03 Nov 2017

Self-Build on a Shoestring winner offers affordable route to housing delivery for downsizing

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Self-Build on a Shoestring winner offers affordable route to housing delivery for downsizing

The winner of the National Custom and Self Build Association’s (NaCSBA) 2017 Self-Build on a Shoestring competition offers an affordable route to housing delivery for older generations.

This year, NaCSBA encouraged designers from the UK and further afield to create a budget, flat-pack housing solution that was suitable for retirees. The designs could be erected singularly, or built together as a community of homes.

Inglis Badrashi Loddo was awarded the £5,000 prize for The Apple Yard, an innovative scheme based around a 42m² offsite home. Costing just £39,942 per unit, that can be dropped into the typical suburban garden. It’s been designed to be an annex that can lawfully be occupied by any member or dependent of the main household, under the rules of permitted development.

The designers of the scheme, London architect Inglis Badrashi Loddo, created a community concept for the design; a 30-home retirement village with shared facilities, estimated to cost as little as £1,493,000 to build.

Taking this route, an older couple could downsize to an annex in their garden, allowing the next generation to move into the family home. They could also opt to rent their family home to boost their retirement income, or move into a self-build annex in the garden of one of their children. The judges felt that its flexibility and cost effective design made The Apple Yard stand out, giving it the winning edge.

The six finalists included Grow House by Gavin Watts and Ashley Taylor, Clover Meadow by Richard Bassett of London-based architects, LSI and Green House by Darran Levins, Charlotte Schurenkramer and Graeme Doctor of London architectural firm, 318 Studio.

Speaking about the design, Architectural Designer and judge Charlie Luxton said: “For many older people loneliness is a real issue, and it can have a huge impact on someone’s quality of life.

“The Apple Yard design overcomes this by positively encouraging interaction between the residents – in the communal garden and orchard, the greenhouses and allotments and in the communal facilities where there is a shared laundry, guest bedrooms and a generous community room.”

apple yard inside

Interior of The Apple Yard

Limited homes supply

This concept is particularly interesting, following new research from Demos into how the supply of housing for older generations is being stilted by planning charges and affordable housing contributions imposed on retirement property developers.

“A shortage of even greater magnitude is now being experienced among older people, a large proportion of whom cannot find suitable homes to downsize into.

There is a dearth of specialist retirement housing, so hundreds of thousands of older people are stuck in unsuitable homes, which has a negative impact on their health. This is also stagnating the housing market by thwarting growing families (and, in turn, first and second time buyers) from moving up the housing ladder.”

Unlocking the housing market, DEMOS

Words: Jen Grimble

Editor’s comment

Opening up the downsizing market holds the key to unlocking the frozen family home market, as currently there is very little choice for older generations and last-time buyers. Consequently, older generations are staying in family homes far longer than they should, paying to maintain unsuitable, labour-intensive homes where the space is often under utilised. 

Custom build really has massive potential to satisfying this older market, who want smaller, more-efficient homes, but often with generous proportions, quality design or community elements that offer support as they get older.

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