Residential Design: The Basics
Jane Briginshaw, Jane Briginshaw Associates
Kevin McGeough, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
Francis Moss, Jane Briginshaw Associates
1. Considering the requirements of good design upfront saves time and money. Incorporating design-thinking from project inception ensures the site is used to its optimum efficiency and avoids costly alterations post-completion.
2. Good design enriches everyday lives. Everything around us is designed, from our kitchen taps, to our street signs and city blocks. Careful, user-focused design can therefore improve every aspect of our daily activities, from parking our car, to taking out our bins and interacting with our neighbours.
3. Designing for the most vulnerable in our community creates better places for everybody. The Ebbsfleet Garden City is a case-study of how the specific needs of older people can improve overall housing quality and flexibility for every age-group.
4. We need to offer older people what they want. We need to challenge our preconceived ideas about what housing for the elderly looks like and provide a variety of housing choices that responds to real market research. HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation) outlines innovative housing examples for our elderly and makes recommendations to government and housing developers.
5. Simple tools help build communities. Ebbsfleet Garden City developed a digital monitoring programme that gave residents a ‘Fitbit’ to incentivise more walking. Not only did it inspire new social cohesion in the form of walking groups, the data collected from the ‘Fitbits’ also highlighted what routes residents preferred to use, and identified gaps for improvement.
6. The one who holds the pen wields the power. As the planning authority you are the custodian for your local area. Be clear about your design objectives and delivery expectations by laying out well-defined quality standards.