With an increased housing demand in the UK, government research indicates that around 200,000 new homes a year should be built to avoid a housing shortage.
There are around 27.8 million residential properties in the UK, with the majority of them constructed before 1990. According to DCLG housing statistics the number of permanent dwellings completed between 1978 and 2015 was around 7.32 million.
The houses we design and build last for decades and are the places we spend most of our time. Our health and wellbeing depends on the quality of the environment we live in, which makes it increasingly important that we consider a number of aspects when either designing new or retrofitting existing residential properties.
Built to address a number of needs, homes accommodate a variety of household and resident types with varying needs, incomes and daily routines. Climate change and changes in the urban environment add an additional layer of complexity when considering resilient home designs. Design strategies used by developers and architects today need to consider both adaptability and performance of the home in the future to deliver a product ‘fit for purpose’.
With new advanced digital performance estimation tools, innovative construction systems, new materials in the market and an increasing understanding of various issues around home construction through research, the building industry today has an inherent advantage compared to the construction industry of the past.
Building homes that consider both the present and the future can be challenging. It is commonly perceived that anything outside business as usual can lead to higher construction costs and delays in the construction process. Even though the learning curve may be steep on occasions, the rewards are not to be underestimated. Investing in robust delivery strategies and QA frameworks up front (streamlined processes) will save construction stakeholders substantial time and cost in the long run as proven by a number of exemplar projects across the country that applied such principles from the start. The process itself will advance in-house knowledge and skills, improve brand reputation and make businesses resilient to future changes in regulations.