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And so to ZED Dunster holds key to housing crisis

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Bill Dunster Architects is set to reveal its solution to the current housing crisis. To help achieve the largescale house building envisaged by John Prescott's sustainable communities plan, it has adapted the principles of its Stirling Prize-shortlisted BedZED development to ZEDinaBox - a range of standard housing types for use by the volume housebuilders.

Only five per cent of new housing in the UK is currently designed by architects, with most housebuilders relying on standard housing types.

The ZED designs adopt sustainable features that go beyond the minimums set out in the building regulations. But the practice claims the housebuilders will be compensated for the additional cost by the higher densities they will achieve. Eventually, it hopes that, as demand for the range increases, costs will fall and the designs will come to set the industry standard.

Each unit within the three and four-storey developments will have a private garden with conservatories for all family homes. Other features include car pools, local organic food supplies, internet delivery systems, site-based childcare and a communal bar. All bulk material and cladding will be locally sourced where possible for regional variation between the different projects.

Plans for HarrowZED, a second BedZED spin-off by Bill Dunster Architects, is going out to public consultation next month.

The zero fossil energy development on the 1.2ha site of a derelict pen factory in South Harrow is for a new company, ZEDhomes, set up to develop mixed-use ZED communities across the UK.

The project will rely on renewable energy sources provided by wind turbines and solar panels, as well as superinsulation and tripleglazing.There will also be a small business park and community centre set within converted railway arches, a communal orchard, rooftop allotments and a solar-powered electric car pool.

The practice says HarrowZED's aim is 'to show that a step-change reduction in environmental impact produces a higher quality of life for most residents'.

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