BDN’s research partnership shortlisted for regional innovation award

Building Design Northern’s (BDN) Longevity Housing and Care Approach has been shortlisted for the ‘Innovation’ award at the upcoming Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards.

The Sunderland and Ulverston based Architects and Engineers have been shortlisted for the award at the annual ceremony which celebrates and recognises the most ambitious, innovative and hard-working Wearside businesses and the role they play in the economic success of the North East.

The ‘Innovation’ category recognises forward-thinking products, services, business models and initiatives that are creating change and making a positive difference to clients, customers and staff.

One of few Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) in the architectural domain, BDN’s Longevity Housing and Care Approach is seeking to improve housing and care for older individuals. Developed in collaboration with Northumbria University, the northern practice have established key design principles that promote accessibility, inclusivity and support to ensure new homes and care environments effectively serve the needs of a diverse ageing society.

BDN work alongside a collective of specialists from Northumbria University in architecture, gerontology, health and social care disciplines to provide a holistic understanding of the key problems and challenges related to ageing, enabling this knowledge to be transferred to live developments.

The KTP partnership has also been integrated into a £59 million framework for Sunderland City Council for improved care and housing provision for older people in the city, with BDN pioneering a flagship supportive living scheme in Ryhope, Sunderland. Due to begin on site in 2024, St Cuthbert’s Church is a new community of six high-quality one-storey properties and two staff hubs, designed to support improved health, wellbeing, and care.

Having scooped up the ‘SME Business of the Year’ accolade at last year’s ceremony, the northern firm have continued a period of growth, having recently announced the acquisition of Fitz Architects. The two Wearside firms have joined forces as sister companies to create a strengthened practice serving clients nationally.

“The KTP has provided a unique opportunity for BDN to embed contemporary research into our architectural design to further enhance advancements and impact within the ageing sector in the North East. It is great for our hard work in the longevity housing sector to be recognised and a privilege to be up against excellent initiatives that are driving innovation across our region.”

Dr. Faye Sedgewick
KTP Associate and Architect

Richard Marsden, Managing Director, said, “We are delighted that our Longevity Housing and Care Approach has been recognised as an innovate regional initiative.

“As a Sunderland based firm, we are dedicated in the transformation of the city and its people. We are utilising the research generated through the KTP to inform the design of new housing developments and care environments in Sunderland to improve the lives of older residents.”

In the next 12 months, the partnership will see further sites across the North East explored for Longevity Housing developments, with the practice eager to continue forward-thinking research.

Dr. Faye Sedgewick, KTP Associate and Architect at the BDN, said, “The KTP has provided a unique opportunity for BDN to disrupt the industry through innovation – embedding contemporary research into our architectural design to further enhance advancements and impact within the ageing sector in the North East.

“It is great for our hard work in the longevity housing sector to be recognised and a privilege to be up against excellent initiatives that are driving innovation across our region.”

The Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards are on Thursday 16th November 2023, hosted at the Stadium of Light. Find out more here > Finalists | Sunderland Business Awards 2023 (nationalworldevents.com)

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