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Students Are Runners-Up In National Home Design Awards

Two entries from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy students have been named runners-up in their age group finals at the national Home of 2030 Young Persons’ Design Challenge.

Sixth-former Zoe Porter and twelve year-olds Bethany White, Eva Robinson, Ava Schiel and Ailsa Fox designed homes that drew high praise from the judging panel. The winners were announced by TV presenter and architect George Clarke, who was full of praise for all the finalists.

The competition is funded by the Government and run by the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education, a charity founded by George Clark. The organisers challenged teams in different age groups from 11-14 up to 18 – 25 year olds to design homes for the future. These must be focussed on sustainability, environmental protection, climate change, health, families, ageing and the community as opposed to futuristic gadgets and comfortable, automated lifestyles.

The DACA team said: “We thought about how our home of 2030 could be affordable and help people stay in their home for many years. We made sure it is spacious and eco-friendly and has many sustainable features which will keep costs down for the owners whilst helping the environment.”

The team’s south facing house has large windows and air vents for natural air conditioning, and is designed to shut out excessive summer heat. Making use of solar panels the house would use less energy and water, harvesting rainwater through its Sedum roof to flush toilets and water plants.

Zoe said of her 'House for Life' design: "I wanted to create the the perfect family home which is adjustable through all stages of your life. It will be suitable for those who want to expand a family and for those who do not. This house will be an affordable option and one in which members of society in 2030 over the age of 60 will not need to leave due to physical difficulty."

Speaking on the announcement of the finalists Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, said: “This competition has showcased some brilliant designs from a talented group of young people – who knows, perhaps we have the next Norman Foster on our hands. These young people have achieved a great deal.”

DACA Principal Lisa Dolan added: “To reach the final of such a prestigious national competition is a great achievement by the girls, and we are very proud of them. This reflects our focus here at DACA on building confidence and problem-solving. Working as a team they have produced a really creative, innovative and practical design which I’d love to live in myself!”

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