HLM Architects is to develop its ‘Forever Home’ concept, one of six entry finalists in the prestigious Home of 2030 Design competition, working with the partners of the Homes England Development Framework.
The move follows conclusion of the landmark national contest to find homes that are age friendly and have low environment impact, support healthy living and can be delivered at a large scale to solve our housing shortage.
The competition had been announced by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher and was based on four themes, including age-friendly and inclusive living, low environmental impact, healthy living, and deliverable and scalable.
HLM Architects’ ‘Forever Home’ concept exploits a universal manufacturing platform to enable flexible, affordable, and sustainable ‘forever’ homes that are delivered using a circular economy approach. These homes are able to grow and shrink to suit their owners needs over their lifetime, meaning people can invest in their homes rather than in the cost of moving and put strong roots down that support stable communities.
This concept was developed with technical expertise from the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). The ambition is to solve the issues of capacity and compatibility within the offsite manufacturing sector by developing a design standard that enables any offsite manufactured system to deliver the same high quality, sustainable design while using interchangeable parts.
The concept is particularly beneficial to housebuilders and developers as it enables them to select contractors and suppliers from a much wider pool. As well as making the tendering more competitive, it also serves to safeguards the supply chain ‘ecosystem’ by ensuring there is also a back-up manufacturer or supplier should one become incapable.
HLM Architects also created a people-centric masterplan that had the community at its heart – with large communal spaces, as well as wild landscaping and ponds – yet was also financially viable for developers.
The competition attracted over 200 entries from the best and brightest talents of the housing industry and HLM Architects was shortlisted to become one of six companies to make it across the final leg of the competition.
During the final phase of the contest, HLM Architects and AMRC join up with contractor Mid Group, Hydrock, and Greenbuild to develop a platform that provides interchangeability with a varied ecosystem of components and suppliers.
HLM’s ‘Forever Home’ concept will now be introduced to the Homes England Development Framework to explore the possibility of developing bids for a series of homes on land owned by Homes England.
Housing Minister, Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “This competition demonstrates the best of British design being brought to bear on a key issue for today, and future generations: delivering homes that are good for the planet and that promote healthy, independent living for older generations.”
James Illingworth, Head of Construction at the AMRC, said: “We’re delighted to be working with HLM Architects to develop the ‘Forever Home’ concept, supporting the design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) approach. We’ll be drawing on our experience of translating and developing technology from aerospace and high-value manufacturing to help evolve the innovative technical aspects of the concept, harnessing digital technologies like robotics, augmented reality and vision inspection to the latest innovations in construction to support HLM in creating this revolutionary new model for sustainable, affordable homes.”
HLM Director and Head of Design, Philip Watson added: “We are greatly looking forward to working with Homes England to develop this new ‘Forever Home’ concept, which we feel could make a huge impact in our future. Across the UK, there is a strong social imperative to build more homes wherever they are needed and not just in areas where land values are high. Our design focus is shifting as we saw the need to address the quality of these new low-rise homes to improve environmental sustainability and placemaking, while helping to build stronger, more resilient communities.”