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The Building Homes Programme is the place to learn how to provide great places to live. This year our events include focus on the current drive to zero carbon, the use of masterplans and design codes and how new housing can respond to the pandemic.

Subscribe to our Building Homes Programme for access to a wide range of events that focus on all stages of the development process and help you overcome the barriers to delivering good quality housing. For more information please get in touch.

Past Event

Thu 30/06/22, 12–1.30pm

Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) may be presented with design codes drawn up by developers and/or landowners, prior to setting their own local design code policy. How can LPAs ensure quality, compliance, influence and effective decision making in the process. Are there unintended consequences in developer led design codes and can they fit with LPA led, policy based area wide codes required by the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill?

Past Event

Wed 23/03/22, 9.45am–12.40pm

Collaboration is key to bring in vital skills in housing delivery, so how can partnerships help to provide great places? An in-depth look at all aspects of partnership working in the housing sector.


09.45 Registration

10.00 Introduction & Overview: Partnerships – who is using them and why

  • Why do players in the sector use partnerships for housing delivery? Looking at the range of partnerships, who uses them, and the benefits and risks involved, Katie Saunders (Trowers & Hamlins)

10.20 Choosing a partnership and setting it up and support available

  • What do you need to look out for when exploring the use of a partnership? Understanding the importance of objectives, drivers and how to evaluate your partners including practical tips and pitfalls to avoid, Paul Inch (Better Delivery)
  • How does the GLA help to facilitate partnerships with private and public sector partners? Natalie Daniels (GLA)
  • Q&A

Comfort break

11.10 Partnerships at different stages – exploring at design, delivery and development agreements, looking at case studies.

  • Design Stage, Eleni Stathi (HTA)
  • Delivery Stage, Matthew Goulcher (Housing Forum Procurement Working Group)
  • Q&A

Comfort break

  • Development Agreements/JVs, Janine Newton (Countryside)
  • Q&A

12.15 Partnerships for great places

  • Speaker discussion exploring how to get the most from partnerships to deliver long term outcomes for communities.

12.40 Wrap up & Close

Past Event

Wed 09/02/22

Delivering housing for diverse groups and across the generations is a huge challenge. This session explores successful approaches and how they can inform your thinking in this increasingly important area.


9.45 Registration

10.00 Introduction & Overview: What homes are we

providing for different groups?

  • Overview of housing types, Dr Andrew Harding (Lancaster University)
  • Identifying the housing you need, Kerry Parr (AECOM)

10.30 Providing housing for specific groups

  • Approaching housing for specific groups, Boris Worrall (Rooftop Housing Association)

Comfort break

  • Case Study: Extra care and dementia friendly design, Tom Randle (Levitt Bernstein)
  • Case Study: Student Housing, Euan Millar-McMeeken (LB Tower Hamlets)


11.10 Break

11.20 Intergenerational Approaches

  • The intergenerational housing approach, Anthony Hu (Matter Architecture)
  • Case study, Jenny Butchari (PRP Architects)
  • Case study: Oakfield, Swindon, Tom Mitchell (Metropolitan Workshop)


Comfort break

12.15 Moving forward to enable thriving communities

Speaker and delegate discussion on how to move forward, with top tips and pointers on how to enable successful place making and community building

12.45 Wrap up discussion & close

Past Event

Wed 19/01/22, am

Do communities remain involved in the shaping of their local area as it changes? Has this been successful, and how could it change into the future? This session will explore the story of homes and communities and discuss future directions for resident engagement, ballots, community led housing and more, including the growing use of digital methods.


9.45 Registration

10.00 Introduction & Overview – Home making and shaping

  • Have communities been able to stay involved in the shaping of their local area as it changes? How successful has this been for the communities which have emerged? Daisy Froud (UCL)

10.40 What methods and approaches are delegate organisations using?

  • Polling Snapshot of current practice, Susan May (UDL)

10.50 Comfort break

11.00 What are the ways of working with and for residents? What is effective and what creates the places needed for communities to flourish? Including statutory engagement, use of ballots, co-design and community led housing.

