BRE Innovation Park showcases ZEDPod micro-home that needs no land

An example of a low-cost pod housing solution that is said to require no land has been erected in the BRE’s Innovation Park.

The ZEDPod, by independent company ZED Pods Ltd, is said to offer an affordable housing solution for towns and cities where land is scarce or expensive, because it designed to sit on an elevated platform above existing outdoor car parks.

The micro-homes are prefabricated and energy efficient, making use of otherwise unused space; all they apparently need is air rights. The pods have been funded via the Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) with the objective of manufacturing and erecting the pods across the UK.

“Zed Pods is a unique solution to the UKs housing crisis. By utilising unused air space above carparks we can provide 1000’s of homes for key workers across the UK,” said Tom Northway, director of ZED Pods Ltd.

Designed by RIBA award-winning zero carbon design and development company, ZEDfactory, ZEDpods are said to offer an affordable starter home for young singles or couples, and a housing solution for key workers, student accommodation and general needs.

With a durable, permanent construction, the pods can be installed as singles or doubles and as a 'community' cluster. The entry level model of the fully installed homes costs just £65,000 and can be bought outright if air rights are signed over or can be installed then let for about £650 a month.

The company has a funding partner that will build, maintain and lease pods back to local authorities and NHS trusts for use as key worker housing in exchange for long term leases for air rights above their car parks. They can also be easily relocated at low cost and with minimal wastage.

Bill Dunster, principal of ZEDfactory, added: "The ZEDpod is an exceptionally cost-effective way of building, and the scope is huge. They can be installed at any large surface car park, such as those owned by local authorities, supermarkets, universities, schools and hospitals, and as all these locations tend to have good transport links, they come with in-built work and leisure accessibility.

"We are very pleased to welcome the ZEDpod to the Innovation Park", added Miles Watkins, BRE Business Development Director "We need to look far beyond the conventional if we are to tackle the UK's housing crisis and this concept is an outstanding example of what can be achieved by thinking creatively."

The ZEDpod is built to extremely high energy-performance standards, far in excess of building regulations, and the external envelope is designed to be around 20 years to first maintenance. With super insulation inside and out, integrated roof-mounted solar panels that charge a battery store, heat recovery ventilation and large triple glazed windows, it has inherently low running costs.

Along with minimal demand for energy and water, by placing a translucent waterproof solar canopy over the space between the homes, ZEDpods also have the potential for zero net annual energy bills and for providing zero emissions electricity to charge points integrated in parking spaces.

Featuring significant daylighting, each pod accommodates a balcony, micro kitchen and dining table, bathroom, sofa space and a mezzanine floor with a desk, double bed and wardrobe. They are constructed off-site and can be erected in a matter of days, and as they do not rely on a centralised factory facility, assembly sheds can be set up locally to meet housing demand whilst creating local employment.

The ZEDpod is sited at the BRE Innovation Park car park, with car park owners encouraged to consider making their air rights available to ZEDpod to help reduce the affordable housing challenges faced by key workers.

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