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British housing slammed as “cramped and poorly planned” | Online News | Building

RIBA and Ipsos MORI report into public attitudes highlights dissatisfaction with space

Much of British housing is “cramped and poorly planned”, the chief executive of Ipsos MORI has said after new research on public attitudes was published by the organisation and partner the RIBA.

The RIBA Ipsos MORI report ‘The Way we live now: What people need and expect from their homes’ – the first of its kind for over 50 years – examined the needs and expectations people have for their homes, how they use the space in their homes and how they choose a new property.

It will be used as evidence by the Future Homes Commission, a national inquiry established by the RIBA which is developing recommendations for how houses should be designed and delivered in future.

More storage space was highlighted as a need when choosing a home, as was better-designed space and more flexible layouts.

The report found examples such as individuals storing their vacuum cleaner at their mother’s house and supermarket food kept in the boot of the car.

The report said the desire to get on the housing ladder was a major cause of such scenarios, with people choosing homes that are too small for their needs.

Chief executive of Ipsos MORI, Ben Page said: “The research graphically shows just how cramped and poorly planned much of our housing is today, and the extraordinary lengths people go to cope with it. RIBA is absolutely right to draw attention to it.”

The two organisations said the report proved that consumers wanted the establishment of an “independent, cross-professional body to regulate the quality of, and provide free information about new-build homes” and “free information” to help homeowners compare issues such as noise, light, safety and environmental performance.

But policy director at the Home Builders Federation, John Slaughter, said further regulation would be a “backwards step” and questioned Page’s comments.

“It is surprising that the monitoring company employed to carry out an independent survey is making such value judgements on the results,” he said.

“The survey looks at a range of types and ages of housing to reach its conclusions, but the fact is that the new homes industry is already delivering outstanding levels of customer satisfaction with 9 out of 10 consumers saying they would recommend their builder to a friend.

“While we are always looking at ways to improve new housing it is important to understand the constraints on delivery – something the report fails to do.

“For instance, the recommendation to set up a further ‘regulatory body’ at a time when it is recognised that red tape is restricting housing construction and failing consumers is a backward step and reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the house building process.”

Harry Rich, RIBA chief executive said: “Until today there has been no evidence base that sets out how we are living now and what we want from our homes. This new research provides important evidence on which we can base some changes to the way our homes are designed, delivered, marketed and sold to us.”

According to the report, the eight key features that people need and want from their homes today are:

1.  Long-term and short-term storage for functional items, and for personal possessions people have chosen to keep during their lives

2.  Dedicated space for domestic utility tasks, such as vacuum cleaners, washing, drying and ironing clothes as well as storing rubbish and recycling

3.  Large windows for natural light, large rooms and high ceilings– these are typically referred to as ‘period features’. A ‘sense of space’ is vital to people’s wellbeing, and expectations of a new home are often shaped by the homes we have lived in previously.

4.  Large main living area – for social functions such as eating and entertaining and relaxing.   People typically prefer to have an element of open-plan layout to accommodate entertaining friends or family, regardless of age or lifestyle.

5.  Layouts which take into account technology used within the home- we want our homes to have enough sockets and storage for technology to enable us to arrange furniture and rooms in different layouts.

6.  Space for private time away from other members of the household– across all age groups, and especially where generations live together, private space makes an important contribution to our sense of wellbeing within our homes. Noise reduction within and between households is also essential.

7.  Private space outside or access to green public space in urban locations – this is important for wellbeing for all, and particularly crucial for families; parents like a safe place for children to play outside.

8.  Options for different home layouts. Despite some universal needs such as flexible space to entertain and socialise, there were different needs and expectations according to the life stage or the size and age of households and families, which meant that there was no single, standard layout that would cater for all people.

via British housing slammed as “cramped and poorly planned” | Online News | Building.


Councils seek partner for green deal roll out | News | Inside Housing

A group of local authorities in north east England is looking for a delivery partner to help it take advantage of the government’s green deal energy efficiency scheme.

Warm Up North, a partnership between Newcastle City Council, Darlington, Durham, Northumberland and South Tyneside, held an ‘awareness day’ on Friday (11 May) for groups that are interested in getting involved.

Warm Up North hopes to improve the energy efficiency of between 10,000 and 15,000 homes within three years when in launches in 2013. It will take advantage of the green deal and energy company obligation to fund the work.

Under the green deal households can get energy efficiency work carried out without paying upfront. They repay the cost of the work using savings on their energy bills.

The £1.3 billion a year ECO fund, which is paid for by energy companies, will be used to subsidise work that would otherwise be too expensive to be carried out under the green deal.

Warm Up North is the five councils’ response to the green deal. It is looking for a delivery partner to run the green deal scheme, which will be paid for by households and landlords. Housing associations and other bodies are expected to get involved in the partnership at a later stage.

David Slater, executive director of environment and regeneration at Newcastle Council, said: ‘Tackling fuel poverty, reducing inequalities and addressing climate change are among the key challenges facing the region. This partnership will help to tackle these.

‘Local authorities will play a key role in coordinating, financing, and providing technical understanding, so that the public can be assured they are not being ripped off.’

via Councils seek partner for green deal roll out | News | Inside Housing.

Housing the Illustration

Beautiful Drawings

'Dreamwall Style Blog'

An over whelming wave of nostalgia passes over me every-time I see sketched illustrations of buildings. I was raised on sketched illustrations of buildings, my father a designer of historical model buildings and my mother an artist.

Back in the 1980’s My parents set up a business called‘Hovels’ instead of using photographs to showcase my fathers model building designs, my mother would sketch them to be used in the ‘Hovels’ illustrated catalogue.

Sketched Illustrations of buildings, have certainly made a way into the interior design world mainly through wall-coverings. Today’s Dreamwallstyle blog post is inspired by my nostalgic love of my mothers original sketches and my fathers model buildings, so I’ve put together a collection of some of my favourite sketched Illustration of buildings that you can now bring into your homes….housing the Illustration!

I’m a massive fan of Minimoderns launched in 2006 by London based designers Keith Stephenson and Mark…

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