Supporting the change-makers and leading policy experts in the UK custom and self-build sector - including projects to promote the Right to Build register and a major R&D project to digitise custom build.

Liz Male DCB Event 081216 50

The National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA) is the leading lobbying, policy and promotional body for custom and self-build housing in the UK, and aims to increase the number of people able to build or commission their own home.

Right to Build

Following a facilitated workshop with the NaCSBA Board to review its positioning and communications priorities for the years ahead, LMC subsequently worked with NaCSBA and the Right to Build Taskforce to build and launch the Right to Build Portal, providing information for people interested in building their own homes and helping them register interest with their local authority.

We also supported the organisation of a major reception at the House of Commons, hosted by Richard Bacon MP, to increase political and media awareness of the changes. We promoted the portal via PR and social media, and kept it updated with relevant content, including reports, presentations, videos, news and a regular e-newsletter.

Regular reporting to DLUHC by local authorities continues to help drive understanding of the Right to Build legislation. More than 12,000 new individuals signed up to the Right to Build register in 2020/21, but NaCSBA knows that demand in England is actually much higher and it continues to lobby Government for changes to the law to make it easier for people to build their own homes.

Self build website
The Right to Build portal was launched off the back of legislative changes in 2016 which require local authorities in England to maintain a register of people in their area who want to explore custom or self-build, or community-led housing, such as cohousing or Community Land Trusts. People can either sign up as individuals, or as groups of people who want to build together.

Digitising Custom Build

Another LMC project was the Digitising Custom Build initiative - an 18-month, Innovate UK-funded R&D project involving NaCSBA, Stickyworld, HTA Design, Axis Design Architects, Facit Homes, Commusoft and Slider Studio. LMC was the communications partner in the venture, responsible for the engagement and dissemination workstream.

The aim of the Digitising Custom Build project was to create digital tools that allow architects, developers, manufacturers and other housing professionals to engage and empower home buyers while accomplishing custom-build housing at scale. Two of the pioneering products to come out of the project were an interactive House Configurator and a Connected Home User Guide. Much of the work was inspired by practices in Japan and other countries, where there are online platforms where homebuyers manage every aspect of the custom-build process from design to post-handover.

More than 200 people attended the final Digitising Custom Build summit, organised by LMC at the Building Centre in London.

01 HTA Potton House
Slider Studio and HTA created cloud-based house configurators that help custom-build developers and manufacturers present choices to home buyers at the sales and marketing stage. Homebuyers can select a house type of their choice from a digital catalogue and change it on their computer screen to see for themselves how the different options that are available will work for them.
Virtual Reality
DCB project team and Richard Bacon MP 2
Facit Homes Stand
Debate audience
Richard Bacon MP with House Configurator
3 D printing
“The Digitising Custom Build project is improving the customer journey to a brand new, custom built home. Custom build is an emerging industry that provides an enormous opportunity but also presents us with challenges such as how we can involve the customer in the design process. Through the project we aim to address these challenges and to educate the wider audience who might not know what custom build is.”
Leader of the Digitising Custom Build programme

Do you have a project you want to talk to us about?

LMC is a PR and communications consultancy on a mission to help our clients change the construction, property and built environment sectors for the better.

Using our specialist knowledge and skills, we help clients to achieve their change agenda, building their reputation and profile around the topics that matter most.

If you need help to meet your ambitions and make a difference, please get in touch for an informal discussion about how we can help.