The Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) Report

The authors make the following recommendations for design of housing for older people:

  • New retirement homes should have generous internal space standards, with potential for three habitable rooms and designed to accommodate flexible layouts.
  • Care is taken in the design of homes and shared spaces, with the placement, size and detail of windows, and to ensure plenty of natural light, and to allow daylight into circulation spaces.
  • Building layouts maximise natural light and ventilation by avoiding internal corridors and single-aspect flats, and apartments have balconies, patios, or terraces with enough space for tables and chairs as well as plants
  • In the implementation of measures to ensure adaptability, homes are designed to be ‘care ready’ so that new and emerging technologies, such as telecare and community equipment, can be readily installed.
  • Building layouts promote circulation areas as shared spaces that offer connections to the wider context, encouraging interaction, supporting interdependence and avoiding an ‘institutional feel’, including the imaginative use of shared balcony access to front doors and thresholds, promoting natural surveillance and providing for ‘defensible space’.
  • In all but the smallest developments (or those very close to existing community facilities), multi-purpose space is available for residents to meet, with facilities designed to support an appropriate range of activities – perhaps serving the wider neighbourhood as a community ‘hub’, as well as guest rooms for visiting friends and families.
  • In giving thought to the public realm, design measures ensure that homes engage positively with the street, and that the natural environment is nurtured through new trees and hedges and the preservation of mature planting, and providing wildlife habitats as well as colour, shade and shelter.
  • Homes are energy-efficient and well insulated, but also well ventilated and able to avoid overheating by, for example, passive solar design, the use of native deciduous planting supplemented by external blinds or shutters, easily operated awnings over balconies, green roofs and cooling chimneys.
  • Adequate storage is available outside the home together with provision for cycles and mobility aids, and that storage inside the home meets the needs of the occupier.
  • Shared external surfaces, such as ‘home zones’, that give priority to pedestrians rather than cars, and which are proving successful in other countries, become more common, with due regard to the kinds of navigation difficulties that some visually impaired people may experience in such environments.

Author: Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation

Publication date: 2009




New communities – Looking and learning from dutch experience

To help councillors leading local authorities with proposals for eco-towns, the TCPA and URBED (Urban and Economic Development) were commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government to organise a two-day study tour to leading Dutch examples of new settlements.

The tour aimed to show the councillors the Dutch approach to planning and to draw out lessons that could be applied in the UK.

Author: Nicholas Falk (URBED) for Town & Country Planning Association

Publication date: December 2008


Guidance Report

Cambridgeshire Quality Charter for Growth

Successful housing growth cannot be achieved in isolation, and it is vital that partners are able to work together towards common goals, sharing a common understanding of the kind of communities we wish to create. This charter will equip key stakeholders with a clear and shared language, enabling closer working in the creation of sustainable and successful developments.

Author: Cambrideshire Horizons

Publication date: May 2008



Recommendations for Living at Superdensity

This report was produced in the hope of influencing
the Mayor’s Housing Strategy. It is the work of four of
London’s major consultants specialising in residential
development – HTA, Levitt Bernstein, PRP and Pollard
Thomas Edwards architects. Normally rivals, they are
collaborating because they are all seeking answers to
the same question – how to design for the opportunities
and risks posed by the shift towards much higher
density housing.

The practices have compared notes on their work in
progress, first to propose and define a new ‘superdensity’
threshold of 150 homes to the hectare. They have also
pooled knowledge to assess how this threshold is being
crossed with schemes of even higher density: these
schemes reach levels of density which, despite 120 years’
experience in housing.

A follow-up report, Superdensity: the Sequel, was launched in 2015.

Author: HTA, Levitt Bernstein, PRP, Pollard Thomas Edwards

Publication date: July 2007


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