Aviva invests in TopHat’s low carbon modular housing

Aviva’s in-house capital unit  is investing into TopHat, a business manufacturing low carbon modular homes. Aviva Capital Partners’ £20 million capital funding will support TopHat’s new production facility in Corby which will be Europe’s largest modular housing factory. Persimmon and Goldman Sachs Asset Management have also contributed to the £70 million fund raising.

TopHat’s low-carbon homes

The new factory, which will operate from 2024, will be capable of manufacturing 4,000 new ultra low carbon homes a year and will also create 1,000 new jobs.

“Aviva is using its financial strength to invest in the sustainable infrastructure and real estate which are central to the UK’s net zero transition”, said John Cummins, CEO, Aviva Capital Partners. “TopHat is a pioneer of low-carbon and this investment will make sustainable housing more widely available, making a difference to communities and providing a retirement income for our customers”.

The construction of a TopHat home emits only 12% of the carbon compared to building a traditional home of the same size. Air source heat pumps and high specification insulation ensure the houses are low-carbon, energy efficient and affordable to run.

In 2025 compliance with the UK Government’s Future Homes Standard will become mandatory, to ensure that new homes will produce 75-80% less carbon emissions that homes built under current regulations. Reducing the UK housing stock’s operational emissions is also vital for the UK to meet its legally binding net-zero targets. Energy use in homes currently makes up 22% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, more than double the amount from agriculture, and nearly as much as all transport emissions.

“TopHat takes an innovative approach to house-building which marks a step change for the future of housing”, said Jordan Rosenhaus, Founder & CEO, TopHat. “It has been clear for some time that designing and building green, beautiful homes in factories is a critical part of solving the housing crisis. Aviva’s investment will enable TopHat to reach the scale where the new generation of modular homes will be available to everyone”.

TopHat is a privately owned business, founded in 2016, which has become one of the UK’s leading 3D modular housebuilders. The current factory at Foston, in Derby, employs 300 people and can produce two new homes per day. The new 650,000 sq ft factory, which will be built to BREEAM Excellent standard, will be able to produce 16 new houses a day.