London is one of the most expensive cities in in the world, and the average cost of renting a room in the British capital has reached a whopping £743 ($964) a month, according to a report from SpareRoom.co.uk.
One way to reduce the rent is to become a property guardian. In exchange for an affordable rent, the tenants move into a vacant building and keep the property under observation while their continued occupation discourages squatters from occupying the property. Unfortunately, the vacant buildings can vary hugely in both condition and functioning, and sometimes the sheer size or layout of properties means they are not suitable as accommodation.
Property management company Lowe Guardians wants to tap into these vacant buildings to provide more affordable housing, so they teamed up with Studio Bark to create a modular self-contained pod that can turn vast, open spaces such as derelict warehouses into private rooms.
The 7.5 m2 (807 ft2) pod named SHED takes one day to build. All you need is a mallet and a drill. The intention is for each tenant to build it themselves, and the guardians are also allowed to decorate or change their little home.
The SHED is constructed from affordable, low-impact materials with a mixture of oriented strand board (OSB), lamb’s wool insulation and a small amount of recycled polyester. Despite being a flexible product, the SHED is made of long-lasting, durable materials, and it can be taken down and rebuilt in a different site.
Lowe Guardians believes that its new concept can provide a safe, sustainable alternative for workers seeking short-term accommodation but could also help alleviate homelessness and the refugee crisis.
Each SHED takes one day to construct, and each SHED costs about £5500 (about US$7200) to build, and it will cost £300–400 (US$389–519) to rent one of the pods (all bills included).