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The winning design of a self-build competition has been granted planning approval. The first batch of ‘Barnhous’ self-build homes will be built as prototypes in south Wales.

The houses, designed by architect Ed Green, are built around a steel frame and lined with straw bale insulation. Each would cost £41,000 to build, and require minimal additional labour to construct. Barnhous won the Self-Build on a Shoestring competition last year.

The initial prototypes will be built in the designer’s own country, using local materials and labour. Tenants will have the opportunity to participate in the building process.

Green’s design had to follow the many guidelines of the competition. The design had to cost less than £50,000 to build, come close to reaching passivhaus standards of energy efficiency, and be able to comfortably house a family of four. It had to work on many different sites and allow for numerous external finishes.

Of course, self-build homes represent a very small percentage of the total amount of homes built in the UK, but there are hopes that this share will increase – through schemes such as ‘Right to Build’, where local councils have been given funds to invest in self-build and custom-build projects.

Many self-build projects require assistance from construction companies. Although these projects may not be as lucrative as large-scale housing or infrastructure projects, they bring opportunities to smaller construction companies in particular.

Here at Integrity, we keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the construction industry. With the help of our construction software, you can keep a close eye on job costing and choose the correct jobs for your company.