Modular airspace living to help solve the London housing shortage

The recent BBC One programme Inside Out London that aired on 26th February, talked about how London residents are benefitting from rooftop residential construction. This is by no means a new concept, countries such as the United States have been practicing this for some time in overcrowded cities like New York.

London as we know is one of the busiest and best cities in the world, and the population is expanding at a rapid rate. Solutions are being sought by developers and one is looking at how existing residential and commercial buildings can be developed upwards to add valuable living space to the City.

So, what is modular airspace living? In a nutshell it involves taking an existing flat roofed building and adding new residential living on top of it using offsite modular construction methods.

Affordable homes and rent levels are currently at their capacity and this new injection of living space should help ease this burden currently faced by Londoners. Existing council and housing association blocks, retail stores and private freeholds are benefitting from much-needed facelifts and improvements to their insulation as well as their communal areas.

Our sister company, BRCS Building Control Ltd, has been working with First Penthouse Ltd, a multi-award-winning rooftop development company that turns under-utilised rooftop spaces into valuable assets with minimal disruption to existing occupiers.

 ‘Airspace living is revolutionising the high-end residential market. New homes can be built on Commercial and Listed Buildings and we are thrilled to have worked with First Penthouse Ltd acting as their Approved Inspector on a number of schemes to create luxury apartments in London.’

Managing Director, BRCS, Simon Polley

 “We often get contacted by property owners with planning for roof extensions where Part B has not been looked at in enough detail. This always has implications on the approved layouts.”

Design Manager, First Penthouse Ltd, Annika Olsson

So, what is involved? Firstly, planning permission is sought and then homes are built in a factory in a warm and controlled environment where there are no weather disruptions. This cost- effective solution minimises the disruptive elements of traditional building work especially when space and traffic are an issue. The modular homes are then built in the factory by an experienced team. Once the modules are ready, they are transported to site and craned up on the prepared roof. If the modules are properly designed, a flat can be installed in one day and completed in 1-3 weeks.

BRCS are an Approved Inspector consultancy providing building control services to clients throughout the UK. To find out about how BRCS can help you with your Building Control requirements visit their website


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