A new model of modular housing for local authorities and developers

Chapman Taylor's Umbrellahaus model of offsite housing for cities

The debate for local authorities continues on whether to focus on retrofit for older housing or to build new to address the housing crisis and meet net zero goals. Existing housing contributes significantly to carbon emissions but so does the construction process when creating new homes.

Architects Chapman Taylor joined our 'Sustainable Cities' forum this month with West Midlands Combined Authority, Kier Group and planners David Lock Associates, to discuss its approach to meeting the housing crisis and climate change concerns through 'Umbrellahaus UK'

The practice says it has developed a sustainable, affordable, off-site housing model which can be constructed at scale and speed to provide much-needed housing for communities within towns and cities. Modules are scaled for easy transport to site, with off-site construction providing factory conditions and encouraging clean, energy-efficient and accurate assembly. The method of delivery produces high-quality lightweight, versatile construction which can be seamlessly integrated into the existing city fabric. Umbrellahaus housing modules range from one-bed to three-bed family units and provide a choice of homes to reflect peoples' ability to pay and the different stages of their lives. All unit sizes generally follow the London Plan space standards, which can be reduced in size where appropriate to match market demands.

Director Michael Swiszczowski told Future Cities Forum: