New-build homes in the UK can help older people to age-in-place

Carr, John (2024) New-build homes in the UK can help older people to age-in-place. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The UK population is undergoing a massive age shift; in less than 20 years, one in four people will be over 65 (Age UK & Centre for Ageing Better, 2021). Millions of older people in the UK live in houses that are no longer suitable for their needs and which compromise their wellbeing and their ability to live safe and fulfilled lives. The housing market does not currently respond to the challenges of growing old. Houses have not been designed with the needs of older people in mind, and an ageing population brings with it many issues that must be addressed with housing design. There has been increasing pressure on the volume housebuilders to make new homes accessible, adaptable, and spatially flexible, so that homes can be modified to the changing needs of people as they age.
This industrial PhD is a collaboration with an architectural practice, IDPartnership. The intended purpose was to make impact upon the design of new build homes for older people to age in place. The context of the research was a proposed housing development of the South Seaham Garden Village in County Durham, Northeast England. I set out to demonstrate that speculative homes produced by the volume housebuilders can be significantly improved to help people age-in-place.
The research used a mixed-methods approach, triangulating data from a literature review, co-design workshops and architectural design research as parallel and integrated workflows. In addition to the requirement for homes to be accessible, adaptable and flexible, the principal themes identified across these approaches were connectedness, enabling, togetherness and downsizing. These four themes were identified within the co-design workshops, and explored in the literature, culminating in the production of four prototype homes: the Connected Home, the Enabling Home, the Together Home, and the Downsizing Home. Following validation of the home designs with participants, the prototypes were shared with, and feedback sought from, the industrial partner. The work has been exhibited at the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA).
The thesis has demonstrated the significant contribution of mixed methods research involving co-design with older people within the field of architecture. The knowledge gained contributes to the future practice of the industrial partner, and has wider industrial application through the use of new prototype designs for the benefit of house builders’, architectural education, policy making, NGOs, and charities associated with housing.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: housing for older people, new-build housing, housing to age-in-place, co-design of housing with older people, mixed methods research using co-design with older people
Subjects: K100 Architecture
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2024 09:31
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2024 09:31

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