'Business as Usual?' - Exploring the Design Response of UK Speculative Housebuilders to the Brownfield Development Challenge

David Adams, Sarah Payne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Addresses the relationship between two important policy objectives in the UK, namely those to improve residential design quality and ensure a much higher proportion of new homes are built on brownfield sites. It explores how the strategies of speculative housebuilders, who provide around 85% of all new UK homes, are crucial to achieving both objectives. Most speculative housebuilders are brownfield pragmatists or sceptics, who have simply transferred their standardised design approach from greenfield to brownfield development. As a result, significantly higher design quality has been achieved only rarely at brownfield locations. However, a small number of pioneer developers, who concentrate on bespoke designs, have demonstrated how to produce higher quality housing in tight urban locations, usually by commissioning experienced architects instead of relying on less qualified technicians. Crucially, there needs to be significant change in embedded cultures within the industry to mainstream this approach to design. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Design in the Real Estate Development Process|Urban Des. in the Real Estate Dev. Process
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
Pages199-218
Number of pages19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2011

Keywords

  • Bespoke design
  • Brownfield development
  • Construction efficiency
  • Culture change
  • Design innovation
  • Housebuilders
  • Pioneers
  • Pragmatists and sceptics
  • Residential design quality
  • Standardised design

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