Sustainable homes of the future

Six finalists revealed in competition to find 'homes of the future'

Housing minister Christopher Pincher has announced the six finalists in a competition to design the homes of the future.

The Home of 2030 contest has encouraged the best and brightest talents of the housing industry to design environmentally-friendly, age-friendly homes.

A winner will be chosen and, together with other selected finalists, will be introduced to Homes England’ development partners to explore the possibility of developing bids for a series of homes on Homes England land. The six finalists have each received £40,000 of funding to help them create detailed plans.

The six finalists have each received £40,000 of funding to help them create detailed plans.

Who are the six finalists of the Home of 2030 competition?

changebuilding with Perpendicular Architecture, Humblebee, ECOSystems Technologies and Arup — homes that seek to reduce carbon emissions and enables food grown in communal spaces and includes 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 amid walkable, vibrant neighbourhoods (pictured above)
• Openstudio Architects Ltd — 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.

The winning entry will be announced this autumn.

“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,” said Pincher.

“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.”

The announcement follows the recent Planning for the future consultation to reform the planning system. 

The proposals include the government’s commitment to making tree-lined streets the norm, and an ambition that new ‘zero-carbon ready’ homes delivered under the new system will not require any future retrofitting.

“Cutting homeowners’ heating bills and making buildings greener is the next step in our plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and pioneering low-carbon initiatives like these will futureproof our housing stock for years to come,” added minister for clean growth and energy,
Kwasi Kwarteng.

Alan Jones, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, commented that the UK urgently needs a broad mix of affordable, age-friendly and sustainable housing – “and these shortlisted proposals provide exactly that.” 

“Through the clever configuration of private and public space, natural light and ventilation, intelligent use of materials and technologies — these cost-effective, low-carbon homes show what’s possible when architects collaborate.”

Minister for care, Helen Whately, stated that, as the population of the UK ages, housing and infrastructure must be adaptable to changing needs.

“The innovation and talent shown by the finalists in designing solutions to meet the needs of our future population has been very exciting and I look forward to seeing what comes next.”

Home of 2030 applicants had to submit an outline design for homes that:

• are age-friendly and inclusive — appealing to a variety of age groups and adaptable to how needs will change as people become older
• have low environmental impact — applying technology and construction techniques to deliver net zero-carbon emissions
• promote healthy living — encouraging better health and wellbeing, such as through access to green spaces and communal areas
• are deliverable and scalable — homes that can be rolled out across the country.

The government has also announced that warranty providers have agreed to work towards a shared standard for assessing homes built using modern methods of construction (MMC).

Once delivered, the new standard will boost the MMC industry by making it simpler to secure a warranty for these homes. 

Industry research suggests these homes have the potential to be more environmentally sustainable, reducing heating bills by up to 70%.

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