Author: Ashley Bateson, Partner
Our residential design quality report with UKGBC.
The Government’s policy of delivering 300,000 new homes a year is an ambitious target and aims to improve access to housing for over a million people over the coming years. This scale of housing delivery hasn’t been achieved since the 1960s and will require a doubling of the current capacity and supply chain commitment.
Designing under pressure.
This policy could put pressure on house builders to deliver quick construction programmes and turn potentially challenging sites into new spaces for living.
It’s vital that our industry, and the Government, considers the quality of life for these new residents.
In response to this need, we worked with the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) to investigate the specific design features that people like, or dislike, about their home.
Our online residential design quality survey received responses from more than 470 residents across a broad range of homeowners and tenants, demographic groups, and those living in flats and houses of different ages of construction.
Our report highlights some of the most important design and construction considerations for planners, developers, designers and builders.
The results show the collective views of these residents across the UK. In essence, we found that people feel there are four aspects of a good quality home:
Residents want well-proportioned rooms and an internal configuration that meets functional needs – space for eating, sleeping, entertaining guests, social interaction and storage etc.
Residents want robust, efficient and resilient construction quality which avoids high energy bills and maintenance. Residents also want good quality facilities and amenities.
Residents want good daylight, all-year-round thermal comfort, good air quality, good ventilation, limited noise nuisance and easy to operate heating installations and other building systems.
Residents want to live in a safe community with opportunities to interact with neighbours. People desire access to local shops, services with good transport links. Gardens and green space are important, supporting people’s preference for healthy surroundings.
Our findings also support previous UK Green Building Council research on the factors influencing health and wellbeing in the residential sector, which showed how the design of homes can influence the mental, social and physical conditions of occupants.