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“We Shape Our Buildings; Thereafter They Shape Us” – Winston Churchill

05/03/18  / By Cast
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“We Shape Our Buildings; Thereafter They Shape Us” – Winston Churchill - Cast
05/03/18  / By Cast
Share
5 minute read

One of Cast’s project managers, Nick Hunter, recently attended the Design Quality Conference 2018 organised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The conference was the first event of its kind, discussing the key criteria in delivering design quality for housing.

Key note speeches were heard from Sajid Javid MP, (formerly) the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and also Dominic Raab MP, the Minister of State for Housing and Planning, alongside a panel of other conference speakers which included Cast CEO, Mark Farmer, who chaired a session on innovation.

Several key themes resonated from the day:

  1. Placemaking is key

The value of placemaking in development and the importance of design and management of public spaces were discussed. People appear to care more about places that have been created as part of a scheme that offers generous shared internal/external spaces and circulation. This could be taken into consideration on BtR schemes as ways to increase value and also reduce maintenance.

  1. Technology can help people buy into MMC

People are impressed with Swan Housing Group’s ‘NU Living’ scheme, which allows users to fully customise their home at design stage with live cost data reflecting their options. The scheme shows that an engaging technology platform can help housing consumers overcome any preconceived negative associations with modular/prefab, producing a personalised and exciting outcome. This will have been of great interest to the many housebuilders in attendance.

  1. The housebuilder model has made housing generic

The selling of large land parcels to developers and their standard efficiency-led operating models have led to housing design becoming generic. Developers working with MMC should capitalise on this, developing ways for the customisation of a small variety of parts and modules. This would enable the delivery of a more varied housing stock, catering for a range of consumer tastes.

 
 
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