The ageing population today has increased dramatically all throughout the years. There are nearly 12 million citizens that are aged 65 in the UK (Age.uk, 2019). As part of our research on our Housing Alternative module, there is a need for better provisions of housing that raises aspirations and offering wide variety of options that can cater the general needs of elderly people. As the ageing population grows, it becomes an added key players for housing market. They comprises “one-third of all homes and population ageing will account for around 60% of household growth” ( Housing our ageing population, 2017). This will add as a challenge to all designers such as architects and urban designers to design a space that are capable to accommodate the needs of the elderly.
HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation) and its principles
HAPPI’s agenda focuses primarily on improving the quality of life of the ageing population by providing “high quality, sustainable homes and neighbourhood”. It also tackles and challenges the perception particularly the mainstream and specialised care for older people. In addition, It raises the aspiration for high quality homes and spreads awareness to innovate ways to design spaces and neighbourhoods. (Buterchi, 2009)
In addition of their agenda, HAPPI recommended 10 design strategies to be incorporated for housing ageing population (Housing Lin, 2014)
(Author’s work, 2020)
- Space and flexibility
- Daylight in the home and in shared spaces
- Balconies and outdoor space
- Adaptability and ‘care ready’ design
- Positive use of circulation space
- Shared facilities and ‘hubs’
- Plants, trees, and the natural environment
- Energy efficiency and sustainable design
- Storage for belongings and bicycles
- External shared surfaces and ‘home zones’
Application of HAPPI on UK housing: Pilgrim Gardens in Leicester
This housing scheme was awarded three times: HAPPI Completed Award 2014, Housing Project of the Year 2014 and HAPPI Project Award 2012 (PRP, undated )
It is a retirement living apartment complex in Evington Leicester, it has 31 apartments (with 30 bed care home). It is tenure mixed, with 15 rooms for sale and the rest are affordable rent and shared housing. The site is predominantly landscaped with outdoor seating area with roofed patios. It has communal lounge with activities such as bible study and leisures that are organised by the tenants. The site has its own designated large storage room where it can accommodate their mobility scooter and other belongings. Lastly, it is overlooking next to Evington Park that boast with greeneries and flowerbeds. (Pilgrims’ Friends Society, undated)
This housing scheme followed the 10 recommendations of HAPPI. This gave the residents an opportunity to enjoy the facilities it offers and enhancing their own quality of life. This precedent will set a high benchmark for designing great spaces for the elderly. In addition, designers may take inspirations to this precedent and use HAPPI recommendation as a tool to guide great many designers.
Age,uk., 2019. [online] Available at: <https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/later_life_uk_factsheet.pdf> [Accessed 28 April 2020].
Buterchi, J., 2009. The Design Perspective: HAPPI Principles In Later Life. [online] Housingforum.org.uk. Available at: <https://www.housingforum.org.uk/resources/presentations/working-groups/october-wg1-prp-design> [Accessed 28 April 2020].
Enck, P., 2017. The Gut Microbiota Of Exceedingly Healthy Elderly People Is Similar To That Of Healthy 30-Year-Olds. [online] Gut Microbiota for Health. Available at: <https://www.gutmicrobiotaforhealth.com/gut-microbiota-exceedingly-healthy-elderly-people-100-years-old-similar-healthy-30-year-olds/> [Accessed 21 May 2020]. (Cover photo)
Housing our ageing population., 2017. [online] Available at: <https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/5.17%20-%20Housing%20our%20ageing%20population_07_0.pdf> [Accessed 28 April 2020].
Housinglin.org.uk. 2014. HAPPI – Design – Topics – Resources – Housing LIN. [online] Available at: <https://www.housinglin.org.uk/Topics/browse/Design-building/HAPPI/> [Accessed 28 April 2020].
Ippr.org. 2014. For Future Living: Innovative Approaches To Joining Up Housing And Health | IPPR Reader. [online] Available at: <https://ippr.org/read/for-future-living-innovative-approaches-to-joining-up-housing-and-health#> [Accessed 21 May 2020].
Pilgrims’ Friend Society. undated. Pilgrim Gardens, Evington, Leicestershire. [online] Available at: <https://www.pilgrimsfriend.org.uk/pilgrim-gardens> [Accessed 28 April 2020].
Prp-co.uk. undated. PRP / Pilgrim Gardens. [online] Available at: <https://www.prp-co.uk/home/detail/pilgrim-gardens.html> [Accessed 28 April 2020].