Home of 2030

Sunderland, UK

This competition-winning vision for the home of 2030 presents a low-carbon, low-energy building that can be easily reconfigured as the needs of its occupants change. Expedition designed the structural details and sustainability features for two building typologies, working with a multi-disciplinary team on a concept that is now being delivered as part of the 2023 Future Living Expo in Sunderland.

Expedition was invited to team up with long-time collaborator Igloo in this RIBA-organised competition which explored what the home of 2030 might look like. The competition, which was supported by Homes England, set a very detailed brief that touched on many of the issues that are central to Expedition’s philosophy of good design. 

The aim was to develop a design that would address the requirements for sustainable living in 2030, in particular meeting the RIBA targets for embodied carbon, and encompassing best practice in waste reduction, responsibly-sourced materials, design for reconfiguration and recovery of the structural elements and so on.  

The focus also expanded to the wider neighbourhood, inviting competitors to explore how their concept might address design for ageing living, wellbeing and health, biodiversity and the creation of self-sufficient communities with reduced car dependence. 

The central concept of our +Home proposal, which was named joint winner of the competition, is based on a panellised, modern-methods-of-construction process. But it also considers how materials can be efficiently recovered when the configuration changes or the building reaches the end of its life.  

Expedition was responsible for the structural engineering; we proposed dry, reversible connections, chose consistent panel dimensions so units could be swapped out or replaced easily, and natural, low-carbon materials wherever possible. We also carried out a lifecycle assessment on the design and demonstrated it could meet RIBA targets. 

In our wider sustainability role we took a deep dive into how smart technology could be used to assist occupants in choosing the configuration of their home; designed our buildings to Passivhaus standard, and looked at how we could source 100% of our materials responsibly.  

We are now assisting Igloo in delivery of seven demonstrator homes built to our design, as part of the 200-home Vaux neighbourhood development in Sunderland. This is intended to be complete in time for the 2023 Future Living Expo, and to kickstart a wider 1,000-home Riverside Sunderland scheme.   

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The UK urgently needs new, affordable, well-designed, accessible and sustainable housing that will last for future generations – and these proposals provide exactly that. The winning [Home of 2030] schemes show what’s possible when architects and designers collaborate and offer intelligent solutions to tackle the housing shortage we currently face.

Alan Jones 

RIBA  President 

Key People