  • Statutory engagement, Sam Holgate (Filigree) , Deborah Efemini (LB Lewisham) & Laura Alvarez (Nottingham City Council)
  • Regin & ballots, Matthew Morgan (Quality of Life Foundation)
  • Community led homes, Mellis Haward (Archio Architects)
  • Q&A
  • Comfort break

12.00 Shaping and making homes of the future – speaker and delegate discussion

  • What are the trends for collaboration and co-design going forward? How can the growing use of digital methods be effective? How can resources best be used and focus be given to design outcomes as well as process? Matt Bell (Heatherwick Studio) & Clare Richards (ftwork)

12.45 Wrap up & Close

Download Event Takeaways

Past Event

Wed 08/12/21, pm

For this session we are looking at the changing balance of demolition vs retrofit – how has climate change affected the choices and what is working best for communities? With short provocations from the sector and opportunity for sharing across housing teams within organisations.


13.30 Welcome & Introduction

13.40 Demolition or Retrofit?

  • What are the complexities of the various factors surrounding the demolition and retrofit question? How can we make sense of the key issues?, Charlotte Johnson (UCL)
  • Experiences from local authorities and lessons learned, Seth Rutt (LB Camden), Michelle Christensen (LB Camden), Neil Vokes (LB Camden) & Rafe Bertram (LB Enfield)

14.15 Discussion

  • Sharing experiences, opportunities and challenges in this important area of work.

14.45 Close

Past Event

Tue 16/11/21, 10am–1pm

An essential update on the shifting pattern of funding for housing, exploring the latest trends and finding ways to deliver great places within your budget.


9.45 Registration

10.00 Introduction & Overview – Funding Housing, Valerie Conway & Debbie Lloyd, David Lock Associates

10.20 What funding streams are provided and who brings them to the table

  • Local authorities perspective, Alice Lester, LB Brent
  • Private sector perspective, Steve Partridge, Savills
  • Government players, Kate Webb, GLA
  • Q&A

11.35 Break

11.50 Bringing it all together & making it work

  • Funding for mixed use & mixed tenure, Mark Baigent
  • Managing funding viability, Charles Soloman, Valuation Office Agency

12.45 Wrap up discussion

13:00 Close

Past Event

Wed 13/10/21, 9.30am–4pm

Over the last 18 months, UDL has held a series of Urban Challenge events looking at fresh thinking on how urban areas are designed, planned and managed. The conversations have been amazingly rich, pointing to potential ways we can practically combat climate change, inequality, public health problems and biodiversity decline.

This session continues the series, building on concepts previously discussed whilst bringing in new voices.

Watch a short video here on 'Can we plan for local living? And should we?' by Esther Kurland, Head of UDL.

If you are not a member, please email to book your place.


9.30 Session 1: New ideas on cities

  • Introduction, Esther Kurland, UDL
  • Commentary, Examples & Tool, Yolande Barnes, UCL & Adam Scott, Freestate

10.15 Comfort Break

10.30 Session 2: New ideas on travel

  • Introduction – Are all journeys equal? Valuing movement properly, Esther Kurland
  • Commentary, Examples & Tools
    • Planning a mutli-time city, Sebastian Weise, Place Changers
    • The 1m city in Sweden, Dan Hill, Vinnova
    • Identifying neighbourhoods for intensification, Russell Curtis, RCKa Architects
    • Softhub mobility and access to local services with capacity to support a growing population, Ed Parham, Space Syntax
    • From macro high tech solutions to local low tech improvements, Scott Shepard, The Internet of Mobility

12.15 Lunch Break

13.00 Session 3 New ideas on buildings & activities

  • Introduction – Don’t control the use, control the impact, Camilla Siggaard Andersen, Hassell Studio
  • Commentary, Examples & Tools
    • Designing for intensity of activity, not building density & approaches to managing mixed use, Alexis Butterfield, Pollard Thomas Edward Architects
    • Supporting flexible, locally based work space, Grace O'Mara NearU
    • Ground floor masterplans in Oslo, Matthew Sandu, Leonard Design Architects

