Modular homes utilising air rights offer nationwide housing solution for vulnerable young adults – Show House

2022-08-27 02:57:57 By : Ms. Tina Shao

11 zero-carbon modular homes have been built above a public car park in Bristol as part of a pilot project to provide homeless young adults and those at risk of homelessness with housing.

The homes were constructed in just six months by modular housing company, ZED PODS, using its proprietary build system, and are part of the Hope Rise housing project, a five-year initiative to deliver housing solutions across Bristol. The housing support element was provided by YMCA Bristol.

The homes were constructed on an elevated platform above an operational public car park in Bristol, utilising the air rights above to bring forward much-needed council housing, and retaining all of the existing car parking spaces.

Costing just £370pcm, and energy bills averaging £46pcm, the one-bed homes are truly affordable for residents in receipt of the Local Housing Allowance. The average price for a one-bedroom flat in Bristol is £1,084, meaning the modular homes are two-thirds cheaper than existing housing stock. The homes are fitted with the latest renewable technologies such as solar panels, heat pumps and triple-glazed doors and windows, making the homes zero-carbon in operation and substantially reducing energy costs.

Following the success of this multi-award-winning development, ZED PODS’ concept of utilising air rights above public car parks could hold the key to unlocking tens of thousands of affordable homes for young adults at risk of homelessness. Research by estate agents, Knight Frank, shows that as many as 103,000 homes could be built over existing car parks in England, while Centrepoint, a national youth homelessness charity, has found that almost 122,000 young people were homeless or at risk in 2021.

ZED PODS now has a pipeline of around 1200 homes, the majority of which will be for affordable and social housing, earmarked for those at risk of homelessness, households on the housing register, and keyworkers. 

Ellen Grist, research and evaluation lead at Bristol Housing Festival, said: “Innovation is essential as we seek to deliver homes fit for the future to meet Bristol’s housing need. Hope Rise is a truly innovative development that has increased the capability and confidence of the whole supply and demand ecosystem, and the learning in this report has the potential to enhance the design and delivery of hundreds if not thousands of homes.”

Tom Northway, chairman of ZED PODS, said: “We are extremely pleased with the performance of the building during occupancy which has improved the wellbeing of its residents and made a positive impact on the local community. This scheme, designed by our in-house architectural team, and built using our propriety build system, demonstrates how superior energy-efficient affordable homes can be built on constrained infill sites. This is an outstanding result of truly collaborative work which has changed lives of young people.”

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