Cradle-to-grave approach can revolutionise UK housing design

The UK needs to adopt a "cradle-to-the-grave" approach to house design so homeowners can stay in the same property as their life and circumstances change.

That's the view of Tata Steel, which has announced a partnership with the Agile Ageing Alliance and wants a fundamental shift in how the UK approaches housing developments.

Eliminating the housing ladder

This new approach would eliminate the current housing ladder that most people embark on: a small, starter home followed by progressively larger and more expensive properties before going back down the ladder in later life to return to a smaller home.

Using a cradle-to-grave approach, developers would instead create buildings that can be adapted to support a growing family and then adjusting to accommodate one that is ageing.

Adaptative properties required

Henrik Adam, chief commercial officer of Tata Steel Europe, said: "In construction, housing is seen as a very challenging area.

"We believe there is an urgent need for a new approach to home owning throughout our lives. The basis of this starts in designing a home where a person can live, work and play throughout their lives.

"Well-designed spaces coupled with tailored systems are the starting point of a cradle-to-grave approach to housing design.

"As the needs of the occupant change over time, the space can adapt with minimal disruption, thus reducing the need for a person to move and in turn strengthening the building of and continuity of the neighbourhood.

"At Tata Steel, we regard this not only as a business opportunity but believe it is our duty to work on sustainable solutions and play a beneficial role within the society we operate in. The provision of decent, affordable homes is an expression of that belief."