A car park in Bristol could be the site for the first batch of low energy, high quality, rapid build modular homes in the UK.
The ZED pods development proposes to build 11 homes over the Chalks Road car park, adjacent to St George Park in the city, turning existing land into low carbon affordable housing.
According to the Bristol Housing Festival director Jez Sweetland, the project could be completed by as early as October this year if full planning permission is granted in good time.
‘In the context of the housing needs of the city it is important that we find creative ways to use land to test new ideas that can be scaled up to contribute to meeting our city’s housing needs. We also need to show that this can be done quickly as the existing need creates a demand for urgency,’ he said.
The development would ensure that the space beneath remains available for public parking, as ZED pods are built on top of existing spaces and use the air rights above, which is particularly useful in urban development areas.
The modular homes represent a new way of producing living space, as they are optimised to be highly energy efficient with electricity generated throughout the day via the use of solar panels. Additionally, quiet running heat pumps produce heating whilst using minimal energy and controlled ventilation recovers usable heat from inside the building. Windows are also fitted with triple glazing and LED lighting and energy efficient appliances are used throughout.
The biggest beneficiaries of the development will be young people, as the development will provide much needed affordable housing. Meanwhile, a new community model will be created through a mixture of tenures so that tenants have a network of support in place.
The scheme is truly innovative in its nature and will be the first development of its kind in the UK, maximising the use of current land in prime city centre areas. What’s more, the homes are designed to look attractive whilst being far more energy efficient than the current typical UK household.
ZED Pods Ltd have teamed up with Bristol Housing Festival, a Housing Association based in Bristol, the YMCA, Bristol and Bath Regional Capital and Bristol City Council have all collaborated to help make this project a reality, and ZED Pods design director Bill Dunster says that the project won’t lead to any loss of vital car parking space but will provide genuine community assets that will make a real difference.
‘The proposed development provides an exciting and innovative opportunity to deliver sustainable and affordable housing in Bristol,’ said Amy Hickson, associate director of planning firm Turley.
‘There is a clear need for affordable housing in the city and it is refreshing to see the various partners working together to bring forward a solution to address this issue. The development will create energy efficient homes for young people in need of housing, whilst maintaining the site’s existing use as a car park,’ she added.