Rural Studios ‘Credit Crunch House’

Affordable housing is an issue in the UK and the rest of the world, more now than properly ever before due to the current economic climate. The UK is struggling to find a sustainable solution to affordable housing and many schemes like IKEA housing have all been set up to try and resolve the issue. But like many cases before the Americans have designed a solution to help, with the Rural Studios design practice designing a prototype house to help the housing crisis. My initial thoughts on this, is that the UK could learn alot and need to design a prototype design that will help deliver affordable housing to the UK.

‘The Credit Crunch House’1 is how the Americans describe this design as it ‘can be constructed for a mere £13,700’2 , which in the current UK economy is less than the average deposit on a mortgage. Costs this low would allow more people to get their foot on the property ladder and would also increase the amount of people benefiting from building their own home. On the other hand I personally believe this cost is not feasible within the current market and believe the cost of land which is not included in this figure could prove to be an issue and increase costs dramatically.

But I believe this design works predominantly because of the reduced amount of materials and complexity within the design, which effectively reduce the material and labour costs. As the structure also benefits from ‘raised platform foundations which can adapt to different terrains,’3 it also makes it flexible to location, as the house can be built anywhere. I believe these key factors make the design work and also allow the costs to be minimal.

Another issue of this designed prototype is that it’s only a one bedroom dwelling. In the current economy the majority of house buyers will need an extra room to allow a home office or another bedroom. Although I do feel this prototype should be in a series where other specifications are available or adaptable so additional packages could be added at a later date. I do believe though this will create a foundation for affordable housing in the future and the UK should be investing and learning from this idea.

I am looking to complete some further research into affordable housing designs and ideas for my final MA project. I also hope to design a prototype design for affordable / adaptable housing  to support the UK property climate.


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