Project 2020

Published on

8 July 2019

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In collaboration with the NextGeneration team, Taylor Wimpey held a tour of the Project 2020 prototype homes in Oxfordshire for the NextGeneration members on 12th September. Representatives from Barratt plc, Lendlease, Redrow Homes, Telford Homes and JLL saw first-hand how an innovative design competition came to fruition.

Dr Anthony Lavers, Sustainability Analyst at Taylor Wimpey explains Project2020 in more detail below.

“Project 2020’ is Taylor Wimpey’s response to a changing world – an opportunity to design and build homes that will meet the needs of our future customers and leverage the innovations changing the construction sector. Launched in 2016 with an architectural design competition run in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), ‘Project 2020’ aims to test new house type designs that are innovative, sustainable, and appealing to the changing needs of customers. Now, three years after receiving entries for the design of these ‘homes of the future’ from architectural practices around the world, we’ve finished construction and are embedding the lessons learnt in Taylor Wimpey’s future strategy.

Who won the design competition?

We received over 100 entries for the Project 2020 houses from architectural practices in 14 countries. In the end, however, our judging panel concluded that the ‘Infinite House’ designed by Open Studio Architects in London best achieved the project’s objectives.

What have we built?

We’ve built nine ‘Infinite House’ prototypes in three different parts of the country – five in Oxfordshire, two in Manchester and two in Glasgow. Each region has trialled different construction techniques. In Oxfordshire, the prototypes have been built from cross-laminated timber; in Glasgow, our West Scotland business has used both a traditional timber kit and an advanced closed panel timber kit; and in Manchester, we have used traditional masonry techniques.

What are the sustainability features of the houses?

We wanted the ‘Infinite House’ prototypes to be as sustainable as possible, in terms of their energy and carbon efficiency and their positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our customers. We’ve achieved these goals by making homes that approach Passivhaus standards for air tightness and by building with materials that have excellent insulation properties. For example, the prototypes in Oxfordshire use wood fibre insulation. In Glasgow, one prototype has been fitted with a Sunamp heat battery that is charged by a solar photovoltaic panel. The heat battery provides the home with hot water.

We’ve also considered the health and wellbeing of our customers. The houses are designed to be adaptable and to accommodate different lifestyles, and to allow as much natural light in as possible. Floor to ceiling heights are higher than in most new build homes. And we’ve provided substantial living and storage space for our customers.

What have we learnt?

A lot! We’ve trialled new construction methods and thought about how suitable they are for our business. We’ve asked customers what they think about the look and layout of the houses and used their feedback to help us design a new range of homes. We’ve also learnt about responding to the future needs of our customers. As a result of Project 2020, we believe we’re well-placed to continue building a proud legacy now and into the future.”