University and TV architect join forces to develop new homes of the future

The ways homes are designed and built could be completely transformed, thanks to a new project between Northumbria University and the renowned architect, TV presenter and campaigner George Clarke.

The University has signed an agreement with Clarke’s charity, the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE), to work together to drive innovation in designing and delivering homes.

The new MOBIE Northumbria Homes for the Future Innovation Centre will help businesses access the latest in research and innovation to drive the transformation of the sector. The centre will investigate new methods of construction, design, offsite manufacture, digital competencies and materials, with the aim of making house building a more efficient and precise process.

Over the next three years, Northumbria will offer 15 co-funded PhD studentships to work with industry partners. The University will jointly fund the studentships, meaning businesses will invest roughly £10,000 per year for each of the three years.

PhD students will work exclusively on that project, equipping them with vital new knowledge, skills and business acumen.
George Clarke explained: “One of the best ways that we can address the current housing crisis is by implementing digital technologies to build next generation homes quicker, at a lower cost and with less environmental impact.

“By partnering with Northumbria University, we can ensure we are passing on the very latest in research and thinking into the building sector to transform the way it works.”
Dr Paul Jones, Professor of Scholarship in Architecture at Northumbria University said: “By opening our doors to businesses, we will be able to work with them to develop truly innovative techniques that will create positive change in the industry, create high quality homes for those who need them and help businesses by driving growth.

Recruitment is already underway for industry partners and the centre will operate from April 2020.