THERE are always opportunities in times of great challenge.

For one innovative Dorset business, the huge overnight growth in working from home because of coronavirus may literally open new doors.

Huub is a new space-creating design concept and looks to have a bright future as more people set up an office at home and fewer families move house, looking instead to make better use of the space they already have.

It also taps into the growing demand for ‘local’ home energy supplies and environmentally sustainable solutions.

Huubs are Dorset-built, state of the art, timber-framed modular buildings, powered by solar energy.

Using CGI technology they are created by the in-house team to almost any bespoke requirement, although there are already a number of off-the-shelf designs.

Huub was founded by Dan Cole and Martin Hawkins around 18 months ago and is a sister firm to WessexECOEnergy which has been providing integrated solar, battery and electric vehicle charging solutions for six years.

Dan and Martin designed and built the groundbreaking White Stones at Portland, an arts cafe and eco studio development for holidaymakers, artists, writers, wellbeing practitioners and entrepreneurs.

It's a new tourist hotspot.

This unique project was the catalyst for establishing the Huub brand and bringing together the building and energy businesses as one.

The events of the past few months and longer term trends have given the company new opportunities and fresh impetus.

Dan said: “The coronavirus pandemic has led to many millions of us working from home in the past few months and that is going to be a long term trend. In fact this has been quietly increasing since the beginning of the 2000s.

“The Huub can provide an attractive, imaginative and cost effective solution and actually produce enough solar energy to provide up to 90% of a home’s energy.”

Another benefit of the Huub approach is it can help to meet the rise in demand for airbnb solutions, generate revenue and reduce electricity costs for the main house, save energy and make money.

Dan added: “Each Huub creates more power than it uses and we believe creating, storing and using your own clean energy is essential in times like these and looking ahead.

“If you build with principles like this, you are working towards a greener future and people are really behind that concept. Everyone is now much more conscious of the environment.

“Also fewer people are moving home and that will almost certainly be the case for the longer term. Looking at the figures for the past two years or so, house sales are down around 50 percent. Homeowners will want renovate, innovate and make more of the space they have.

“Huub is a great way to add an office, gym, studio, gallery or airbnb in your garden or other available space,” said Dan.

“There is a real lifestyle element to what we do and all sorts of possibilities.”

The economics are impressive.

Over 25 years the Huub should provide a full return on investment. If you have rented the room you could get payback in two years.

Huubs can provide an attractive, imaginative and cost effective solution and actually produce enough solar energy to provide up to 90% of a home’s energy, when coupled with a Tesla Powerwall solar storage battery.

As Tesla certified installers, Huub are seeing a huge increase in homes requiring battery storage and power in a power cut.

The environmental credentials are impressive too.

Each Huub can save up to three tonnes of CO2 per year. They are made with low impact products that are both recycled and nature-friendly.

The company has an office in Poundbury but the design and manufacture of the Huubs is carried out at the workshop in Frampton, a few miles away. It’s a real local business.

Each Huub can be installed by the company and the power system connected to the main house in two to five days.

Dan and Martin are looking at other commercial ideas including talking to holiday park and pubs about the Huub concept.

Dan added: “We want to get the word out there because this a brand new, exciting concept and customers don’t know to ask for this locally built, locally designed, super efficient space creator and mini home power station.

“We really want people to see, feel and touch this idea. There is nothing like this in the UK and it ticks so many boxes in this fast changing, more environmentally aware world.”