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DACA Students Reach National Home Design Final

Four students from Darwen Aldridge Community Academy are celebrating reaching the finals of the national Home of 2030 Young Persons’ Design Challenge.

Twelve year-olds Bethany White, Eva Robinson, Ava Schiel and Ailsa Fox designed a home that drew high praise from the judging panel and they will be competing against a school in Sheffield in their age-group final next month.

The competition is funded by the Government and run by the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education, a charity founded by TV presenter and architect George Clarke. 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.

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 and I wish them all the best of luck.”

DACA Principal Lisa Dolan added: “To reach the final of such a prestigious national competition is a great achievement by the girls. 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!”