Introducing the World’s First Elevated Home

Introducing the World’s First Elevated Home: Is It the Answer to the UK’s Housing Issues?

While some industries are constantly heralded as holding the keys to a bright and progressive future, others are derided as moribund and increasingly irrelevant in the modern age. Take manufacturing, for example, which despite accounting for 52% of UK exports and generating 2.5 million jobs in the UK is still viewed as a declining entity.

A similar gap between perception and reality is also evident in the construction sector, particularly as the demand for new homes has suffered in line with rising price points. Despite this and the challenges created by Brexit, however, the construction sector actually showcased impressive growth while the Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index increased to a healthy 52.6.

The World’s First Elevated Home, and What Will it Means for the UK?

While supply, demand and determinism shape the robust nature of the construction sector, however, there is another important factor at play. This is innovation, which was in evidence recently as a UK developer applied for planning permission to construct an experimental property that can rise on jacks in the event of a flood.

Although still at the planning and stage, the idea is the subject of both domestic and international patents and it has the potential to revolutionise the property market (particularly in the UK). The structure itself, which will be built in Spalding, Lincolnshire once planning permission has been granted, will sit on a steel ring beam instead of conventional foundations.

It will also boast a modular, steel-frame design that can be easily disassembled at will, while the mechanical jacking system (which includes eight individual jacks) will be powered by a central metre and elevate the property by up to 1.5 metres. According to moderate estimates, this system can fully elevate the property within a period of five minutes, enabling home-owners to react to unexpected flooding and safeguard their home before seeking out temporary accommodation.

Are There Any Potential Issues with the Build, and How Might it Influence the Marketplace?

Aside from planning delays and potential construction issues, there are other issues that may prevent this innovative project from coming to fruition. To begin with, the cost of the build is likely to be high, particularly when you scale the idea and factor in features such as integrated, rooftop solar panels and complex pipe networks. Given the challenges that construction firms face when attempting to budget their working capital across large-scale projects, an inflated cost base could make the completion of multiple units unlikely in the near-term.

With that being said, however, there is no doubt that this ground-breaking concept could have a seminal impact on the housing market in the UK. Not only could it increase the level of demand for property in coastal areas, for example, but it may even enable private sector firms to build on land that is currently inaccessible due to the risk of flooding. With demand currently outstripping supply in the housing market, elevating homes could correct this imbalance and lower price points accordingly.

This is a long way off, of course, and there are many challenges to overcome before the first elevating house can even by built. If the concept is a commercial and theoretical success, however, it could open up more land to construction firms and help to re-establish a viable equilibrium in the property market.




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Introducing the World's First Elevated Home
BDC October 2022 issue - 297

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