UK Housing First for Bristol
A UK first took place in a car park in Bristol on Friday as 11 innovative zero carbon ZED PODS apartments were craned into place. The development, designed by award-winning modular housing company ZED PODS Ltd, will see the one and two bed apartments built on a podium above the car park in Chalks Road, St George.
This ground-breaking development is being delivered in partnership with Bristol City Council, Bristol Housing Festival, YMCA and Bristol and Bath Regional Capital.
The factory-built modular units can be erected within days and are designed to be zero carbon, energy neutral and have the lowest possible running costs. Each unit is precision-made in a factory environment to high environmental standards and comes with full BOPAS (Build off-site Property Assurance Scheme) accreditation.
Because the development takes advantage of the air rights above a council owned car park, the land cost has been removed thus making the development extremely affordable. This is also the first 100 per cent socially rented development of its kind in the country.
This environmental and socially focused development will deliver necessary council housing in St George for young people in need of affordable housing and those at risk of housing crisis, including NHS workers.
Bristol City Council, who purchased the ZED PODS development, is now working with YMCA Bristol to seek tenants.
ZED PODS Operations Director Dr Rehan Khodabuccus said: “We wanted to address key worker and affordable housing issues without compromising on our values of sustainability and quality. We are very pleased that Bristol City Council has had the foresight to partner with us direct and are so enthusiastic about the potential for more developments like this. We have very much enjoyed working hand in hand with them to create what we hope will be a significant solution to the housing crisis and welcome their open mindedness about innovations such as these.”
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “I am really pleased to see this development come to fruition. It’s an exciting and yet practical approach to addressing some of the housing challenges we have in the city and I hope we can see more of these sort of projects delivered in the near future. We have to be thinking creatively about how we best use the space we have in the city and not keep pushing people further and further out because they can’t afford city house prices.”
Jez Sweetland, Bristol Housing Festival Project Director, said: “This was one of the projects that came about as a result of our five year Bristol Housing Festival that started in 2018 which is all about trying out new ideas and re-imagining better ways to live in our cities. Our aim has always been to deliver tangible projects and so I am thrilled that the ZED PODS project is now actually a reality and that there are other projects in the pipeline.”
Ben Silvey, YMCA, added: “This development provides much needed affordable housing in St George for young people and we want to make sure we create a community here. That’s why we are now taking applications for four ‘community builders’ to move in when the site is ready in November. These will effectively be super tenants who are being asked to unite residents and encouraging them to get involved in their community.”