The Building Blocks of Affordable Housing

The HOW Social Construct team set ourselves a challenge to develop a product which would drive cost efficiencies for developers, managers and occupants of affordable housing communities whilst improving the amenity of both private and common spaces.

In collaboration with our much-valued design partner Anthony Nolan of Kennedy Associates Architects, our aspiration is to set a new standard for affordable housing by leveraging the modular design and construction process. This would allow us to introduce features, points of quality and benefits which would otherwise be beyond the economic scope of traditional affordable housing models.

It is estimated that the designed model can be manufactured, shipped and constructed in approximately 9 months, 50% faster than traditional construction methods.

To improve production economies, several standard floor plans were designed which could be used in combination which would allow for unit standardisation. These economies allow us to procure higher quality fixtures and fittings and incorporate other efficiency features.

External views


To improve living affordability, we have designed our homes to be energy efficient, with significantly reduced energy consumption. The homes’ high thermal performance allows them to be heated and cooled efficiently without allowing energy to be lost through poor performing structural elements. We are also utilising enhanced sealing and insulation methods and doubling glazing, resulting in a minimum 8 Star NatHERS efficiency rating.

Internal views of Living room  – Dining – Kitchen

Several other energy cost efficiency innovations are also envisaged to be incorporated into the base building, including a 20kw photovoltaic system to supplement an embedded energy network, as well as a heat recovery hot water heating system, which uses 75% less energy than traditional hot water heating systems.

Together the energy efficiency innovations are expected to reduce energy costs for the building and its occupants by between 60% – 70%.

Rooftop Terrace Concept

The project incorporates both ground floor and rooftop gardens and shared living spaces, designed to promote community connection. Five ground floor, single bedroom apartments have been incorporated to provide homes for the growing ‘women over 55 (with K9 companions)’ sector who struggle to find affordable accommodation in the private rental market.

Internal Panorama

At HOW Social Construct, our purpose is to design and build communities where people have a place.

For more information, please call our office on (02)8004 2222, Matt Daly on 0417 526 352, or George Nori on 0411 216 849

or email