This NHBC Foundation guide is a ‘Must Read’ for anyone seriously interested in delivering better quality housing.
The History & Future of Hones
Following the history of homes from Victorian to the digital age, the guide looks at the political and social forces that have influenced the modern home and the way people live, as well as technological changes.
Considering the future of housing, it asks whether demographic changes – such as an ageing population and decreasing family sizes – could trigger new home designs. It also ponders sustainability targets and how much further they will be taken in housing design, and whether higher levels of home automation will become “the norm”.
Reminding us how pivotal events and inspirational people – reformers, planners, architects, designers, technologists and construction teams – have grappled with pressures and constraints to deliver our housing heritage, it also shows how Building Regulations, building standards and warranties, have resulted in modern homes which provide better protection, durability and value..
Financial Advantages – and Caveats
As energy prices have risen, so have the financial benefits of modern homes become increasingly significant. Involving greater use of technology in their design, fabrication, on-site delivery, and occupation, this also presents new challenges in, for example, meeting higher thermal performance, airtightness, and ventilation, in turn demanding increased attention to air quality, humidity, accumulation of pollutants, and plain ‘air freshness’.
Emerging Design Considerations
With Increasing spells of hot weather predicted, care will be needed to ensure that new thermally efficient homes are not predisposed to risk of overheating. Along with Indoor air quality, understanding how people use their new homes, the advice and guidance they need in using new technologies, are priority areas for research and guidance.
Partnering to Avoid Poor Quality
“Britain has insufficient housing and a severe shortage that is going to be with us, at least in the medium term, no matter what is done to boost output. It is important that this does not have an adverse impact on quality.”
However, large numbers of high quality schemes and developments are emerging in our cities, towns and villages, often resulting from new positive partnerships between house builders and Architects. These are contributing to a new and powerful public appreciation of the importance of quality in the built environment.
Designing for Change
Will well designed, stylish and safe homes suited to downsizing or single person occupancy become a more common new house type within 20 years?
Over forthcoming decades and beyond, pressures, particularly arising from demographic and social changes, are likely to have a profound effect on how we design new homes and neighbourhoods. With people spending more time at home, a focus will remain on health and well-being and, in particular, what our homes can do to prolong independent living for older people.
Environmental & Social Impacts
R&D to further reduce the impact of new homes on the environment, perhaps with a move to address embodied energy in the materials used for construction will continue. Socially we may become more aware of the positive impact of design excellence on people and place more value on the contribution good housing plays in achieving social cohesion.
Home buyers must be encouraged to recognise the value of emerging technologies and to engage with them. The clever integration of new technologies within well-designed, pleasing homes which can meet people’s needs efficiently, should continue to remain the aspiration
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