We believe that there must be a commitment to the common good in house building and renovation for both policy and activity and that this commitment must seek to reduce environmental impact whilst enhancing human health, community cohesion, quality of life, and national economics.
In environmental terms:
At present energy use in buildings continues to grow rather than lessen, with potentially disastrous consequences for climate change and fossil fuel dependency. Construction in the UK is also the highest user of material resources of any sector and is also the highest producer of waste, creating over 3 times as much the domestic sector. With good design, informed practice and real commitment there is a notable opportunity for new housing to make a major contribution to solving these issues.
In human health terms:
Our homes must be designed with human health in mind and avoid serious problem areas such as trapped moisture and toxins, and the allergies (such as asthma) and chemical sensitivities that can arise.
In terms of the social impact:
We believe that with proper consideration of the human element to building design, layout and amenity, new housing can enhance and regenerate existing communities and create vibrant and exciting new communities. Good social design also has many beneficial economic and environmental effects.
In terms of the economic impact:
We must create well built, energy efficient, healthy and socially beneficial housing to secure our future quality of life and our future prosperity. Good homes are not only financially viable and necessary, but also bring job satisfaction and meaning to all involved in their construction and development.
Winkworth Sherwood, Minerva House, 5 Montague Close, London SE1 9BB.
University of Sheffield, Arts Tower, Bolsover St, Sheffield S3 7NA
Lovedon Fields, Kings Worthy, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 7NJ.