Transforming how Architects deliver rapid feasibility with Kreo - Studio Anyo’s story

Studio Anyo is a key player in the MMC world, with a strong and growing brand on the MMC market. With MMC being undoubtedly the construction methodology of the future, Anyo Modular’s award-winning team of specialist modular architects are at the forefront of the industry and have delivered some of the country’s biggest MMC schemes, which act as exemplars of modular construction. They also have connections to all of the major consultancies that are working in the MMC world.
James Walsh, Founder of Studio Anyo, speaks to us about his experience of Kreo and working with the team. Historically he was part of the testing process for PRiSM, focussing on optimisation software for MMC, and following an introduction from their relationship with Cast began working with Kreo. As James explains, there's a huge drive for productivity in the marketplace and technology is now a key focus within construction - in contrast to past trends which saw virtually no advances in innovative technology. Studio Anyo’s business plan is to be a leader in MMC and technology integration and they are looking to work with the best on the market in terms of technology and integration, whilst investing significant time and energy into this approach.

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Having been users of Kreo Modular in its early stages, the team are keen to build an affiliate program with Kreo, working in partnership to fully integrate their businesses. Currently using CAD software, Revit and SketchUp, along with some manual work on costings, they are looking to shift to using Kreo as a high-tech one-stop-shop. “When we saw it, it was the first time we saw a route to actually delivering our business plan. So that was very exciting for us. And the front end of Kreo is amazing visually as well”, says James. The initial reason they began working with Kreo was for the Mode Modular platform - an integrated MMC platform - to rapidly move from a feasibility to a fixed price for developers. As James explains, “Normally, as an architect, we have a team of people producing feasibility and cost point for a developer. And the problem is that it takes a long time and a lot of resources, with a huge amount of cost involved. The key USP of Kreo is that it pulls various other consultants out of the equation and we get a rapid feasibility. So somebody can appraise something really quickly, and it makes that flow really smooth.”
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James further elaborates on the traditional process, and how Kreo has impacted on time and value - “In traditional construction you need to get from a conversation with a client to a point where they would be willing to purchase a site, and that's maybe three months to validate the cost and the site, and create the massing. And in Kreo, you're talking about doing that in a day. So there's quite a difference in metrics there between doing a traditional process and what Kreo can achieve, and the value to that is immense. With Kreo, you can do numerous sites with this information-led approach, so it's a far more rapid process and they can do significantly better evaluations of sites much, much quicker. Instead of waiting till you’re absolutely sure then paying a large amount for a consultant team, they can engage much earlier. And it's cheaper, faster, and you can assess many more sites rapidly.”

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In addition to the evident time-saving and reduction of resources needed, there are of course cost savings that come with this approach. From the initial one-week feasibility through to the following 2-3 months of detailed feasibility, the cost could be anywhere from £10,000 to £100,000 to get to pre-app level. With Kreo, James says, “The metrics on a big site could be significant. Kreo condenses that into a day and gives you the base information. Having reviewed everything properly before you start is very beneficial.” 1q
As an Architect, James has found the quality of Kreo’s outputs impressive. “In terms of design for site appraisals, it's pretty close to what we would do. Except there are more options, so it's giving more insight and more potentials. The outputs are pretty much the same, but you've got a cost there straight away, so you’re already ahead and you can evaluate it with cost. You can have that whole conversation on day one.”
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Kreo has also been welcomed by Studio Anyo’s clients, currently including MELT Homes. “With clients it’s very well received. The concept of Kreo is perfect in terms of what it is trying to achieve. We can compress our initial design phase from a week to a day, and the output after a week is better than what we would produce because there's a whole other iterative process that Kreo has done. Plus, there's a cost matrix tied to it. I'd be happy to say it’s better at feasibilities than we are. And the thing is, it can do 30 of them, so you can do a lot more sites rapidly in a very short space of time. That's really what developers need - a consistent metric across all the sites they are evaluating.”

When speaking with developers, James describes the experience of discussing Kreo - “In terms of taking on board technology, it's very easy to sell it to developers. We've done numerous pitches over the last year, and it's a five second sell. There's just a huge value to it. We often use the word ‘optimisation’ when we discuss Kreo. The main discussion tends to be around optimisation of the process and also the combination of the different aspects of the feasibility into one piece of software. That's the beauty of it - the whole consultant team sees everything and works into one piece of optimisation software.” 1-Feb-09-2021-08-53-29-45-PM
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As for James’ experience of working with the Kreo team, he describes the support. “We get immediate assistance, and we get software that is much easier to use. The amount of time it takes for somebody initially picking up the software to producing a feasibility is getting shorter. It's now easy to get somebody else to drop on.”
With constant improvements and enhancements being built into the Kreo platform, and feedback from clients on user interface and feature roadmap, the future looks bright for Kreo and its relationship with Studio Anyo. “In terms of our architectural business, it’s transforming how we work and how we could potentially work in future with our clients - it’s giving us much more interesting conversations and giving us a higher value proposition when we're pitching”, adds James. 

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