Architecture

ZED Pod would turn parking lots into sustainable communities

ZED Pod would turn parking lot...
Prototype ZED Pods were recently displayed at the EcoBuild green building event in London
Prototype ZED Pods were recently displayed at the EcoBuild green building event in London
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Render depicting the kitchen/seating area of the ZED Pod
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Render depicting the kitchen/seating area of the ZED Pod
The ZED Pod would be prefabricated in a factory and would be installed in "pop-up villages"
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The ZED Pod would be prefabricated in a factory and would be installed in "pop-up villages"
Architectural drawing of the ZED Pod
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Architectural drawing of the ZED Pod
The home is intended as a starter home for professionals
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The home is intended as a starter home for professionals
ZED Pods would be prefabricated in a factory and could be installed within just a weekend
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ZED Pods would be prefabricated in a factory and could be installed within just a weekend
Parking lots take up a lot of space in our towns and cities and perhaps they could be put to better use
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Parking lots take up a lot of space in our towns and cities and perhaps they could be put to better use
The ZED Pod (aka Parking New Home) is a small solar-powered home raised on stilts that would be installed in existing parking areas or garages
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The ZED Pod (aka Parking New Home) is a small solar-powered home raised on stilts that would be installed in existing parking areas or garages
The prototype ZED Pod
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The prototype ZED Pod
Render depicting the interior of the ZED Pod
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Render depicting the interior of the ZED Pod
Prototype ZED Pods were recently displayed at the EcoBuild green building event in London
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Prototype ZED Pods were recently displayed at the EcoBuild green building event in London
The homes would sport solar panels and energy-efficient mechanical heat recovery ventilation units
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The homes would sport solar panels and energy-efficient mechanical heat recovery ventilation units
The homes would feature a shared community space and another nearby raised amenity area
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The homes would feature a shared community space and another nearby raised amenity area
Inside the ZED Pod prototype
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Inside the ZED Pod prototype
Constructing the ZED Pod
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Constructing the ZED Pod
Constructing the ZED Pod
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Constructing the ZED Pod
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Parking lots take up a lot of space in our towns and cities – could they be put to better use while still remaining functional? That's the thinking behind a new project by British architecture firm ZED Factory. Its ZED Pod is a small solar-powered home raised on stilts that would be installed in parking lots to create new sustainable communities.

The prefabricated ZED Pod – or Zero (fossil) Energy Development Pod – would be installed in multiple units on raised structures in single-story car parks, park-and-rides, and the like. The homes would feature a small shared community space and an additional raised amenity area suitable for use as an allotment, for example.

Though we're still awaiting confirmation from ZED Factory concerning their actual size, the interior of the two story homes look very small. The downstairs area contains a lounge/dining space, kitchen and bathroom, while the bedroom and office area are upstairs.

Sustainable tech slated for the ZED Pod includes solar panels, heat recovery ventilation systems, a green roof, composting toilet, and grey water recycling. In addition, ZED Factory reports that excess juice from the solar panels could be used to charge electric vehicles. A typical ZED Pod community could also be erected within a week and, if required, later relocated without too much trouble.

Inside the ZED Pod prototype
Inside the ZED Pod prototype

According to the Daily Mail, each ZED Pod would cost around £60,000 (US$85,931) to install and fetch around £750 ($1,074) per month in rent (including bills). It's difficult to judge how good value for money this would be without knowing exactly where they would be located.

There are some obvious concerns too. The coming and going of drivers could drive occupants to distraction, while so many nearby cars belching out pollution would also be a health concern. In addition, you wouldn't want kids or pets running around a busy car park.

There's also the issue of desirability: the ZED Pod is pitched as a starter home for young professional types, but would such people who have enough money in their pockets to live elsewhere really choose to live in a car park? Perhaps we'll soon find out. The Daily Mail also reports that Oxford Council is currently considering a pilot scheme.

Source: ZED Factory

View gallery - 15 images
4 comments
4 comments
dsiple
They could put these on top of concrete garages and be free from all of the comings and goings of regular traffic. The top floor of the garage would be for tenants.
StephenGexler
It looks like a great idea for maximizing space in crowded cities, but the exhaust and noise from the cars driving in and out of the parking spaces below the houses would be unpleasant (at least to me). However, if electric cars become commonplace in the cities it won't be an issue - in fact, as solar panels improve there may be surplus energy from the house's solar panels to help charge the electric cars below.
Calson
The problem is the car centric transportation system in the USA that consumes more than 75% of the land 100% of the time. We need new light rail systems to replace the city systems that were ripped out by the company formed by General Motors, Standard Oil (now Chevron) and Firestone Tire after World War II. Only in the USA are families forced to own and maintain personal cars at great expense both directly and indirectly through their federal taxes in order to get to work, school, stores, or recreation areas. What has been great for corporate profits as been a disaster for cities and the people overall in the country. Elevated housing over parking lots only subjects people to more noise and particulate pollution.
SciGuy3822
I concur with "dsiple". My first thought was: what enterprise would want to give up any significant percentage of their precious parking space to squatters, (even commerce generating ones), if it encroaches on their customer parking area. The obvious answer seems to be to simply add a second tier of parking dedicated to the 'pod people'. This would serve 2 purposes: 1) keep the lot freed up for customers & patrons, (with a covered lot at that), 2) serve as a noise & pollution buffer for the resident 'podites' living space.
The higher level could possibly be condussive to better air flow allowing the pollutants to dissipate more efficiently.