Clearview National March 2016 - Issue 172 - Page 42

DOORS&WINDOWS Diversity is the key to success in the housing industry »»DIVERSITY IN THE HOUSING market is the only way to solve the UK’s housing issues. That is the view of some of the biggest names in Britain’s housing industry, according to a report published by Origin, a leading manufacturer of bi-fold doors, windows and blinds. The Homes of the Future report highlights a need for a multi solutions approach if the government is to meet its housing targets. It brings together discussions from a roundtable with some of the nation’s leading industry thinkers, house builders and developers. Barratt Developments, Grosvenor, URBED, the Home Builders Federation and Solidspace, as well as Futurist Dr Patrick Dixon and Prof. Christine Whitehead from the London School of Economics, joined Origin to discuss the industry’s ‘hot topics’. Andrew Halsall, Managing Director at Origin, talks to Clearview about these discussions, which are crystallised in the Homes of the Future report. WHERE WILL THE HOUSING INDUSTRY BE IN 2020? Held at the Shard, one of the most architecturally stunning buildings in the world, the private Origin ‘Homes of the Future’ roundtable event sought to ask the question of ‘what do people want, and how does the housing industry achieve it?’. Origin understands that homes are about more than just bricks and mortar. They are an extension of us, so need to be as individual as we are to suit each person or family’s needs, lifestyle and taste. The question ‘what people 42 » M AR 2016 » CL EARVI E W- UK . C O M want from their homes?’ can therefore only be answered if we stop considering it as one singular issue, requiring just one solution. The roundtable was not held with the hope of finding a definite and singular answer to this question, but rather to find out whether there were things that we, the industry and manufacturers, should be doing differently. Chaired by Evan Davis, the roundtable covered a number of aspects of the industry, from the valuation process to skills shortages. HETEROGENEITY Building homes that people want to live in can only be achieved by offering variety in the housing market. As a country, we have a great emotional attachment to our homes. We want them to be as individual as we are, while also being a functional space for us and our families to live. The report determines how encouraging heterogeneity will benefit both the industry and house buyers in the future. By supporting smaller house builders and encouraging a diverse market, only then will the government meet the demand of first time buyers as it aims to build 200,000 new homes by 2020. IS THE WAY WE VALUE OUR HOMES OUTDATED? The way in which the UK housing industry places a value on our homes has long been dictated by the market. How much a house is worth depends on a multitude of factors, from location to how many bedrooms a home has, whether it has a new kitchen and bathroom, and how much land is on offer as part of the deal. The report looks at whether we need to reconsider how we place value on homes as the priorities of the UK housing industry, and consumer demand, change. For example, a call for a bigger focus on sustainable mortgages as energy efficiency rises up the agenda. SPACE, LIGHT AND OPEN PLAN LIVING The Homes of the Future report investigates how the concept of the ‘two up, two down’ has been replaced by a more fluid approach to interior layout and the creation of an open living space. Increasingly, homeowners want to maximise the amount of space and light in their homes, with a shift towards open-plan living, and most recently ‘broken plan living’. Changing lifestyles have meant that the requirements for the layout and size of rooms have moved on in UK homes, which also affects the valuation process. Where once house prices were determined by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, houses today may not be so easily categorised. CONSTRUCTION MATTERS A need to invest in modern methods of construction, while encouraging fresh blood into the construction industry, must also be top of the government agenda if Britain is to meet the housing requirements of a growing population. To view the full Homes of the Future report, please visit homesofthefuture