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Zero-carbon homes above car parks the future for housing vulnerable young adults

Posted: 1st September 2022

Zero-carbon modular homes built above public car parks could help thousands of vulnerable young adults live in low-cost, sustainable council housing, while supporting them into work and education, following a successful pilot project in Bristol, a new report shows.

  • 11 zero-carbon modular homes built above car parks have housed young
    homeless adults and those at risk of homelessness and could be a
    blueprint for future developments
  • The Bristol City Council homes cost as little as £370pcm – two thirds
    cheaper than local average
  • Support as part of housing project helped tenants move into work and
  • 104% of the annual energy usage is generated onsite by the roof solar

The ZED PODS zero-operational carbon modular homes were designed and constructed as part of ‘Hope Rise’, a housing project that delivered 11 newly built, one- and two-bedroom homes purpose-built for housing young adults at risk of homelessness.

These unique 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 100 percent of the existing car parking spaces.

The concept of Hope Rise was instigated by Bristol Housing Festival – a five-year initiative to test and deliver innovative housing solutions across the city – in partnership with Bristol City Council. The homes were manufactured by turnkey modular housing company ZED PODS Ltd, while the housing support element was provided by YMCA Bristol. The post-evaluation report was funded by social justice charity Commonweal Housing.

The ZED PODS zero-operational carbon modular homes were constructed in just six months using its proprietary build system, and created homes for young adults identified as being at risk of homelessness.

ZED PODS’s concept of utilising air-rights over an operational car park to ‘increase’ land-supply has proved highly successful at Chalks Road, Bristol where the homes are located.

Research by estate agents Knight Frank shows that as many as 103,000 homes could be built above existing car parking spaces in England, which could hold the key to unlocking tens of thousands of affordable homes for young adults at risk of homelessness, as well as key workers across the country.

Meanwhile, research from national youth homelessness charity Centrepoint has found that almost 122,000 young people in the UK approached their council for help, as they were homeless or at-risk in 2021.

To downloaded the full report click here.