UK Housing Minister launches Home of 2030 design competition

Held in partnership with the Design Council, the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education, RIBA and BRE, the competition aims to find design-led housing solutions to the UK’s ageing population and Climate Emergency.

The UK’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has launched a design competition to explore new ideas for “low carbon, age-friendly” homes.

Home of 2030 was launched by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher, and is being run in collaboration with the Design Council, the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

Open to “small businesses, designers and manufacturers”, the competition follows the government’s recent consultation on a new “Future Homes Standard”, which states all new homes built after 2025 should produce 80% fewer carbon emissions.

Four briefing points

Low environmental impact is one of four attributes outlined in the competition brief. Alongside this, ideas pitched should also be age-friendly, in line with the UK’s increasingly ageing population.

Some 10 million people currently living in the UK can expect to see their 100th birthday, according to the government, compared with just 15,000 centenarians alive at the moment.

And according to the brief, current housing for over-65s often falls short: “Much of our housing fails to meet accessibility standards and abundant evidence has shown the links between poor housing and ill health.”

In particular, applicants should look into idea that would allow people to live at home independently for longer, taking into account and supporting the work of community health and social care services.

“People powered community”

In addition, the brief states ideas should promote healthy living within the home. This is a diverse requirement, touching on everything from products for proper ventilation and thermal comfort, to flood resilience precautions and built-in data security abilities.

Not only should these facilities be replicable across large sites of housing, but also scalable across different areas of the country.

Previous Home of 2030 workshops conducted by the Design Council with people from Birmingham, Oxfordshire, the West of England and Greater Manchester have highlighted the need for design solutions that promote a “people powered community”.

Visualising how challenges to living might evolve in the coming years, for example “a world where we have moved from owning to sharing…[or] where climate change has required us to change our living behaviours”, provides applicants with a good starting point for innovation.

£40,000 development prize

The competition will be carried out in two stages. For the first phase, designers have until 15 April to anonymously submit their ideas. Ideas at this stage will be non-site-specific, intending to instead “stimulate a wide range of ideas designs, products and solutions from across the industry”.

From here, a shortlist of six ideas will be formulated, with each idea receiving £40,000 to develop their concept for an identified site of up to 100 homes, outside of London. Important to note here is the brief specification of “responding to local distinctiveness and providing opportunity for community cohesion”.

Of these, three winners will be chosen and introduced to Homes England development partners to explore how ideas could be further developed into reality.


For more information or to register your interest in Phase One of the competition, go to the Home of 2030 website.

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