Putting people at the heart of future social housing design and manufacture

Tom Eshelby, Housing Industry Advisor at Buildoffsite spent the day with Professor Paul van Schaik and his team at Teesside University yesterday on the steering committee for their rigorous academic analysis of what HA’s and their tenants really want and prioritise in their homes in order to maximise their occupant experience and sense of well-being.

The study sits within the “Transforming Construction Network Plus” and is funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The Research

As HA’s increasingly look to deliver their projects using offsite methods,  simply providing well-manufactured houses is perhaps not enough. Our industry needs to understand what creates a truly high-quality home and community in order to advance from the traditional construction of mediocre development and demonstrate the value of a DfMA approach.

Teesside’s research project will be used to compare to the product which is currently being manufactured by MMC providers to help them to better understand the needs of a huge proportion of the housing market.

Whilst there has already been significant academic study on issues such as energy consumption, carbon capture and construction waste, this study looks at some of the softer, more personal issues within housing design. Discussion covered the appropriateness of building materials, design and internal layout, ceiling heights, light space and space. The study will also cover how tenants feel able to adapt, maintain and personalize their MMC homes, an industry-wide concern.

The study will seek to capture a wide range of perspectives and understand the very real issue of happy, healthy living environments. To do this they are seeking to have conversations with as many social landlords, Registered Providers and their tenants as possible. They are also seeking the input of manufacturers and designers of MMC.

There will be a summary of the project to date at the Resi Hub event at JCB on 25thFebruary, when you can hear more about this vital and credible research project.

If you would be willing to participate in this study in any way at all, please contact Tom via email on tom.eshelby@buildoffsite.com

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