The British Homes Awards Sponsored by HomeBase

The Sunday Times British Homes Awards
2013 Design Competition with AJ

“Britain’s Future Home”

Standard Competition Conditions

1.0  Invitation

The Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2013 sponsored by Homebase in partnership with AJ, BRE, The New Homes Marketing Board and Premier Guarantee invite submissions for a single stage open design competition from an architectural practice for the visionary design of “Britain’s Future Home”.

This competition is in response to the  Future Homes Commission report “Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs” (October 2012) which recommended that Government must ensure that its review of local housing standards sets minimum national standards for space, storage, noise insulation and natural light. It emphasised that these standards are essential for residents’ quality of life and should be incorporated into Building Regulations so that they apply to all housing, of all tenures, across the UK.

It also recommended “that in the future, the layout of homes should reflect the growing need for flexibility and adaptability and called for a design competition for a flexible home that meets consumer needs and can be replicated at scale.”

It is planned that the winning design will be built at one or more of the UK’s major Home Interest Shows to stand as an exemplar of best design practice.

The competition is being organised by The British Homes Awards and all enquiries should be made to the promoter through this website.

2.0  Objective

The competition challenges architects, urban and interior designers to design “Britain’s Future Home” with a specific focus on the home’s living environment with a design that allows occupants to maintain a 21st century lifestyle as they grow older. Designs are invited both of the individual home and group of homes to demonstrate how the design is capable of creating urban streets and squares with a judicious combination of private, semi-public and public space. Architects are encouraged to embrace innovative micro renewable energy to enhance performance and reduce carbon emissions. Entries will need to show clear integration between occupant behaviour and amenity provision, not just within the home’s design but within the community as a whole.

3.0  Intention to Build

It is the intention of The Awards’ Organisers to build the winning design as a show house exhibit at one of the UK’s leading Home Interest Shows and then develop it in multiple units at the Lower Mill Estate, Cirencester.

4.0 Competition Format

A short-list of up to 10 designs will be selected from the open first stage and will be published in The Sunday Times in August 2013 in order that the readership can vote collectively for their winning design. Voting will also be online through Sunday Times’ property portal. The schemes will be published with the designs accredited to the architect(s). The scheme that receives the most votes will be declared the winner of the competition.

5.0  The Brief

A major challenge for housing today is the provision of sufficient quantities of homes that people want to live in; that are also practical, affordable and flexible through all life’s changes, whether welcoming a new baby, returning teenager or elderly parent into the home.

This years’ competition for ‘Britain’s Future Home’ challenges UK architects and interior designers to re-think the design and construction of “affordable” homes, with a focus on the inspirational use of both internal and external space, considering requirements of privacy, light and amenity.

The winning design will present a new model for multiple life-stage living. It should have the flexibility to adapt to different stages of life – the student house, the family dwelling, a home to grow older in. It will be beautiful, environmentally smart and offer a healthy environment for a population that lives longer and spends more time at home.

The submission should include:

  • a first and second stage occupancy scenario for the proposed residents, such as family home that can be converted to homes for students or retirees with minimal intervention
  • new ways in which the interior and garden space provide flexibility to allow aesthetic and practical change (stirring the nation out of inertia in style and design inspiration)
  • a Life-Cycle Assessment to help identify a new benchmark for modern residential construction against which other developments can be measured
  • an assessment of the quality of health and wellbeing for people living in the house, embracing issues such as daylight, air quality and integration of the natural environment
  • a Consumption calculation or diagram to illustrate how the house will efficiently use resources eg. energy, water, and food, or where waste from one process becomes a resource for another e.g. Plastic waste from food packaging becomes a material for manufacturing furniture
  • an indication of construction cost
  • a demonstration of how the dwelling would work as a volume development of multiple units, either in semi-detached form or as a terrace

Type of House

  • An architecturally distinguished detached house: Footprint dimensions: max 80 m2
  • Maximum Height: 3 storeys (option to increase space with a room in the roof)
  • Maximum Size: 250 m2
  • Parking: inclusion of parking for a standard car (an integral garage is optional but basements are to be excluded from the design submission)


Architecturally distinguished – redesigning the home inside and out. The building will demonstrate, where relevant, best practice in:

  • Use of space (open, adaptable, flexible, movement, access, circulation)
  • Internal environment (daylight, acoustics, heating, ventilation, finishes, furniture)
  • Provision of specialist support services (disabled access, Lifetime Home compliance, etc)
  • Smart Home: intelligent infrastructure, network installations, wireless technology, cabling etc.
  • Environmental sustainability beyond the 2016 regulations (reduction of waste, biodiversity, recycling and minimising use of resources)
  • Security- secure by design and crime prevention measures
  • Demonstration of how the home could run off a battery in the event of flooding
  • Intelligent docking ports for electric vehicles, with the capability for two-way interaction between the car’s batteries and the home energy systems

Method of Construction

  • Zero carbon as defined by DECC to achieve a minimum of Building Regulations 2016/FEES/Carbon Compliance and meeting Premier Guarantee or NHBC warranty standards
  • All forms of construction considered, such as brick and block, steel frame, timber frame, concrete frame. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

6.0 Eligibility

The competition is open to all UK registered architects. Individual or team entries are encouraged and the participation of recently qualified architects is particularly welcomed. No member or employee of the promoting body nor the assessors nor any partner, associate or employee of them shall be eligible to compete or assist a competitor.

