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Grand Designs- Inspiring Show, inspiring Concept

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I spend a very enjoyable day at the "Grand Designs" show at Excell centre. I was visiting with the gf and an architect friend who had suggested it. It was an inspiring day out, especially the Grand Village which feature four homes of modular design. Following are the four properties, and some approximate cost figures:


Huf Haus : £1300-1500 per sq.meter


Occupying the centre of the Village will be a HUF house in all its glory. Based on traditional German housing forms and centuries-old construction methods, the HUF HAUS system first came to prominence in the UK on Channel 4’s “Grand Designs” TV series. In order to get an idea of what the HUF HAUS is like to live in, you will be able to tour the house and see for yourself the progression from shell to completed home with some rooms completely finished and furnished, and others providing a blank canvas for your own imagination to run riot


PAD : about £1000 per sq.meter


Also at the heart of the Village will be the first Pad house to be built in the UK. The Pad P4 provides flexible, designer living that truly reflects your lifestyle and tastes and can easily be adapted and reconfigured to meet your ever-changing needs. A fixed core supports individual room modules allowing you to remove and swap room modules around in a matter of hours and without disrupting the rest of the house. You can buy your Pad as an empty shell or choose individual rooms, custom-designed by some of the world’s best electronics and interiors companies, to help you put together a home that completely suits your needs and tastes.


ContainerCity : £20,000 for 400 sq.ft= £xx/sgft = £xx/sq.m


(Container City™ will be part of the Grand Village and will be exhibiting a new live / work unit that is destined for Cove Park artists centre in Scotland)

Flexibility is also a buzz word of Container City. Individual containers can be used as a home office or studio in the garden, or they can be stacked on top of each other to create a larger living or work space up to five storeys high. Made from rust-proof corten steel, they can be clad or painted any colour and come fully insulated. The containers can be customised to include anything from bathrooms and toilets to kitchens and environmentally friendly features can be built in, such as rainwater harvesting and green roofs. Transportation is easy and cost-effective as the containers are designed to go on the back of a lorry.


Cube : £50,000 for 7.0 sq.m : amazing compact design


The micro-compact home, pioneered by Prof. Richard Horden and his team at the Technical University in Munich with Horden Cherry Lee Architects and Haack Hopfner Architects, Munich, is specifically designed for short-stay smart living and is suitable for a variety of locations, providing sophisticated compact accommodation for business or leisure use. It can nest amidst the garden trees and shrubs and integrate in to any landscape. Perfect for a guest-house or “teen- house” it has also been successfully trialled as a solution to student housing. The slick aluminium cuboid pod requires no furniture and comes with completely integrated energy and communication systems. Raised off the ground, it has a minimal impact on its environment and with a substantially reduced building volume there is an effect of creating a greater flow of nature through and around the building.


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GrD. Exhibition website.. : http://www.granddesignslive.com/

Kevin McCloud's website : http://www.kevinmccloud.co.uk/

The £60,000 House........ : Telegraph article on Stephen Stone

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“The Micro Compact Homes take up little space but allow occupants to see a lot of what is around them. Britain is full of huge dwellings that are empty most of the time — I call them ‘sofa garages’ because that seems to be their function. A complete waste of space.” Horden has one on-site in Munich for his own use and is considering building a gold one.


Horden Cherry Lee says it is having serious talks with a private developer to put 50 cubes on a north London site and is also negotiating to build a m-ch village in the Austrian Alps, at a location yet to be determined, for snowboarders. The firm claims to have also attracted interest from five British universities, although they won’t name names.


“The problem is to find the land,” confesses Horden. “Although God knows there is a demand for more efficient land use around the M25, for example.” The cubes are also being marketed for single use in gardens, as “outhouses”, in the garden retreat sense of the term. Each one costs about £50,000, including installation, although this figure can vary depending on location. If demand increases, the price is expected to drop to £20,500.


Haack says the design has borrowed heavily from space-saving technology developed in the car and aviation industries.


...MORE: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,...2206403,00.html

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  • 1 month later...

I like many was inspired by Grand Designs. It lost its way slightly I think and really is struggling to find good quality new builds now. Mostly, I blame the nimby and corrupt planning process that will rubber stamp huge ugly developments after a suitable payoff sorry development tax yet hound the individual over every bit of detail.

I have even bought a suitable brownfield plot of land in order to build my own eco heaven but faced with the reality of actually deciding what I might want to live in I have sat back a little. Probably will be either a remodel of the RuralZed house by Bill Dunster or perhaps something similar in ethos/style.



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CBST sounds good:



To raise awareness and minimise the effects of construction on the Cornish and global environments.

To assist in the provision of sustainable and affordable housing accommodation within the County of Cornwall.

To promote sustainable construction by demonstration to local communities and the construction sector that it can make economic sense.

To promote the advancement of education and learning, including training in skills relevant to securing employment relating to sustainable building.

To preserve, protect and enhance the environment of Cornwall.

To influence the development of affordable housing and brownfield sites to achieve a state where all parties are building towards sustainable development throughout Cornwall

To act as a single source of expert advice for Local and Strategic Planning Authorities and others.

To set up training, research and education programmes in conjunction with the Combined Universities in Cornwall and other deliverers.

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Hi 2112,


Do take a look at some of the pre-fabs, especially Huf-House. There is some beauty and inspiration there.


They are expensive, but I have an architect friend who has designed his own alternaive, based upon their inspiration

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I am told that they are amongst the few designer homes that hold market value rather well

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Huf Haus buildings are works of art and beautifully made but all that effort costs. Prices start at £250k plus land.

There are a number of more mainstream German house builders who use elements of prefabrication now doing business in the UK. My favourite is Weberhaus (www.weberhaus.de - although there is an English site this one gives prices in Euros).


Back to Grand Designs and I hear on the grapevine that Kevin McCloud is going to build his own eco home (or even set of homes) I think somewhere in the East Midlands. I will ask my source for more detail.

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My favourite is Weberhaus (www.weberhaus.de - although there is an English site this one gives prices in Euros).


I checked www.weberhaus.co.uk, I would love to buy a house like this in the UK. Looks so much more like a quality built. Living in the South East though, the challenge is to find a reasonable priced plot. Hss anyone looked into plots in the South East and can give some recommendations ?


I did order the info pack from weberhaus ;)

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