The Home Grown Home: A little FAQ

Written by  James Moxey.

Who is commissioning the homegrown house
The homegrown house is being commissioned by Woodknowledge Wales who lead a consortium of partners including Exova BMTrada, Coed Cymru and Cardiff Metropolitan University. This consortium is running the Home Grown Homes project on behalf of Powys County Council who are the overall project lead.

Why are we commissioning the design of this house?
We want Wales to become a high-value forest nation developing products and services that have a positive impact on climate change.

Close up of hand drawn technical drawingThe home grown home will be a demonstrator of how this might happen. It will be an inspiring and healthy place to live appealing to all the senses and demonstrating the benefits of wood to our well-being. It will provide a demonstration to house builders, from major housing associations to self-builders, as to the value of building affordable homes with timber.

We also want to build a house that demonstrates sustainability and creates confidence amongst developers, financiers and mortgage providers; construction professionals; insurers and regulatory authorities.

Why timber?
Pile of logsTimber is the planet’s most sustainable material for the construction of large numbers of homes. Timber provides strength, versatility, durability and beauty to a home whilst locking away the carbon that trees have captured from the atmosphere.

What will be the role of the architect?
We are not asking for design solutions at this stage as we are more interested in appointing an architect, partnership or organisation who will work closely with us through the design and construction phase of the project. We see the design and construction process as being collaborative with significant client input. This will include revisiting and amending the design brief. A briefing paper has been produced that provides the context, design criteria and an indicative timescale for applicants.

How does building a home from timber have a positive impact on climate change?
Ice berg meltingTimber buildings provide an unrivalled opportunity for carbon storage with the carbon sequestered by trees being locked away within the superstructure of the building.

At the same time there is a chronic shortage of affordable housing in the UK. It is our belief that Wales can lead the way by demonstrating how UK timber can be used to build both affordable and low carbon housing.

Is this just a one off?
The design commission is just for one building but we aim for it to act as an exemplar or demonstrator pilot for housing associations and other developers in ways to build affordable housing.

How do I find out more information about the commission?
The design commission is being publicised via Sell2Wales. More information about the design commission and for additional documents please register your interest here: