As demand for housing is increasing, tensions between profitability and demand in house building highlight the difficulties in providing good quality, sustainable homes on a large scale. Architects' skills are critical to delivering solutions to the diverse challenges that this presents, and our work within the project team puts us in a unique position to manifest change.
The Home Improvement projects began with a survey and series of interviews with practitioners who suggested that architects consider research to be integral to their business. However it was clear that there are conflicting understandings of research, in particular about what exactly constitutes research and how it aligns with other everyday activities in practice.
Taking a lead from the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 – where research and development is now embedded – Home Improvements and the Research in Practice Guide has been developed to promote successful research techniques and help architects embed research in their projects and practices.