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Following a call for applications earlier in the year, the Right to Build Task Force has awarded five organisations free help in the form of tailored expert advice.

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Case Studies

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Steel Farm

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Merlin Haven

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Timber Frame Home, Ventnor

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Aldcliffe Yard, Lancaster

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Walthamstow Social Rent Scheme

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Prefabricated Passivhaus bungalow

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Cookham Dean, Berkshire

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Harvest House

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Bickleigh Eco Village, Devon

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Stoke-on-Trent Serviced Building Plots

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Forevergreen House

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Housing People Building Communities

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Sülzer Freunde, Cologne

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Manor Farm, Kirton

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Straw-baling, Perthshire

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Findhorn

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Almere, Holland

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Hockerton

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Top tips

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Shoestring competition: Top 5

Final five on shortlist for NaCSBA's Starter Home on a Shoestring Competition

10 October 2016

Five talented designers have been shortlisted in 2016’s Self Build on a Shoestring ideas competition. The competition, organised annually by NaCSBA, challenged architects, designers and others to come up with innovative ways of building a low cost Starter Home.

The overall winner will be revealed and presented with their £5,000 prize by TV presenter Charlie Luxton at Grand Designs Live at the NEC on Thursday 20th October.

The Government has recently announced plans to build 200,000 Starter Homes between now and 2020 – available for sale to first time buyers under 40 at a 20% discount to market value, at a maximum price of £250k (or £450k in London) – and it defines a new Starter Home as any property costing less than £250,000 (or £450,000 in London). “We believe it is possible to build a modest new home for much less than this, and the final five shortlisted entries all demonstrate that a modest new Starter Home can be constructed on a self or custom build basis for less than £50,000,” explained NaCSBA chair, Michael Holmes. 

This year's five finalists are:  

Above: Design Research North in Preston. This entry came from the Grenfell-Baines Institute of Architecture at the University of Central Lancashire. Called ‘Half a House’ it involves a contractor constructing a simple three-level front section of a traditional terraced home so a self builder can then easily add to the back, as their family grows. The team behind the design claims the 71 sq m front section can be built for £45.4k. Judge Kevin McCloud said: “This solution made it straight forward for self builders to easily customise the much-loved British terraced house.

 

Above: Newcastle upon Tyne based architects HarperPerry. By encouraging groups of people to build and work together they can save costs on materials, tools and purchasing land. HarperPerry’s approach revolved around helping groups to form up, and then training them to build a simple Starter Home using prefabricated insulated timber structural cassettes that are easily clipped together. The home cost just £37.9k, and a range of alternative layouts and designs were proposed. NaCSBA’s Michael Holmes said: “This entry highlighted the huge savings that are possible if people work collectively.”

 

Above: Essex based Clear Architects. Every year more than 2.5 billion cups are dumped in the UK. This novel entry focused on developing a low-cost panel system to construct the home, with the panels made largely from discarded coffee cups. The architects claim the 71 sq m home can be built for just over £40k. Kevin McCloud described the entry as “radical”, and said it could form the basis of a home that made employed other recycled materials too – for example using old car tyres to form the foundations.

 

Above: Lewis Williams of Davies Sutton Architects from Cardiff. The firm’s ‘M House’ exploits a new cost-effective timber framing system called Tŷ Unnos. Developed in Wales the system consists of a range of innovative timber construction components, designed specifically to make better use of low value home-grown timber. Davies Sutton Architects then used the components to create a series of factory made room-sized modules, and the team estimated its 70 sq m Starter Home would cost just under £50k. Michael Holmes said he was impressed by the detail in the submission, and the fact that several prototype homes had already been constructed.

 

Above: Bristol self-build consultant Ecomotive working with Reading-based Barton Willmore Design. Called 'Modulhus,' this entry consisted of a number of standard modules that could be arranged in a variety of ways to create a standalone home, a terrace or even a low-rise block of flats. The design offered a menu of options; the home could be provided as a bare shell, or it could be fully finished ready to occupy. The standard 66 sq m 'self finish' home would cost £49.6k. Michael Holmes said: "This is a well thought through solution that generates almost endless possibilities for self builders.

For more information on the Shoestring compeition, visit NaCSBA's Website

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