7.0 Assessors

The following assessors have been appointed to adjudicate on submissions made and to select a shortlist of up to 10 deliverable designs:

Chair: Paul Finch, Chair of CABE at the Design Council, Editorial Director, The Architect’s Journal

assisted by

  • Professor Robert Adam, DipArch, RIBA FRSA Director, ADAM Architecture
  • Dr Peter Bonfield OBE FREng, BRE Group Chief Executive
  • Joanna Bolt, Homebase
  • David Bryant, Chairman, New Homes Marketing Board
  • Helen Davies, Editor, Property, The Sunday Times
  • Ed Green PhD RIBA Associate Pentan Partnership
  • Michael Manser CBE, RA, PPRIBA, Chairman, The Manser Practice
  • Stephen Maley, UK Sales Director HEWI UK Limited
  • David Pretty CBE, Former Chairman, New Homes Marketing Board
  • Anna Scothern FRSA MIOD MCIM, Director of Future Thinking and Digital, BRE
  • Jo Smit BRE Editor building4change
  • Sue Timney, President, BIID

In the event of an assessor being unable to continue to act through illness or any other cause, the promoter will appoint another assessor.

8.0 2013 Timetable

The Programme, which may be subject to variation, is:

  • Brief available … 8 April
  • Questions deadline … 20 May
  • Registration confirmation … 3 June
    Please note: With the recent added support of the AJ the registration date for competition submissions has been extended to June 17
  • Submissions by … 28 June
  • First stage Assessment … 16 July
  • Shortlist confirmed … 19 July
  • Shortlist published … 11 August
  • Result announced … 18 October
  • Schemes published … 20 October

9.0 Questions

Any questions which competitors wish to ask concerning the design brief

should be addressed to Mike Gazzard Hon FRIBA ( before Monday 20 May

An explanatory memorandum based on all the questions submitted (with the appropriate answers) will be presented to all competitors on the specific page dedicated to the Design Competition on and will form part of the Competition conditions.

10.0 Registration of intention to submit

To be eligible for participation in the competition all entrants must notify the promoter of their intention to submit a design by email to: by Monday 3 June 2013

11.0 Submissions Method 

The design of each competitor is to be contained in a single package and is to be sent, carriage paid, addressed to Mike Gazzard, British Homes Awards, Fairway House, Clandon Regis (Golf Club), Epsom Road, West Clandon, Surrey GU4 7TT and clearly marked ‘British Homes Awards’ to arrive not later than 18.00 on Friday 28 June 2013. Competitors are advised that late entries will be disqualified.

Competitors requiring proof of delivery should enclose in their package a stamped, sealed self-addressed envelope. This will be posted upon receipt of submission.

12.0 Authorship

The author of the submission will not be disclosed at the first stage of the selection process as the Judges will want to assess the submissions without knowledge of the author.

Authorship of the designs will be disclosed at the short-list stage to the readership of The Sunday Times. A successful competitor must be able to satisfy the assessors that he/she is the bona fide author of the design he/she has submitted.

13.0 Competitors should retain copies of the designs submitted

14.0 Submission Instruction

No models will be required. Competitors should submit their design proposals on a maximum of three A1 lightweight boards, with a short typewritten Design Statement of a maximum of 1000 words explaining how the design works, technologies and construction materials used and confirmation of Code Level 6 attainment. The CGIs presented on the lightweight boards, together with the Design Statement should accompany the entries on disc(s). The CGIs should be of sufficient quality to enable the Promoters to present them on the appropriate websites and achieve the required reproduction values within the printed media.

15.0 Copyright

The ownership of copyright in the work of all competitors will be in accordance with the Copyright and Patent Act 1988.

16.0 Announcement of Awards and Exhibition 

To enable the selection process each entrant authorises The British Homes Awards (The Promoter) to present the entries in whatever medium and at such time or place that is considered appropriate but the Promoter will not be liable for any claims made against it resulting from any such viewing or publication. The Promoter will communicate individually with each of the short-listed competitors prior to publishing the schemes. The architects whose schemes have been short-listed by the judges will be advised in confidence by Friday 19 July. It is planned that the short-listed schemes will be published in the Sunday Times on Sunday 4 August to allow their readership the opportunity to vote for a winning design. The competition winner will be announced at the presentation of the annual British Homes Awards on Friday 18 October at which time the winner will be advised.

All the designs will be retained by the promoter for the purposes of exhibition, publicity and illustration.

The promoter may publish illustrations of any design, either separately or together with other designs with or without explanatory text.

The eventual winner will receive further publicity in The Sunday Times and all other schemes will be featured in the awards’ publication- “Design. The key to a better place”.

17.0 Disqualification

A design shall be excluded from the competition:

  • if received after the latest time stated under Submission Method
  • if, in the opinion of the assessors, it does not substantially meet the requirements of the Brief
  • if a competitor shall disclose his or her identity, or improperly attempt to influence the decision
  • if any of the mandatory requirements of the competition conditions and brief are disregarded

18.0 Appointment of the Architect

The author of the design placed first by the readership of The Sunday Times (selected from a shortlist of up to 10 agreed by the Jury Panel) will be appointed as the architect for the work. The fee for the work carried out in the creation of the prototype will be the subject of negotiation between the architect and the consortium that will build and take ownership of the building at the designated Show and will be paid by them.

19.0 Enquiries

The Competition is being administered by Tee to Green Marketing Limited, the Proprietors of The British Homes Awards, Fairway House, Clandon Regis, Epsom Road, West Clandon, Surrey GU4 7TT.

Tel: 01483 225221, email: to whom any enquiries relating to the general conditions of this competition should be addressed.

Any questions submitted together with the appropriate response are presented on the Design Brief FAQ’s Page