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NEW HOUSING INNOVATION WEBSITE LAUNCHED

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The Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at Sussex University has developed a new website for the Jos...
The Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at Sussex University has developed a new website for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to assist and promote housing innovation by:

- charting the leading edge of housing innovation in the UK and internationally

- listing technologies and projects with contacts for producers, professionals and manufacturers

- giving a continuous updating on new projects and technological advances, including drawing on input from the website's users

providing links to other relevant websites

'I hope this new RethinkingHousebuilding website will prove to be a very valuable part of the efforts to improve the quality of housing in the UK,' said Nick Raynsford, minister for housing and planning when he launched the new site.

'The website should prove helpful in reinforcing the messages promulgated by the Housing Forum which has benefited from strong support from the Housing Corporation. The projects identified by the Forum show that some good progress is being made in improving the processes of housing production: the details of these need to reach more people and this website should stimulate widespread interest.'

Professor David Gann, responsible for the website, said: 'JRF's sponsorship of the Housing Innovation Knowledge Bank has enabled the development of an important new information hub for all those involved in housing production and renewal. The level of interest in quality and performance improvement in UK housing has grown remarkably over the past three years, stimulated by The Housing Forum. The Knowledge Bank can play an important part in disseminating information about innovative housing projects in the UK and overseas. It aims to provide a mechanism for sharing information and lessons from current practice, thus avoiding duplication of effort.'

The Foundation's work in this area began with a major conference, Rethinking Housebuilding, held at the RIBA in April 1997 and continued with a three-year research programme with the same title. JRF's CASPAR projects (City-centre Apartments for Single People at Affordable Rents) which have tested opportunities for factory-building are featured on the website as are the Foundation's experiments with Smart Homes technology and this work continues.

The website also draws on information about research and development on housing innovation in ten countries outside the UK, includes details of projects from 2000 HOMES and from the Housing Forum, linked to the government's initiative for Rethinking Construction and supported by the Housing Corporation.

Access to www.RethinkingHousebuilding.org is free.

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