The UK Government has shortlisted six design teams that will go through to the final stage of a competition to deliver affordable, healthy and eco-friendly ‘homes of the future’, with one team saying it is “on a crusade to abolish identikit development”.
The Home of 2030 competition sought entries from architects and other urban design teams to re-imagine and future-proof residential development to make it fit for 2030 and the decades beyond.
The cross-government initiative was overseen by several UK Government departments – the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department of Health and Social Care.
It aims to encourage the housing industry to design affordable, environmentally friendly homes that help people to lead leading independent, fulfilling lives as our global society ages. The competition attracted more than 200 entries.
The six finalists and their designs are:
- The Positive Collective (changebuilding Perpendicular Architecture & humblebee) with ECOSystems Technologies, COCIS and Arup: Homes that seek to reduce carbon emissions and encourage social interaction, including through food grown in communal spaces and areas such as ponds to promote biodiversity
- HLM Architects with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Green Build: Homes built using interchangeable parts with other homes, creating a circular economy in which little is wasted
- Igloo Regeneration with Useful Projects, Expedition Engineers and Mawson Kerr Architects: Homes with simple frame structures and standardised components set amidst walkable, vibrant neighbourhoods
- Openstudio Architects: Three building elements (a standardised housing module, an open ‘loft’ and a circulation, storage and shared module) are used in combination with three landscape elements – communal green space, small private gardens or upper level balconies and terraces, and front gardens – to create combinations of sustainable, age-friendly spaces.
- Outpost Architects and team: Janus, a home constructed from 98% organic biomass material, primarily timber and straw
- Studio OPEN: Promoting community and caring for others through a central garden shared between four homes that are built with locally sourced materials and timber construction methods to reduce environmental impact.
Igloo Regeneration and its team’s +Home proposal sought to promote community-led and self-build homes that people can design themselves, “instead of standard house designs on boring housing estates”.
Chris Brown, chair of Igloo Regeneration, told media: “We are on a crusade to abolish greed-driven identikit development on soulless estates. We champion citizens and communities against the corporate stranglehold over placemaking in the UK.”
Brown explained: “After Covid-19, people will want their towns and cities back, to make beautiful places where home schooling and working from home is designed in [to the process], not as an afterthought, and where the climate, nature and community are prioritised over profit.”
The homes would be simple to build, with flexible, affordable frames and other structural components, and would be climate-friendly to build and run, with zero upfront and in-use carbon production.
There would also be a focus on “re-wilding” urban neighbourhoods, with the proposed project helping communities to build green, walkable, vibrant neighbourhoods themselves, bypassing traditional housebuilders.
The competition gained further momentum following housing secretary Robert Jenrick’s announcement of proposed reforms to the UK planning system earlier this month, with a particular focus on policies to deliver more tree-lined streets and environmentally sustainable homes across the country.
A winner will be chosen and together with other selected finalists will be introduced to UK government agency Homes England’s development partners to explore the possibility of developing bids for a series of homes on the agency’s land.
The six finalists have each received £40,000 of funding to help them develop detailed plans.
UK housing minister Christopher Pincher said: “This competition demonstrates the best of British design being brought to bear on a key issue for today, and future generations: delivering homes that are good for the planet and that promote healthy, independent living for older generations.
“The winner of this competition will set the standard for the homes of the future and all six finalists have already made an exciting contribution to the designs we will need in the UK and around the world.”