Sustainable New Housing

David McMahon discusses the Future Homes initiative to pioneer a sustainable new housing model.

We’re delighted to be part of the Future Homes working partnership which is lead by Newcastle University and also comprises Tyneside based organisations including Isos Housing, Newcastle City Council, Ryder Architecture, and Zero Carbon Futures who are developing new prototype housing models and standards that are sustainable, resource efficient, intelligent and desirable.

The project will be developed in two phases with an initial small scale development of four residential properties and phase 2 will bring a more ambitious 60 home development in the residential quarter of the Newcastle Science City site.  Newcastle City Council’s Science Central development framework promotes comprehensive development of the site as designated in the core strategy and urban core plan for 2010-2030.

Current proposals for the site developed as part of the overall masterplan and vision for the Science Central development have been based on design parameters which target a narrow segment of the potential market.

The future vision will be to work with specialists in a variety of fields to adopt universal design principles to deliver sustainable communities which meet the needs and aspirations of a much wider target audience.  These homes are flexible and adaptable providing the long life, loose fit, low energy homes of the future, which will be key to delivering the quantum and quality of new homes needed.

The programme is being driven by community engagement, something Ryder are also passionate about, and will focus on observations, data and feedback from residents before roll out commences in 2018.  The Newcastle Elders Council have worked with the team closely and have been a lead organisation in informing and developing the Future Homes initiative specifically addressing and championing the design of environments for older people. The organisation, who are challenging the less ambitious proposals for the residential property on the site, has a regular place in the steering group.

Our long term target is to put in place a viable cost effective model with any profits being used by the social enterprise to promote and improve the model across communities.

The project will disrupt the mainstream approach to sustainable and long term housing models by placing the community at the heart of developments to promote inclusivity and removing the stigma attached to housing for older people.  Through creating mixed tenure, cross generational living developments will help remove community barriers and promote inclusivity in society.

As with most pioneering new projects, funding will be key to the success of this project.  However, as a team we have witnessed a large element of goodwill and political backing for providing homes that offer wider suitability for a cross section of residents with a greater range of needs.  If we continue to collaborate, improved models will undoubtedly benefit everyone.

Related Articles

AllGo Update

David McMahon shares an update on the AllGo concept for flexible room design.

Design Practice Research

Between 2013 and 2017, Dr Mark Green undertook doctoral research into the impact of new design practices on organisations.

Social Housing Scheme

Designs by Ryder are set to transform an inflexible 1960s residential block into a rejuvenated urban hub.