Competition seeks granny annexe on a shoestring

Now in its fifth year, the National Custom & Self Build Association (NaCSBA)’s competition Self Build on a Shoestring is back, searching for unique designs to combat building challenges in the UK.

For 2017, the competition is themed around housing for the elderly, and the winner will receive £5,000 from Grand Designs Live.

In mainland Europe scores of modestly-priced retirement communities have been built by local people who have formed a group, commissioned an architect to produce a design that meets their needs, and then hired a builder. Homes are tailored to each resident’s requirements and the communities encourage interaction, healthier lifestyles and mutual support.

NaCSBA commented that it is “time more projects like that happen in the UK, which is why this year’s competition challenges designers to devise an innovative low cost granny annexe.” The designers also have to demonstrate how 30 of the homes could be grouped together to create an “innovative retirement community.”

The individual homes must be constructed for less than £40,000, alternatively the community of 30 homes as a whole – which must include a range of community facilities – has a maximum budget of £1.5m.

The judging panel for the 2017 competition includes three well-known TV architects – George Clarke, Piers Taylor and Charlie Luxton, plus other design and self-build experts. The winner will be announced at Grand Designs Live at the NEC in October, where the finalists will also be displayed. The deadline for entries is 21 September 2017.

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