First stilt on the property ladder: Pod maker offers a pioneering solution to Britain's affordable housing shortage... if you don't mind living in a car park

  • A British company has launched the ZEDpod, a £65,000 micro-home that stands on stilts in car parks
  • Housing solution is aimed at key workers such as nurses and teachers who need low-cost homes in towns
  • First pod now stands at Building Research Establishment, Watford, where it will be displayed for two years

Now the first pod has been built at the Building Research Establishment innovation park in Watford, where it will be on display for developers, authorities and potential buyers for two years.

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.

There, the pod will be monitored by experts who will ensure the building - including the solar panels - is working properly.

The pioneering new housing solution is aimed at key workers such as nurses and teachers who need low-cost homes in town centres, where land is scarce or expensive.

“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 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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