A regular of this blog recently suggested (in the comments) that I take a look at the London-based design firm ZED Factory. ZED stands for Zero Energy Development.
The first project that caught my attention was ZED Pod. ZED Pod is a small, low cost energy efficient modular home that is designed to sit atop of surface parking lots. In other words, it’s a way to repurpose under-utilized surface parking without compromising existing parking ratios. All you really need are the air rights. And since the “land” is cheaper, the homes can be cheaper. They can also be easily relocated if the parking lot were to get developed in the future (though they are designed as permanent structures).
In some ways, there is something perverse about the way that driving and parking have such a profound impact on the urban landscape. Even when it’s buried underground and hidden from sight, the structural column grid needed to layout efficient parking will often carry up through the building impacting suite layouts. We’ll even restrict housing supply when parking requirements can’t be met. Should it be parking or people who come first?
But cars aren’t going away. And ZED Pod is a clever way of dealing with an existing urban condition – however suboptimal it may be. I found the concept interesting and I thought you all might as well.
Image: ZED Factory