People concerned about the poor or non existent space standards of UK’s new housing would be interested in CABE’s latest research report
The report points out that UK new housing has very poor space standards, including low levels of storage, food preparation areas, sufficient space for furniture or space in which to socialise. Basically CABE point out that “there is mismatch between the space needed by residents for everyday activities, and the space provided by the market”.
Well there is no new news there but at least it is good to see what everyone has known for so long being bourne out by official research. The real question is what should everyone do about this problem? › Continue reading
Michael Kohn will be presenting the latest thinking on ESP at the the Be2Camp Brum event on Wednesday 12th.
In particular he will talk about the role of Web 2.0, in particular the potential to harness technologies behind virtual communities and social networking to enable and empower communities as the developers of their own homes and communites. Be2camp explores Web 2.0 in the built environment and is free to join.
If you want to build better new housing in your area, enable communities to develop new homes for themselves.
It’s easy to blame the economic downturn for all our woes, but if we look back to pre-credit crunch times, we should remember the housing industry was facing an insurmounting crisis anyway. Relying solely on private sector delivery was clearly a bad idea, yet the vast majority of everyone’s criticism focused on the drab failing product, rather than attempting to re-think the process that created it.
By its nature, speculative development distances the end user from the design process. In any other mass production industry, excluding real end user feedback prior to production would be considered commercial madness. But with housing, where demand outstrips supply and where securing planning permission and market value present major risks to the developer, end user feedback becomes less relevant than a conservative appraisal of ‘the market’ in abstract. Future residents of new developments therefore only engage after designs are basically fixed and planning is won. There is simply never an opportunity for the prospective householder to have a direct input on the overall design of their future home or their neighbourhood during design development stages.
Michael Kohn presented ESP to the Chartered Institute of Housing Dragons in the end of conference Dragon’s Den. The audience thought the idea was fab, the Dragons agreed and Michael won £500 for charity and a bottle of champaign for the team. See the video below:
Thanks to everyone who took the time to view theYoucanplan Pattern Books online gallery and to vote for their favorites designs.
We received votes from over 500 UrbanBuzz members. The results will be announced on 27th of February which will coincide with a featuren in the Architect’s Journal.
Our voting gallery is open from 9am today to 9pm Friday 8th February. The gallery displays all 38 entries for the Youcanplan Pattern Books competition.
You can link to the gallery from the UrbanBuzz home page.
Please visit www.urbanbuzz.org, join the community if you have not already done so, view the gallery and vote for your five favourites.
We are looking to build the ten winning pattern book designs into the Youcanplan software as part of the on line pattern book. The winning schemes will thus form the architecture of an exciting online ‘enabled self procured show village’ to be populated by members of the house hunting community this summer.
We then hope to use this illustration as evidence of what is possible, and of the public interest in the idea, in our continuing search for a real ESP pilot project
The definition of “Dwelling Type” in the Code for Sustainable Homes appears to frustrate housing type development as house builders have sensibly understood them. Namely, that “types” are abstract but scaleable house and flat models that can be situated on any site, within obvious technical parameters. The CSH “Dwelling Type” is not sufficiently typological. This seems to frustrate a pattern book approach to planning. To make the CSH more of a Code for Type Approved Homes it is necessary to separate the 9 Code categories into sub-sets of the 34 issues that:
can be generalised in the technical design of non-site specific house or flat types – 13 issues
contractors will need to managerially control when the homes are to be built – 3 issues
show how the typological designs must be formally and spatially situated on any plot of land – 7 issues
can only be assessed when the topology of the specific site and the demands of the planning system are clear – 11 issues
The sub-set of topological issues must be minimised if designs are to be worked out and prototyped. The other three sub-sets of issues, or just over two thirds of the Code in typological, managerial, and territorial issues, may be pushed as far as commercially achievable by individual house builders before sites are developed. Out of the 104 credits to be worked with by designers that gives the following sub-sets:
Typological issues – 45 credits, highly subject to the development of SAP 2009
Managerial issues – 6 credits
Territorial issues – 13 credits
Topological issues – 40 credits, including all credits in the materials category requiring use of the Green Guide
This week I met with Andrew Golland of Three Dragons Consultancy. Andrew has agreed to join our team to investigate the development economics involved in ESP developments. I am sure people can save money using ESP, but being and architect, I suspect my instinct is founded on stuff that doesn’t necessarily convince the hard nose developer or local authority looking to raise s106 contributions through new housing development. So we have called in Andrew as an expert to help us out. If enabled self procurement can work for the UK, I am sure he can tell us how..
Andrew will work on a paper for publication in May 2008.
Thank you to everyone who entered the competition. We appreciate the efforts people have made in such a busy period.
We have received a range of exciting entries, and we hope the technical jury will pass them all to the online voting gallery so that the UrbanBuzz community can decide which schemes they want to see built into Youcanplan. The voting gallery is still currently under construction, but we are confident that we can launch it for February 01 2008, and it will be open for a week.
Everyone in the online UrbanBuzz community gets to vote for 5 winners, and each winner will receive £1500 from the project coffers.
The voting gallery wil be accessed on the UrbanBuzz site. More details will be posted next week.
Due to popular demand around the Christmas period, the submission date for Youcanplan Pattern Books has now been extended to 5pm, Monday January 21 2008.