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Architects Shortlisted to Design Greener, Healthier Homes in the UK

Architects shortlisted for scheme
Igloo's 'Home for 2030' proposes community-led and self build homes that people can design themselves. (Image credit: Igloo Regeneration)

Six teams of architects have been shortlisted by the government to help design greener, healthier homes, and this could be significant for self build.

The architects have been announced as finalists in the government’s Home of 2030 contest, and will now work with developers to improve affordable housing in the UK.

The developers are currently bidding to build on public land managed by Homes England, and this collaboration will explore the possibility of developing bids based on the architects’ designs. Each scheme has been awarded a £40,000 development grant.

The four key requirements given to designers by the government were: 

  • the ability for homes to adapt as residents age
  • encouragement of healthy living
  • net zero carbon emissions
  • the capability to be constructed in large numbers. 

Notably, one of the designs from custom and self build specialists Igloo Regeneration, proposes community-led and self build homes that people can help build themselves.

The development would include homes built from straw walls or green roofs, and feature communal gardens designed to increase social interaction. 

The homes would be simple to build with affordable frames and components, and would be eco-friendly to build and run, Igloo says. 

Chris Brown, director of Igloo, said: “After Covid-19, people will want their towns and cities back, to make beautiful places where homeschooling and working from home is designed in – not an afterthought – and where the climate, nature and community are prioritised over profit.”

Architects are Pivotal to Building Better Homes

Architects will have a significant role in helping to reintroduce green spaces, as the government strives to build upon its pledges to deliver higher-quality new homes, which are also energy-efficient and use environmentally friendly building materials in their construction. 

The Home of 2030 contest follows the government’s release of the Living With Beauty report earlier this year, which called for planning applications for 'beautiful' housing to be fast-tracked in the UK. 

The Building Better, Building Beautiful commission which authored the report also set a goal of planting two million trees on streets across the UK.

Self Build Potential

At the time of the report’s publication, housing secretary Robert Jenrick gave his support to self build too, stating that the planning system needed to change to “provide more opportunities” for self builders.

Then at the beginning of August, the government published proposed planning reforms in its Planning for the Future white paper, which reiterated its support for self builders. The white paper is open for consultation until 29 October. Should the pledges become policy, it could become easier for self builders to secure planning permission if their builds are well designed and use high-quality materials.