Great design for granny annexes wins Self Build on a Shoestring award

Architecture firm Inglis Badrashi Loddo has won the 2017 Self Build on a Shoestring competition, which this year focused on devising compact, low- cost homes for older people. The firm was awarded the £5,000 prize by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud at Grand Designs Live in October. The competition challenged architects and designers to come up with innovative ways of building a simple, customisable ‘granny annexe’. Entrants also had to show how 30 of the homes could be arranged to create a low-cost mutually-supportive retirement community. The maximum cost of constructing each annexe was £40,000, with the overall 30-home community built for no more than £1.5m. Inglis Badrashi Loddo’s winning entry The Apple Yard arranged the homes around the perimeter with communal facilities, allotments, greenhouses and an orchard in the centre. Each open-plan home has a pyramid shaped roof with one wall fully glazed and overlooking a small private garden. The 42 m2

annexe would cost £39,942 to build, with the entire

community – including all shared communal facilities – costing £1,493,000. The competition’s judging panel was made up of a variety of self-build

and architectural experts, including TV’s George Clarke, Charlie Luxton and Piers Taylor, RIBA self-build champion Luke Tozer and architectural writer Hugh Pearman. Maria Brenton, the driving force behind Older Women’s CoHousing (OWCH) – a community-led retirement scheme in Barnet and the inspiration for this year’s competition – completed the panel. Commenting on their chosen winner, the judges said: “The individual homes are logically planned as one-bedroom flats and the private gardens are a nice touch allowing the option of privacy or communality. The design proved an incredibly cost-effective structure and the open-plan layout makes excellent use of the space.” NaCSBA chair Michael Holmes said: “The ingenious construction system proposed by the winning submission offers

incredible value for money and the range of layout and specification options means the residents can really have a big say in the finish of their homes.”


A new guide on the cost of a self-build project has been published by housebuilder Greencore Construction.

Aimed at helping aspiring self-builders who have already secured a plot of land, the guide sets out the five most important aspects of costing a project, provides a detailed breakdown of costs for a range of house sizes, and gives advice on how to achieve the ‘holy grail’ of cost certainty through good design. It also provides advice on procurement routes and project management, and

on how to prioritise the most important elements of a building within the budgeting process. A chart then provides typical build costs for a high performance, comfortable and sustainable home built to what Greencore says is ‘premium quality’ in the Oxfordshire area.

Ian Pritchett, managing director of Greencore Construction commented: “We often get asked about how much it really costs to build a house. Unfortunately, it’s common practice for many builders to underbid to win a project, but then make their money on costly alterations to the design later in the process.” He continued: “That’s why we are publishing the real costs for everyone to see. Once the design is done we can quote an accurate fixed price, and we strongly believe that having the right design from the beginning is the key to a successful self-build. Cost certainty is what all self-build customers want and deserve.” ‘The trust cost of building a house’ can be downloaded from

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