A look at 'Rooftop Extensions' to create alternative option to solving housing crisis.

Late last month a story was published written by Colin Marrs via the architectsjournal.co.uk exploring the idea of building on top of existing building's to create rooftop extensions, but not to increase the existing building's footprint, but instead to offer further residential dwelling's as a way of easing the current housing shortage in the UK. Earlier in March the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to make it easier to add up to two storeys to an existing building, and also suggested that this could be tied in with the Permitted Development legislation which we blogged about back in February.

When looking at this from a property owners perspective it can often strike fear or even resent in to existing tenants and home owners minds and would more than likely come into refute if proposed. But we fill a proposal like this could be spread further than just considering to install new loft type apartments on to existing residential blocks but also to incorporate them in to commercial premises which can create a vibrant mix across sectors. And their are also the design enhancements these spaces could offer to some of the dilapidated properties across the country. In terms of design though, if the government were to amend the Permitted Development rights and allow a wider approach to extending upwards on properties, the design parameters would need to be extremely tight to ensure that in particular residential massing does not become ruined in area's. A two storey addition to a property would have major implications to a street perspective and the design approach would require extremely careful design consideration to ensure it was to not hinder nor offend other properties.

An idea like this excites us as designer's and could offer a very new approach to the market, and almost a market within itself. Their are already construction firms offering prefabricated loft conversions for the general residential market so could this also lead to a boost to that side of things also? An interesting concept to consider and one that we will be following with close interest.

Portico, The Scots Church Redevelopment; TonkinZulaikhaGreen Architects

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