The Hope Rise development is built on the principle of a fabric-first approach combined with renewable technologies. Each self-contained home uses solar panels to generate renewable electricity in the day; quiet-running heat pumps; controlled Passive Haus-approved ventilation to remove stale air and recover at least 80% usable heat; and LED lighting. They also have super- insulated walls and roofs, and airtight construction (achieving 1.3 ACH50 pascals test pressure). The building fabric is further optimised using offsite fabrication including the efficient fitting of triple glazing and external walls, ceilings and floors to achieve high level of air tightness and low heat loss. The homes show a 90% improvement over building regulations.
The project achieved a net zero carbon rating in SAP, with as-designed and as-built SAP ratings exceeding 100 (A-rating), and exceeded both the BOPAS and ISO 9001 requirements. All structural walls and components achieve 60-minutes fire ratings and comply with Part B of the building regulations and fire safety plan. Non-combustible fireproof soffit board is also used to prevent fire spreading from a car to the homes.
ZED PODS modular solution decouples land and building costs by building affordable homes on existing car parks, garages and hard standings. The Hope Rise development reduced land cost and meant Bristol City Council still has the option of receiving car park revenue. The early completion of the scheme means that the residents were able to move in quickly saving substantial money for the local authority to house them on alternate accommodations.
Hope Rise has been designed to be inclusive in both its provision of homes for young vulnerable people from all sections of society, as well as improve tenant welfare and create strong neighbourhoods. The way in which these homes were allocated to tenants was fundamental to the vision for this new development, and for Bristol City Council as innovative an approach as the modular construction itself. This was the first time that Council housing in Bristol had been allocated to Community Builders (individuals recruited by the YMCA to a voluntary community-cohesion role). In 2021 several young local people were recruited to stay at Hope Rise and play the role of community builders to help the young residents in areas like team-leadership, communication, problem-solving and taking their first steps into independent living.
ZED PODS is receiving enquiries from Ireland to USA, from European countries to Australia. Following an international Open Call, Hope Rise is among the 17 exemplary sustainable projects selected to feature in Build Better Now, a virtual reality (VR) online exhibition demonstrating the opportunities for tackling the Climate Emergency and limiting the environmental impact of the buildings and cities we inhabit. Build Better Now will act as a global call for climate action and is supported by a coalition of over 100 partner organisations from the built environment industry.
Rapid build process was achieved by undertaking substantial amount of the build in the factory requiring minimal onsite work. The foundations took 4 days, rather than weeks. Steel works for the raised platform was done in only 5 days for this Bristol project. Once the modules were delivered to site, the need for heavy construction vehicles is also minimised, meaning there was little disruption for local people.
The scheme offers almost instant high-quality, ultra-low energy housing without the land and site issues associated with conventional new builds or the onsite disruption. And 100% of the car parking spaces have been retained and can continue to be used by people visiting the nearby park and local shops.
It's worth noting that the Covid-19 pandemic created many barriers to onsite and offsite works. Ground investigations initially had to be postponed as the two person rig did not comply with social distancing. As a result, ZED PODS had to source a single person rig which was more costly, but meant the ground investigations could be complete. The overall cost impact was minor and the benefit of reducing further delays, while operating within the COVID-19 policy, was more beneficial to the project.
ZED PODS led the development project and made sure that contractors were local to the development and shared similar social values.
The BIM-enabled design and MMC processes help reduce human errors at the design stage, minimising any need for rework later on. This design and manufacturing efficiency means the construction time was around 50% faster compared to traditional construction projects, saving weeks of disruption for local community.