Two areas weigh heavily over the collective built environment industry - the need for fresh, innovative approaches to building design when considering carbon footprint and a drive for more age friendly housing design.

Regarding the second area, the need for more affordable housing often dwarfs our countries need to ensure our ageing population have the means to live as independently as possible.  And so it is fantastic to hear about the governments recent competition to herald successful innovation in this pressing area.

The winner of Home of 2030 will gain the opportunity to work with Homes England's development partners in developing their design on their land.

What's more, the competition further demonstrates the wider industry's ability to work together to drive forward new ideas.  All six finalists solutions have been brought together by the minds of architects, consulting engineers and building product manufacturers.  For example:

 - The Positive Collective combines Eco Systems Technologies, COCIS and Arup in developing a home-grown, offsite solid timber structure

 - Green Build have worked with HLM Architects and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in creating a high quality, sustainable design with interchangeable parts that any modern methods of construction (MMC) provider can adopt

 - Janus Modular Housing System brings together the minds of Outpost Architects with Milk Structures and EcoCocon (amongst others) who have inspired their solution around biomass materials made of timber and straw.  In turn, this has produced a system that emits zero waste and is sequesters carbon.

During your lunch break I'd suggest they are well worth further investigation.  Who said the construction industry (and to that matter the building materials sector) was a dinosaur when it comes to driving forward new ideas!