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Homes through the decades: New NHBC Foundation report charts the making of the modern home

A fascinating new guide which charts the history of the modern home from Victorian times to the digital age is being launched by the NHBC Foundation today.

Housing has played a pivotal role in our society and has been at the very top of the political agenda for different reasons at different times over the last century.

Homes through the decades: the making of modern housing examines the political and social drivers, and technological changes that have shaped the modern home and the way we live. From the gadgets we use to the way our homes are built, the guide contains evocative images and informative charts which illustrate and define key periods in our housing history.

Homes through the decades poses questions about what our homes might look like in the future – will demographic changes, such as decreasing family sizes and an ageing population lead to new designs of homes? How much further will sustainability targets be pushed in housing design, and will higher levels of automation become the norm? The report notes how people living in modern homes today have greater protection than their predecessors through the introduction of Building Regulations, comprehensive building standards and warranties.

Commenting on the report, Neil Smith, head of research and innovation at NHBC, said: “Since the beginning of the 20th Century, Britain has experienced seismic changes in society, politics, technology and culture.

“We are now embarking on a further historically-important step for housing as we seek to establish a generation of new homes suitable for the 21st century. Our thinking should be informed by a clear understanding of what has gone before and an enlightened view of how we should address the challenges of today and tomorrow.

“Homes through the decades is an account of the drivers, endeavour and experience that over the last century has shaped the modern home. In its pages, we are reminded of the pivotal events and inspirational people – reformers, planners, architects, designers, technologists and construction teams – who grappled with the pressures and constraints of their time to deliver our unique housing heritage.

“The future, by definition is uncertain. However, as in the past, British ingenuity will once again be central to our success in overcoming technical challenges and delivering homes that are right for the coming decade.”

To accompany the report, the NHBC Foundation has also produced a “Top 10 moments in housing history” infographic, charting a number of significant dates that shaped Britain’s homes.

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