15/05/2006 | Design for Manufacture lessons set to shape UK
housebuilding industry

The achievements of the Design for Manufacture competition and the role
it will play in shaping the future of UK homes were set out today (15
May 2006) with the publication of the headline ten lessons learnt from
the challenge.

A public exhibition taking place at the Building Centre in Central
London this week showcases the winning designs in the government’s
contest to design a good-quality home for a maximum construction cost of

The Department for Communities and Local Government and English
Partnerships – the national regeneration agency which has been running
the competition – has published a summary of the lessons learnt so far.

Trevor Beattie, the English Partnerships Director with responsibility
for the competition, said, “The Design for Manufacture competition has
resulted in a host of innovative new home designs and construction
techniques that can be used to build homes more economically without
sacrificing quality.  These benefits will be passed on to purchasers in
the form of homes that are better built, cheaper to run and above all,
cheaper to buy.

“Throughout the challenge we have seen many groundbreaking ideas that
are a credit to our industry.  We have all learned a lot from this
competition and English Partnerships will now work to ensure that these
lessons are taken up by the market as a whole.”

Some of the initial findings from the competition include:

     * Construction costs can be tamed without sacrificing quality –
developers that closely linked their design, suppliers and delivery
teams into a single process found savings.
     * It is possible to achieve higher-density housing with houses, not
just flats – developments built as a result of this competition will
achieve densities of over 60 homes per hectare, mainly with houses.
It’s proof that getting the design and development process right means
it’s possible to have houses with gardens, garages and front doors which
open onto the street.
     * Reducing construction costs doesn’t mean reducing size – the
competition required all homes to be constructed for £60,000 to be a
minimum of 76.5 sq m (823.46 sq ft).  In fact, many of the homes could
be built larger than this, some at around 88 sq m.
     * Homes could slash energy bills and cope with climate change –
some of the winning designs are groundbreaking in terms of energy
efficiency and have features which will help keep homes warm in winter
and cool in summer.

A total of six developers have been chosen to build their designs across
nine competition sites.  Construction work is beginning on four of the
sites.  Developments at Oxley Park in Milton Keynes, Upton in
Northampton, Allerton Bywater near Leeds and Renny Lodge, Newport
Pagnell all received planning permission within 10-13 weeks of an
application being submitted.

Each of the sites had either detailed design codes or development briefs
in place.  This demonstrates how working with local authorities to agree
the requirements on a development site in advance can help developers
move swiftly through the planning system.

A detailed publication on the full lessons learnt so far will be
published shortly, and English Partnerships will continue to press local
authorities, housing associations and private developers to bring
economically built, high quality homes into mainstream housebuilding.

In addition, the agency has also adopted a clear set of national quality
and price standards which will give clarity and consistency to
developers looking to work on English Partnerships’ sites.  The aim is
to help developers optimise design and supply chain efficiencies through
better planning and partnering, as well as reduce their risk by making
it clear what we are looking for.

-- ENDS --
Notes to editors


1. The Design for Manufacture Competition
The Design for Manufacture Competition was launched in April 2005 by
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.  It was a challenge to the
housebuilding industry to create a sustainable, well-designed, good
quality home for a construction cost of £60,000 and aimed to address the
increases in housing construction costs in recent years.

2. The Design for Manufacture exhibition
The exhibition is being held at the Building Centre, 26 Store Street,
London WC1W 7BT from 15-20 May.  Entry is free of charge.

3. The winning developers
Six developers have been chosen to turn their designs into real homes on
competition sites across the country.  These are:

     * Barratt Developments plc at Upton, Northampton and Allerton
Bywater, Leeds
     * The Countryside Consortium at Horns Cross, Dartford
     * George Wimpey at Oxley Park, Milton Keynes
     * Persimmon Homes at Park Prewett, Basingstoke
     * The SixtyK Consortium (led by Crest Nicholson) at Renny Lodge,
Newport Pagnell and Linton, Maidstone
     * William Verry at Oxford Road, Aylesbury Vale and School Road,

4. Materials available to the media
Images of the winning designs are available for download at

5. Lessons learnt summary publication
A copy of the ten lessons learnt published today is available at

6. English Partnerships is the government’s national regeneration agency
delivering high quality, sustainable growth in England.  We do this by
developing our portfolio of strategic projects and acting as the
government’s advisor on brownfield land.  We also ensure that surplus
public sector assets are used to support wider government objectives,
especially those contained in the Sustainable Communities Plan.  English
Partnerships helps create communities where can afford to live and want
to live.  Information on projects and programmes can be found at

For further information, please contact:

Tabitha Wilson
English Partnerships
tel: 020 7881 1624
email: [email protected]