Making homes fit for the future at Vision London

Hardly a day goes by right now without housing hitting the headlines. Whether it is the shortage of new homes and skilled labour to build them, soaring rents and sales prices, or the latest twist and turn of government policy, the h-word is constantly in the news.

Many of these factors are driving fresh approaches and innovation in the design, construction and upgrading of homes and communities, also taking on board other pressing concerns, particularly the need to raise energy efficiency levels and alleviate fuel poverty. This fresh thinking is taking many forms, as Vision London demonstrates in its seminar programme covering Innovations in Architecture and Design. The programme, which runs over 7 and 8 June 2016 at Olympia London, showcases a broad range of project types – from the new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to architect Flanagan Lawrence’s acoustic shells on the Littlehampton seafront - but the key focus of attention is housing.

The first day of seminars will feature one of the UK’s most innovation-packed homes: SOLCER House in Bridgend, South Wales. This is a one-off demonstration house, designed and constructed as part of the Wales Low Carbon Research Institute’s SOLCER project, which is led by the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, and supported by Swansea University’s SPECIFIC research project and other partners.

This prototype combines energy demand reduction, renewable energy supply and energy storage, and incorporates an array of off-the-shelf technologies, some of which were sourced from local suppliers. The house’s innovation comes not from the individual technologies - like its photovoltaic panels - but in their integration to create a ‘building as power station’. Professor Phil Jones, Chair of Architectural Science at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University and Chair of the LCRI, says the project is, “The first house in the UK that has been purposely built, using a systems approach, to be carbon positive.” At Vision London Jones will be talking about the project and how innovation can be used to create homes fit for the future.

The second day of the event will explore the refurbishment of an office building in Kingston, south west London, which is one of a new breed of office-to-residential conversions providing housing in urban areas. The design by Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects for Kingstreet Group cleverly maximizes the potential of the urban building with an innovative rooftop extension. This extension adds eight duplex homes to the 15 being created in the existing building, and architect Stephen Davy will outline the essentials of its design.

Vision London takes place from 7-8 June 2016 at Olympia London. Over the course of two days, the event showcases today’s most exciting materials, technologies, products, projects and thinking. Its comprehensive educational programme features seminar streams covering Innovations in Architecture & Design, Future Materials, Technology Talks, Building Health and Wellness, Smart Buildings, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Offsite Construction. Access to the exhibition and all seminars is free of charge when you register in advance.

Register for your free visitor pass today at

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