First Patent Secured for Affordable Housing Garage Conversions


A HOUSE DESIGNER has been awarded a UK patent for its approach to transforming disused garage sites into affordable new homes.

The patent covers HUSK’s solution for the design and build of one and two bedroomed homes on previously undevelopable brownfield sites, using a modular concept.

The firm’s Homes England compliant house type, which meets new National Described Space Standard (NDSS) requirements, could help tackle the UK’s housing shortage.

This concept sees frameworks engineered and built offsite before being erected on site. They are fully finished, kitted out and connected to local services.

Garage refurbishments

Because they are created around existing garage structures, the properties are classed as refurbishments. They are highly energy efficient, using high-performance building materials in their construction. Newcastle-based HUSK is the first to develop the concept and is currently working with a number of social housing providers to bring forward schemes using its method. Several sites, including a project in Peterborough in County Durham, are already under development with several others expected to come on stream soon.

It’s estimated that only 15% of current garage infill sites can be redeveloped using traditional methods. This means that often the only option is to knock down those garages earmarked for demolition, leaving a tract of wasteland.

Awarded by intellectual property specialists IP-Archer, the patent is another step forward in unleashing the potential to transform thousands of sites across the country using the construction approach, according to Russell Edwards, managing director of HUSK.

Affordable housing need

He said: “We are delighted to secure this patent. There’s a huge shortage of decent affordable housing in this country. We believe that innovative approaches such as ours can contribute significantly to meeting the need and creating great places for people to live in and build new communities.

“Our designs take advantage of existing sites that have fallen in to decline. They are intended to make it easier and more cost-effective for developers to deliver environmentally efficient homes with a unique look and contemporary feel.”

The HUSK concept has been developed by Russell Edwards, who also runs Newcastle architectural practice, Edwards Architecture. HUSK utilises the existing garage structure and erects a new part offsite fabricated building within to form a new spacious, efficient and space compliant bungalow.



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