Imagine its nearly 2033. 10 years from now. What changes can we hope may have happened in the short time between now and then that are really positive, good for the built environment and good for the construction industry?
What I’m about to write isn’t a series of targets (I’m not a fan of targets as they aren’t often met!) but more a series of wishes and ideals that I dream will happen, if not by 2033 then not long after.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we can look back from 2033 and realise that some of the following things had been adopted, had began to be implemented, were taking place, were changing lives for the better and that the UK and the wider world were massively benefitting from them.
Everything is ‘Circular Economy Approved’ from insulation panels to your kitchen sink
Homes that make communities smile
So, lets imagine its 2033’ish and this is what the UK looked like.
It’s 13 years since the Building Better, Building Beautiful commission published its revolutionary report and house building industry has adopted most, if not all, of its recommendations.
New homes are very beautiful. Ordinary everyday new build homes are wonderful to look at and they are designed so well that they are a joy to live in. They put a smile on the face of communities.
All new homes are net zero carbon and actually have a positive impact on the built environment.
Renewable, heat-pumps powered by clean, green energy are the norm everywhere and gas and oil boilers have all but been consigned to history.
All new homes are so well-designed and so well-built that they promote mental and physical health and well-being.
There is universal accessibility for all.
Benefitting from a circular economy
The principles of the ‘ecological circular economy’ have now been adopted by the entire supply chain of the construction industry.
Every single part of a new home has been designed to be recycled, repurposed and used and used again.
All product and material designers, manufacturers, retailers, housebuilders and consumers have signed up to the circular economy agenda.
Everything from a panel of insulation to your kitchen sink is ‘Circular Economy Approved’.
If a home needs to be replaced at any point in its life cycle it isn’t demolished anymore. It is carefully ‘deconstructed’ and every element is recycled, repurposed and reused back into the construction industry.
Designed to please and green our streets
Streets look green because landscape architects have worked so closely with housebuilders, planners and highways departments to positively ‘green our streets’.
There are safe pedestrianised areas for kids to play and innovative car parking strategies have been developed so cars are integrated beautifully and intelligently into our urban fabric.
The vast majority of cars are electric now. The car industry has been incredible and has come together to develop, not only innovative clean and green cars, but they have collaborated perfectly with government to create a Hyper-Fast National Green Charging Network for electric cars and there is only one type of universal charger socket.
You don’t have to sign up to multiple charging accounts from multiple energy suppliers anymore as its just your one account with a single Hyper-Fast Grid.
It’s taken 13 years to get there, but its been worth the wait because it has radically transformed the country.
More homes, less homeless
The government has even managed to make homes genuinely affordable again through a revolutionary new financial scheme that they’ve developed in partnership with house builders and homeowners. Standard 25-year mortgages are a thing of the past.
Incredibly the UK has also ended homelessness. HOME-LESS doesn’t exist any longer because we now build MORE homes that we actually need.
The UK ‘HOME-MORE’ scheme is a revolutionary initiative where architects, designers and the home-building industry have developed a series of beautiful, small-scale, low-cost, innovative and super-efficient, tiny eco homes.
These new, small homes are absolutely amazing because the best designers in the world and the best home manufacturers in the world have developed and 3D printed them.
Innovation has made the tiny home revolution happen on a big scale.
‘Innovative Small’ means less material used in the construction of a home, less cost, less environmental impact, less space to heat, less maintenance, but MORE opportunities for young people and those in need to have a roof over their head, more stability, more financial security and more happiness.
LESS really is MORE.
……Part 2 of the ‘2033 utopia’ is dreaming it’s way to you shortly.
George Clarke is an Architect, writer, TV presenter and Ecodan Ambassador