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					Good Quality and Design - recipe for
successful sustainable developments?
Ruth Reed, President, RIBA
_________________________________

•   The landscape
•   What is good design?
•   Size matters
•   What are the problems
•   The way forward: what can be done?
•   Conclusions
The Landscape

Huge challenges ahead in housing
• We’re building 1/3 of the homes we need each
  year
• Shortages across every tenure – lowest levels of
  house building in 80 years
• Lack of supply and the credit crunch has inflated
  house prices
• Homes and the mortgages and deposits needed
  to buy them unaffordable to many people
What is good design?

Good design is about meeting people’s needs
• Provide enough space to meet basic lifestyle
  needs
• Use resources well (energy efficient and stand
  the test of time)
• Be accessible to all, flexible and adapt over time
• Good design should make homes easier to
  maintain and manage
• Good design can help make developments more
  secure and not unnecessarily foster crime
Size matters

The homes we build aren’t good enough

• Housing typologies have not changed with
  people’s changing lives
• New homes that are shrinking - smallest in
  Europe
• Many developments are unattractive, unpopular
  and are dependent on the car
• Too many inappropriate1&2 bed flats built for
  buy-to-let not buy-to-live
What are the problems?

Causes of poor housing are deep-rooted
• Land increases significantly in value when
  planning permission is secured so developers
  have little incentive to invest in good quality
  housing
• Not enough competition in the house building
  market – we need a more diverse industry
• Lack of competition and lack of supply mean
  consumers have little choice or power – housing
  is a consumer product like no other
The way forward: what can be done?

In broad terms we need:

• Local authority leadership

• A shake-up of the UK housebuilding
  industry

• To empower the consumer
The Role of Local Authorities
Localism brings with it..
 Less central govt regulation – new “Local Standards
  Framework” of optional standards
 Abolition of housing targets – councils responsible for
  identifying housing need
 New Homes Bonus – to incentivise them to build

What local authorities should do
 ASSESS –all Councils assessing housing needs –
  the right homes, of the right type in the right place
 SET - Councils developing clear minimum standards
  on space, energy and accessibility
 ENFORCE – poor homes shouldn’t get through
  planning
What about the house builders?

What we’d like developers to do

 Prove their worth - prove to local residents how
  their scheme will benefit the area, improve the
  quality of the neighbourhood and how it fits with
  local planning policies and standards
 Explore new business models – make profits
  from the homes they manufacture not the land
  they trade

But everyone – local and national government,
 and consumers need to insist on better…
And the consumer?

Consumers deserve and should expect better

 More transparency from estate agents and
  developers in marketing information related to
  the size, functionality and energy performance of
  new homes

 Better information (which RIBA is developing)
  to help consumers understand how design
  impacts on their lives and make more informed
  decisions
The RIBA and housing

2011 and beyond: a major programme of work

 Championing the rights of the consumer to a
  better housing offer and a more transparent
  marketplace

 Looking to the future delivery of housing and a
  more sustainable housebuilding model

 Supporting local authorities and local
  communities to deliver homes that meet their
  needs
Further Information
If you have any questions or would like any
further information, please let us know:

president@inst.riba.org

				
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