Leading Airspace Developers Join Forces

Wednesday 2nd June 2021

As the scale of the housing shortage continues to grow, four of the capital’s leading airspace developers have joined forces to launch the Association of Rooftop and Airspace Development (ARAD) to champion the sector and act as a unified voice for developers and associated stakeholders involved in the development of airspace.

Hailed as a game changer for creating new housing, innovative airspace development has vast potential to truly transform parts of London, particularly in the wake of Covid-19 as many reassess existing commercial and retail buildings, which have huge potential to accommodate new residential units on top.

The independent, non-profit organisation will promote learning, innovation and development of good practice, while lobbying for its members’ interests and helping to unlock much needed housing at both a local and national level.

The founding partners are Click Above, Apex Airspace, Fruition Properties and Upspace. Collectively, they have secured and developed numerous airspace homes and have been directly involved with the 2020 Permitted Development for Upwards Extensions, helping to lay the foundations for future growth and innovation.

Airspace and rooftop development refers to the ability to build on top of existing buildings, whether residential, commercial or industrial, to deliver new homes by typically adding one or two storeys. It is particularly effective in densely populated areas and is a sustainable way to meet increasing demand for housing while preserving existing architecture, aligned to ever evolving innovations and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). This means that such developments can now be produced with greater ease, precision and efficiency.

A spokesperson for ARAD, says “Airspace is part of the future of housing – it has vast potential across London and the UK to help unlock much needed homes in a non-invasive way. ARAD aims to bring together organisations who want to and have the expertise to work in airspace – whether investors, architects, developers, local authorities or consultants – to learn from each other and champion airspace so that rooftop development can flourish while maintaining high standards for the betterment of all stakeholders.

Rooftop development is not the same as ground-up development. In order to effectively deliver homes or office space, there are many more pitfalls to overcome, including the legal aspects, fire safety considerations, and resident engagement through to the actual build itself. ARAD will act as a forum to help ensure the sector is better understood and that there is a clear Code of Conduct to ensure that the sector can grow in a professional manner.

In London alone, the Mayor of London’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) has identified the need for 66,000 additional homes per year. However, over the last ten years London has delivered an average of 28,000 new homes per year and between 2018-2019, this figure reached 36,000 – only 55% of the 66,000 needed. Research conducted by global property consultancy Knight Frank has found that as many as 41,000 new dwellings could be built in central London using rooftop development space alone, providing a clear part of the solution to alleviating the housing shortage.

To find out more, please visit ARAD

Latest from Instagram - Follow Us