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Shortlist for £40k self-build contest revealed

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Schemes by architects from Rural Office for Architecture, MSA,  and More Architecture are among those shortlisted in the 2015 National Custom and Self Build Association-run (NaCSBA)‘Self Build on a Shoestring’ competition

Seeing off competition from more than 30 international entries, the five schemes proposed ideas for an ‘ultra-flexible’ starter home which could be built for £40,000.

The competition also required entrants to show how the house could adapt as the household expands over time.

The shortlist

Bauelements by Leila Ferraby


The homes are built using factory-made structurally-insulated panels and the whole house would arrive on the back of a lorry from Germany. The basic module could be made for £40,000 but overtime it could be extended to provide a 210m2 home for £193,000.

Assisted Self Build Flat-Pack House by Matt Jones of M. Jones Architect and Audley English of Build Eco


This 70m2 starter home can grow vertically with modules that can increase it to a two and a half-storey home. The basic single-story house is set to cost £39,700.

Splithouse by Alex Taylor of MSA


This scheme starts as a large 140m2 shell which can be fitted out in stages as the owner needs more space. The basic steel-framed shell with just the ground floor fitted out will cost £39,800.

Suzy’s Beagle by Craig More of More Architecture


This 43m2 single-level flat-pack home requires very little construction skills to assemble and can be built for £39,900.

Flat-pack home by Niall Maxwell of Rural Office for Architecture


Using CNC cutting to form the plywood sections for the roof, walls and floors of this 40m2 home means it can be built with no structural support and for £39,800.

An exhibition of sixteen projects on the competitions long-list will go on display from Thursday (8 October) as part of the Grand Designs Live show at the NEC in Birmingham.

The winner, set to be revealed later this week, will also receive £5,000 in prize money.

Judges include Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, self-build guru Geoff Stow and RIBA self-build committee chair Luke Tozer of Pitman Tozer Architects.

Last year, the prize was picked up by Levitt Bernstein which defeated Mole and John Broome Architects.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • As ever sensitive, inventive ideas... in the world of fantasy unless the cost of land is included.
    Social ownership of land diminishes with every day Camerosborne is in charge, but why is the architectural profession not shouting for making what remains available - local authorities, MoD, NHS you name it - even CofE should feel really guilty banking land (refusing young households affordable dwelling is a more immediate sin than refusing welcome to asylum seekers). And then of course site value rating and any of many other ways of penalising land banking should be at the front of our campaigns before we struggle to slice a further £999.99p of the cost of constructing on it!
    40 years ago I watched site-and-service plots being offered to the homeless in Africa. It's appalling thought, but that is what is called for in Britain today.
    And THEN we'll all realise the wonderful economy (quite apart from the other, social, attractions) of self-build.

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