British architect, Bill Dunster has come up with an idea to build affordable homes over existing parking lots. The concept is called ZEDpod, a small, prefabricated, zero-carbon, zero-waste unit that can easily and quickly be installed over existing parking lots. A pair of adjacent parking spaces offer enough space for a single pod (1 room, 22.5 sqm unit), while 2 pairs of parallel and adjacent parking spaces allow for a double pod (2 room, 45 sqm unit). This flexible and modular approach makes it possible to assemble an array of pods and have a pop-up village/community of single room and two bedroom units complete with a roofed, communal outdoor space for residents to enjoy, all within the space of a month or even a weekend, depending on the site.
The ZEDpod is high on water and energy efficiency with rain water harvesting and reuse technology as part of the design and solar photovoltaic panels intergrated into its roof, thereby making it possible to create a solar farm that can generate enough power to operate the homes and charge a range of electric vehicles, like cars, scooters and bikes. The units are intended to be affordable starter homes, for the rental market as well as for young professionals, singles or couples wishing to get onto the property ladder.
The ZEDpod is innovative in both design, function and its development approach. The units are designed to have inherently low, and possibly, no running costs, which in turn would create a housing development with almost no carbon footprint. Also the use of existing parking lots, eliminates the need for land acquisition, while the possibility of an urban solar farm, helps save precious agricultural land. In virtually all facets, the ZEDpod offers a win win for all stakeholders within the housing market.