An Irish-Estonian housing partnership seeks to solve the housing crisis in Ireland

The Estonian building configuration startup, Creatomus, is partnering with the Irish automated housing-plan platform Opoplan, to help solve the urgent housing crisis in the Emerald Isle.

The partnership, called “Archi – Tech Pathfinder,” will offer technology-based solutions for building modular houses and follow on with a future supply chain management platform. 

According to the partnership, Ireland has been experiencing an ongoing homelessness situation. “The huge shortage in supply versus demand for housing has led to an upsurge in the situation. The root cause of this has been the broken housing system, as there isn’t enough of affordable public housing,” the companies said in a statement.

“Public social housing is a safety net for families and individuals pushed out of the private rental market due to the high cost of renting or lack of housing. Over the past ten years, housing prices have risen by over 80% throughout Ireland because little accommodation is being built.”

Houses in Dublin, Ireland. The image is illustrative. Photo by Devin McGloin/Unsplash.

The firms said a slow, manual process of building and design as well as the banks’ reluctance to offer loans out to builders makes the crisis worse – in 2019, a new social housing fell way short of the target set out by the Ireland’s government.

Shortening the planning time

Creatomus and Opoplan said they aim to “help provide a workable solution to the situation”. 

Creatomus’s proprietary technology is an online pulpit that offers multiple design features to present building plans for mass customised modular housing.

“Homebuyers can pick and choose from a set of predefined options. This speeds up the design and development process time for residential and commercial buildings,” Karin Kiviste, the company’s business development manager, said, adding their contactless solution was fully operational in today’s environment of working and living remotely.

Karin Kiviste, Creatomus’s business development manager and Renee Puusepp, the company’s head of product and project management, in Tallinn. Photo by Creatomus.

Opoplan, an Irish start-up, is offering online design service for new homes in Ireland and, similarly to Creatomus, its service and platform enable to shorten the planning time in the housing industry.

A result of a trade mission

The collaboration of Creatomus and Opoplan came as a result of a trade mission to Ireland in 2019 when eight Estonian architects met with the Irish government agencies, the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, Irish architects and local companies working with architectural technology and design. Subsequently, the alliance of Opoplan, led by the Irish architect, Brian O’Brien, and Creatomus Solutions was established.

Karin Kiviste (right), Creatomus’s business development manager and Renee Puusepp (left), the company’s head of product and project management, in Tallinn. Photo by Creatomus.

Kiviste said Creatomus would provide a “cost-saving” and “time-saving” solution at the time of planning, “helping to foster a quicker process of housing supply” against the much-needed demand in the Irish market.

“By collaborating with Opoplan, Creatomus has access to the knowledge of Irish architects that will design according to Irish construction law, allowing an uncomplicated entry to the Irish market,” Kiviste said.

Cover: The town of Cobh in Ireland. The image is illustrative. Photo by Jason Murphy/Unsplash.

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