Practical working spaces: the pods come as standard
Ochilview Developments, a fast-growing independent house builder, is offering an additional benefit to buyers looking for flexible working space.
The Falkirk-based company has introduced an innovative “garden pod”, not as an extra, but as part of the specification for The Potteries, its development of three-bedroom detached villas in Larbert.
The self-contained garden structures, which perfectly match the style of the main houses and are built with the same materials, can be used for anything from an office to a games room, home gym, or storage space.
Fibre optic broadband is already offered as standard in Ochilview’s properties, so the pods can enjoy the necessary connection to make them truly practical working spaces. Other IT upgrades can be specified into the mix, depending on the customer’s requirements.
Joint MD Chris Morris co-founded Ochilview Developments in 2016, and the company works in partnership with architecture practice, Arka. Together they saw innovation and identifying trends as a constant business aim. The pandemic has made this foresight even more important in the past year and a half.
“We provide design led, premium quality, top-specification properties,” he explained. “Our homes are very different from a usual new build. The ethos is all about innovation, and using different ideas to meet the needs of modern living today. Working from home, or even having a fully compliant gaming or homework space with all the necessary IT, is part of that. ”
“Arka are fantastic partners, providing us with Scandinavian-influenced homes, which have been very popular with our buyers. They have an open plan feel of being connected to the outdoors, with lots of light flooding in,” he said.
Ochilview began with a one-house development in 2016, going on to deliver a second development of four houses.
“Our third was The Potteries, with eight houses and six apartments. We also had a three-house development, The View, also in Larbert, at the same time. We were definitely developing a distinct housestyle.”
“At The View we offered the pods as an extra,” said Chris. “They were so popular, that we then decided to offer them as part of the spec with the three bedroom villas at The Potteries.”
Mr Morris added that the house builder’s latest development, No1 Old Bellsdyke Road in Larbert, already sold from plan bar two penthouses, is very much a flagship development.
Comprising 25 properties, it offers a mix of one and two-bedroom luxury apartments, together with and three-bedroom duplex penthouses. “It has a really top class spec, with an eye catching exterior design, including balconies and terraces. We are delighted that it’s sold so well from plan,” he said.
Ochilview Developments also wants to ensure that it is embracing energy efficiency, and has given its homes more insulation than the basic requirement. Features such as solar PV panels and smart controls are being built into the spec.
“We plan to look at source heat pumps next, and believe that these will become standard on future projects, “ said Mr Morris. “We try, where possible, to include features such as bike stores. There is a great cycling network in and around Larbert, so it’s good to try and ensure that all developments are linked to this.”
Ochilview Developments plan to take on more sites where they can, extending the firm’s geographical coverage.
“We’ve got lots in the pipeline, and see lots of opportunities out there at the moment, despite the past difficulties of the pandemic. A big demand for new housing remains and it’s probably even stronger than it was pre Covid-19.”
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