Housing Regeneration with Husk

The concept of HUSK is to redefine and redesign, re-use and revitalise. We want to take something of apparently little value and create something special, something else.

What was the challenge?

Across the UK a number of old garage sites are currently undevelopable using current available methods. They have close overlooking distances, sub ground issues and a small footprint size. Often the only other option is to knock the garages down creating a patch of no man’s land.

Garage sites usually generate little revenue for local authorities and as they tend to be situated in established residential areas, and can cause issues with antisocial behaviour. They are generally used as storage and not for parking cars.

What did we do?

Mears worked with HUSK to redefine and redesign, re-use and revitalise existing garage infill sites. Working together we took garages, which appeared of little value and created a range of house types, which were all compliant to the Homes England new NDSS requirements. The contemporary bungalows were constructed off-site, providing a full turnkey solution. The majority of garage sites within the project were undevelopable using current available methods, but through using the existing garage structure we were able to overcome overlooking distances and planning was relaxed on right to light policy and overshadowing. The developments were classed as refurbishment, which avoids party wall complications and the existing slab, which was designed for vehicular loads, offered the perfect base for a home.

What were the outcomes?

Five garage sites have now been developed into high specification, affordable housing units. Designed by the HUSK team, the buildings are thermally efficient, light, airy and airtight. As the units were constructed offsite, they were designed to easily withstand the delivery process and have been fully co-ordinated using the Buildings Information Modelling process, or BIM.

The properties were developed for the over 55’s community, offering affordable housing in a secured shared court. The brownfield sites now offer innovative, sustainable housing in an established residential area, and meet NPPF guidance.

My friend told me about these new bungalows but at first, I thought they were private homes - I couldn’t believe they were affordable housing. I know I have only lived here for a month but I feel it has already changed my life.

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