14.15 Comfort Break

14.30 Session 4 New Ideas on neighbourhoods

  • Introduction – Prioritise local solutions before city wide approaches, Camilla Siggaard Andersen, Hassell Studio
  • Commentary, Examples & Tools
    • Are suburbs automatically convertible to walkable neighbourhoods?, Eleanor Warwick, Clarion Housing
    • New ways of designing locally focused communities, Max Farrell, LDN Collective
    • Encouraging local verses global commerce, Ina von Turow, FNDR

16.00 Close

Evening Reception

17.30 - 19.30

We are inviting conference attendees to join us for an evening reception at Hassell, to continue the conversation about urban futures in person.

The address is: 6 – 14 Underwood Street, London N17JQ.

If you are travelling from afar, Hassell also has a few hot-desk spaces available for the day.

Please email Maanya Bali to sign up.

Past Event

Tue 28/09/21, am

Flexibility is about letting people live their lives the way that works for them – letting people work, relax and play. We will explore the opportunities and challenges of designing for flexibility and how to achieve this in practice .

If you are not currently a member, please email us to reserve your place.


10.00 Welcome & Introduction

How adaptability has evolved, what do clients and residents want now? Yolande Barnes, Bartlett Real Estate

Drivers for Flexibility, Grant Leggett, Director and Head, Boyer London

10.30 Flexibility in Practice

What examples have worked & why, David Birkbeck, Design for Homes

Comfort break

Case Studies

Knights Park Cambridge, Teresa Borsuk, Senior Advisor, PTEA Knights Park Cambridge

Alexis Butterfied, Associate Partner, PTEA Knights Park Cambridge

Connector Housing, Jennifer Beningfield , Principal and Founder, Openstudio Architects

Using Flexible Construction for great placemaking, Patrick Usborne, Director, Perpendicular Architecture & Paul Inch, Director, Better Delivery

Intergenerational Homes, Eleanor Brough & Sarah Wigglesworth, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects


12.00 Break

12.15 Overcoming the Challenges

Frances Holliss, London Metropolitan University

Irene Craik, Levitt Bernstein

Roland Karthus, Matter Architecture

Q & A

13.00 Wrap up discussion & close

Download Event Takeaways

Past Event

Tue 13/07/21, am

This session will explore schemes with complexity in the design or delivery including mixed use, multi tenure and dense schemes. We will learn from successful case studies and understand key strategies for the delivery of great places.

Agenda includes:

  • Welcome & Overview

- Antje Saunders, Allies & Morrison

  • Understanding complexity in housing developments

- Eleni Stathi, HTA

- Paul Quinn, Clarion Housing Group

- Paul Buckenham, Tower Hamlets

  • How does complexity link to great places?

- Peter Maxwell, LLDC

Download Event Takeaways

Past Event

Thu 10/06/21, 10.00 - 12.30 pm

Masterplans are a core part of place shaping. This two-part morning session provides both an introduction to masterplanning including the relationship to design codes; and practical help for those who work with masterplans from day to day.

Download Event Takeaways

Past Event

Wed 26/05/21, 10.00 - 12.30 pm

Are we successfully tackling the housing crisis?  Are we building enough high quality homes in the right places, at a level people can afford?  This session will debate all aspects of this key issue.

Past Event

Wed 05/05/21, 10am–1pm

There is much confusion on how to achieve zero carbon and where the milestones lie along the way. This session will look at a range of approaches and discuss the practical challenges.


  • Understanding the context to achieving zero carbon for new build housing
    Hannah Gibbs – Future of London
  • Learning from different approaches – Future Homes Standard, Passivhaus and LETI
    Chris Twinn – TwinnSustainabilityInnovation
    Emma Osmundsen – Exeter City Living
    James Woodall – Allies & Morrison
  • Design for a changing climate
    James Woodall – Allies & Morrison
  • Panel discussion

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