In recent years there has been a marked increase in redevelopment of warehouse units and regeneration of former industrial areas especially in London and the South East. Often this means a lengthy planning process as permission is sought by developers to change the use of large commercial buildings to residential.
During the void period such properties left empty are highly vulnerable to unwanted attention from illegal rave organisers, squatters, vandals and arsonists. These threats often result in tens of thousands of pounds in damage caused as well as a raft of other undesirable issues affecting the integrity of the properties and impacting the local community.
To protect their assets and reduce their potential liability against risk property owners have always needed to factor in costly security guarding or physical protection like steel screens which highlights the fact a property is empty. They have not been able to save money on security and empty rates with a property guardian solution as former industrial buildings with large, open spaces do not obviously lend themselves to accommodation.
PGP’s team have come up against this issue many times over the years and as soon as we established our new company one of our first innovations has been to develop Homeshed, a small self-contained apartment that lives inside other buildings, typically larger warehouses.
Version 1.0 of our Homeshed concept was literally born out of a garden shed and launched in January 2017 at a former industrial warehouse unit in Ladbroke Grove. It has been a great success and provides our guardians with much needed and extremely hard to find affordable living space where they can also pursue their creative endeavours, immersing themselves in an environment with like- minded individuals.
The next generation of Homeshed is a simple, modular system that is designed around the needs of the occupant and the setting. Homeshed is designed to be re-configured into different living arrangements. For example, it can be configured into a large room with a bed and an outside porch, or configured into a 2-room space for a bedroom and small office. If desired, it has the ability to turn into slightly larger rooms that can become communal spaces or furniture, dining areas et al. It is the modularity that allows it to adapt to both the inhabitant, interior community and the space that it will occupy whilst allowing for expansion in the future, should the need arise.
Each Homeshed is created from a series of individual modules, there are 2-3 base modules currently. This modules are created separately in the space, and then fitted together afterwards. The aims is to make the construction process easier, as each module can be put together with 2-3 people while limiting the different types of building materials and tools.
The home itself utilises off the shelf materials. The structure uses standard timber lengths, the opaque panels are OSB, and the transparent polycarbonate. The panels can be infilled with recyclable insulation if needed depending on the space. As most elements are standardised, it allows (and perhaps encourages) a bit of tinkering from each individual inhabitant.
Homeshed gives property owners options for occupying more unusual spaces with property guardians and saving on security and holding costs. If you have a site you think could work or would like to know more about Homeshed please get in touch.