything else in the modular market in terms of quality, and I am proud to represent the brand in the UK.”

Jan Snel is already working with Abode Waterstone and housing association Coastal Housing on the Coed Darcy urban village in South Wales. The site, which is part of a wider 4,000 home development, has also attracted other modular construction businesses with Ilke Housing delivering several homes for the scheme.

With modular construction a key and growing part of the UK’s ambition to tackle the housing crisis, new entrants into the market could play an important role in helping the UK reach 300,000 new homes per year.

In 2019, another Japanese housebuilder, Sekisui, entered the UK housing market by acquiring a 35% stake in Urban Splash. Like Daiwa House, Sekisui sees itself as a leader in the modular construction industry. Its entry into the UK market was praised by the government for supporting the “urgent mission” to deliver more homes at pace.

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