Self Build on a Shoestring: Shortlist revealed

Five talented designers have been shortlisted in 2016’s Self Build on a Shoestring ideas competition.

The competition is organised annually by NaCSBA. This year it challenged architects, designers and others to come up with innovative ways of building a low cost Starter Home. Click here for more information on 2016’s competition entry details.

The judges include a host of self build celebrities – Kevin McCloud, Charlie Luxton, George Clarke and Gerardine and Wayne Hemingway. RIBA self build champion Luke Tozer is also one of the judges along with Lord Gary Porter, the former leader of the Local Government Association.

The five shortlisted finalists are:

Preston-based Design Research North.

Preston-based Design Research North. 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.

Newcastle upon Tyne based architects Harper Perry.

Newcastle upon Tyne based architects Harper Perry. By encouraging groups of people to build and work together they can save costs on materials, tools and purchasing land. HarperPerrys 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. NaCSBAs Michael Holmes said: This entry highlighted the huge savings that are possible if people work collectively.

Essex-based Clear Architects.

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 estimate 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 could utilise other recycled materials for example using old car tyres to form the foundations.

Lewis Williams of Davies Sutton Architects from Cardiff.

Lewis Williams of Davies Sutton Architects from Cardiff. The firms 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. The team then used the components to create a series of factory made room-sized modules, and 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 buildings had already been constructed.

Bristol self-build consultant Ecomotive working with Reading-based Barton Willmore Design.

Bristol self-build consultant Ecomotive working with Reading-based Barton Willmore Design. Called Modulhus,this entry consisted of a number of standard modules built from low impact materials that could be arranged in a variety of ways to create anecologicalstandalone 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 was awell thought through solution that generates almost endless possibilities for self builders.

The overall winner will be announced at Grand Designs Live on Thursday 20 October.

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