We have more than 200,000 empty homes needing refurbishment and Shelter report that three million new social homes must be built in England over 20 years to meet demand.Read More
There is often an implicit assumption that modern methods of construction and factory-built housing (MMC) will provide a solution to the affordability challenge in our housing market. In our experience to date when many compare the current cost of an MMC home with the build cost of a traditional built house there is often surprise that the costs are so similar or, in some instances, even higher for the MMC home.Read More
Think of a place where you have enjoyed living, felt safe and comfortable, connected and rooted. The chances are that it was a somewhere with history. A building shaped by previous occupants, in a streetscape adapted to changes in fashion and technology, part of a neighbourhood evolving within wider social and economic trends. Even a brief history can bring interest and richness that can be absent from new homes and developments. It can help to transform a space in to a place.Read More
As well as much of the population not being able to afford to live, another, more subtle problem exists within housing today - much of modern housing is inherently lonely because it is built around the unit of the individual, not a community.Read More
As we seek to reimagine the future of our city through models of homeownership, building and alternative ways to live in our cities, Bristol Housing Festival project manager and founder of At The Well cafe-laundrette, reminds us that we need to re-imagine all our daily routines and systems, even seeming menial tasks like doing our laundry!Read More
I work at the University of Bristol; an organisation where each employee is entitled to one paid day off per year to volunteer for a charitable organisation. In 2017, I volunteered a couple of hours per half term to mentor students at Merchant’s Academy through Envision, and in 2018 I pulled on my warmest clothes and hiking boots to spend a sunny but brisk day on Waterfront Square welcoming visitors to the Bristol Housing Festival’s first expoRead More
Values are a peculiar thing. We all have them both individually and in every corporate environment (work, school, family, cycling club). Whether articulated clearly or unspoken, whether recognised or unnoticed, values shape culture. Values influence priorities and therefore our choices. They can be inherited or develop over time, they can be unconsciously adopted, or they can be deliberately chosen and championed.Read More
Production-line homes could be one answer to the UKís housing shortage. But, as off-site manufacture (OSM) prepares to join the mainstream, Serena Ralston asks if planning is lagging behind the technology
In Somerset, a new town of 1,500 modular units made from hot-rolled steel chassis has sprung up in just a year for key workers at the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant.
It is a time frame that would be unthinkable in traditional construction. But Debansu Das of Caledonian, the manufacturer, cheerfully compares modular construction to car production – simple and repetitive design with high-quality control.Read More
Communal living has had a bad press recently. In many towns, locals fear the relentless expansion of university students HMOs. But co-living need no longer be like ‘The Young Ones’. Serena Ralston reports on the wisdom of the collectiveRead More
There is, at this unique time, an opportunity for significant and scalable change with developments in both technology and engineering but also as a result of political necessity. We need the courage to re-imagine and to re-think the future of our cities. The Bristol Housing Festival does not pretend to have all the answers from the outset, instead it intends to be a catalyst by offering the space and time for innovators and pioneers to test and refine ideas and concepts on real sites in Bristol.Read More
Whilst the waterfront expo of modular housing rightly grabbed the headlines, the BHF launch week also hosted a packed out programme of public talks in the City.
I was lucky to have helped develop the programme, as well as chair all five sessions. Now that I’ve had enough time to recover from that rather intense week, I thought I’d summarise my top 4 take-aways (and save you from needing to trawl through 8 hours of video on the BHF facebook site!).Read More