It has been a while since I posted my last blog so I thought I should make it a celebration and share some good fortune and interesting developments in trying to nail the housing crisis with bravado and panache!
We have been busy – adorned with spectacular thinking caps honing our Orbital Housing concept. We are selected for the Sunday Times ‘Green and Pleasant’ Home Competition to test-drive our Low-rise High Density Concept to the max. The challenge – simply ‘design a green and pleasant home for the future ‘ – but to a density of 40 Units per hectare which was quite an ask.
I am delighted to inform you that our submission appears to have hit the mark for the judges, and we have been shortlisted amongst another three contestants and the public vote will decide the overall champion. So without appearing too cheeky I would like to walk you through the Orbital Housing Concept in the hope that we might get your vote. My understanding is that there is a chance that the Sunday Times are gifting prizes randomly to voters so you may end up with some goodies – but overall I would very much appreciate your support. I would also be blown away if you might want to pass this blog onto friends and family – lets go viral!
For more information on the Orbital Home please read the following:
The Orbital Living concept is our vision of the family home. We aim to connect the home dweller to the interior and exterior environment in a way that can imaginatively generate new qualities of satisfaction in home ownership that go beyond the financials.
This home is designed to offer a strong connection to nature, with flexible spaces that can adapt to changes in life crucial to enabling a sense of wellbeing whilst extending the life span of the home for the dwellers. This is a responsive, intelligent home that engages with its immediate cluster neighbours and larger communities in green and pleasant surroundings that inhabitants have access to whilst also providing a sense of privacy and escape through the upper floor roof garden and hot tub. It is playful and glamorous in ways we feel are appropriate to today and tomorrow’s dwellers giving them greater autonomy, participation and the benefit of renewable greener technologies and potentially less frequent car dependence whilst not compromising on services to enjoy.
To generate 40 units per hectare the clusters consist of 13 units – a mixture of detached and semi detached sun-catcher houses, set around an Oval hub; in the centre of these houses is a raised area for designated collective use perhaps a swimming pool, playground or allotment – the cluster vote on its use. The hub is a safe leisure area where children and adults can enjoy fun together.
Around the perimeter of the housing we have suggested a single roadway (one way) for car and small van use. We would look to promote cycling by designing in short-cut routes.
In ten years autonomously driven hire cars could replace car ownership. Offering an unmanned ‘taxi’ service where the hire car is an app away to deliver itself to your home for your use. This system reduces parking space quota – giving over area to our ‘Waist-line’ projects – that are business hubs, community/cultural venues, cafes, farmers/growers markets.
Privacy via the ‘sun snood’ that wraps around a sun bathed roof deck also has a rooftop winter garden with green houses to grow fruit and vegetables throughout the year. The luxurious hot tub is plumbed into the district heating system.
The Parking area is kept dry by elevated roof-ringlets that interconnect to form an unbroken wilderness park for upper level inhabitants to enjoy far reaching views whilst aiding conservation.
Between the houses we have installed vertical living walls and the upper concave mirrored flank walls help bounce light and glimpses of nature into the houses and to the passers–by.
Under the wilderness park a series of triangular shaped centres are located at intersections. These could be:
- Co-Working Space – working from home is great but co-working shared office space can include networking and beats loneliness.
- The Unmanned Shop – Click and collect fridges from supermarkets or Amazon pick-up lockers or even automated food dispensers. Neighbourhood deliveries via Drones to roof top terraces would reduce traffic congestion.
- The Playgroup / Crèche – with waistline garden
- The Winter Garden Launderette – hot air from dryers keeping the tropical plants toasty in the winter months.
- Mini Theatre / Multi Use Cultural Space
- The 24/7 Unmanned Gym, Pool & Spa
There might not be the population density to keep these hubs going as a business concern but it could be supported by the community as a social enterprise.Our homes benefit from large under floor storage areas making the house Air BnB ready – helping pay for the dweller’s holidays.
We are aiming to build this detached house as a home manufacturer on a custom build site, so this design should become a reality very soon. It can be built in stages; the first time buyer can purchase the plot and then commission the ground floor as a garden flat.
Later the first floor and roofscape can be lifted into place in three sections. At retirement age the dweller could then move the upper part to a warmer climate perhaps placing it on a floating platform to maximize its potential. Perhaps having split retirement will permit either part as an income generator aiding retirement costs.
We are concerned that the need for 1 million homes will put pressure on agricultural land that is required to provide us with food and bio-fuels. We have designed a housing configuration that can be placed in areas prone to infrequent flooding (say once in 20 years).Community Energy
We are suggesting that refuse trucks are replaced with two large bore underground vacuum pipes. One for general waste to be taken to the district heating system to produce combined heating and power from burning the waste. The second pipe would go to the re-cycling plant to convert waste into building products to manufacture the Orbital House. These plants could be placed next to a large reservoir and the pipes switched from collection waste to pumping floodwater from the estate.
Rapid ConstructionWith a severe skills shortage we must look to off-site construction to assist in delivery of future homes. We have been following developments in heavy lift air-ship design. In our estimation a single airship could lift 10 of our lightweight Orbital houses from say a factory in a forest, this would significantly reduce traffic congestion.
There is a growing selection of building skins available on the market that would result in a rich variety of house aesthetics not dissimilar to Custom Build House delivery.
In the future more people will work from home and through automation work a shorter week – so filling dwell time will need to be an important consideration. By diminishing the status of the bed, the first floor becomes more of a workspace and hobbies area.
In summary we have devised a scheme that is at one with nature; flexible and adaptable; can generate income and is responsive to climate change – with off-site construction we can produce the most beautiful homes at an affordable price.
If you like this concept then please click on the link below and vote for Orbital Living before the 10th September 2017. The Gold Envelope will be opened on the 21-9-17 – so lets make this happen together!
Orbital gets realized…..
Part of the criteria set by the Competition was that the concept had to be buildable and this is where the concept scores very highly. We are so proud to inform you that the Orbital House has been selected by the Graven Hill Village Development Company (GHVDC) to be produced as a one of 11 show homes located within the UK’s Largest Custom Build Site.
The overall site consisting of 1900 plots and so we are aiming to produce 100 dwellings over the next five years as a home manufacturer. Again we would like you to part of the journey, as we are going to raise funds through crowd funding to get the Orbital Show Home Built by Spring next year. This is a major topic and we will be producing another blog shortly describing our venture into this emerging market in the UK. If you would like to invest in this project then we would like to send you in the direction of our crowd funding agency – please click on the link below for financial details of the offer and to sign up for information on when we go live.www.simpleequity.co.uk
Thanks for reading and we will keep you posted on both campaigns over the next 6 weeks.