Calling all Meath West designers and innovators!

Minister English launches the Homes for Smart Ageing Universal Design Challenge

Today (31 January 2017) Damien English T.D., Minister for Housing and
Urban Renewal, launched the 2017 Homes for Smart Ageing Universal
Design Challenge. An initiative under the Rebuilding Ireland programme
(Action 2.19), the challenge aims to stimulate and encourage the
design and construction industries to be innovative in designing and
delivering housing solutions for older people.

Speaking at today’s launch, Minister English commented on the ageing
of Ireland’s population as representing one of the most significant
demographic and societal developments in the years ahead. He added
that, “with the number of people over the age of 65 expected to reach
1.4 million by 2041, the implications for public policy in areas such
as housing, health and urban and rural planning are considerable. This
challenge is aimed at harnessing novel and innovative ideas that will
improve the quality of life for older persons,in the context of
Rebuilding Ireland and the Programme of Actions for Smart Ageing.”

“To borrow a phrase, ‘we want to inspire people to think differently’
commented Ger Craddock, Chief Officer of the Centre for Excellence in
Universal Design. An expanding, ageing population, is a growing global
challenge, but one that can be tackled through new and innovative
thinking. We expect the talent in Ireland to demonstrate how simple
ideas can change people’s lives and benefit society as a whole.”

While primarily of interest to designers, the competition is open to
all. €100,000 worth of prizes is on offer, with five €10,000 awards
for commended entries after Round 1 and the grand prize of €50,000 for
the ultimate winner. The winning idea would be expected to make a
significant impact on Irish society, using universal design principles
to create products, services, solutions, and systems to improve the
quality of life for older persons in Ireland and ultimately, all of
us.  The winning entry should also be cost-effective, with the
potential for mainstreaming, in support of smart-ageing solutions, in
the areas of:

• Smart technologies in housing for older people, and/or;
• Adaptation of existing houses to meet the need of older people, and/or;
• Life-time communities.

The competition was launched in the Custom House today, 31 January,
and will be open for entries until the 13 March, 2017. All entries are
submitted online through the website,
www.homesforsmartageing-ud.com(link is external).

ENDS

About Rebuilding Ireland
Designed to accelerate housing supply in this country, Rebuilding
Ireland is tackling our country’s housing shortage. This action-driven
plan will result in a dramatic increase in the delivery of homes
nationwide. Ambitious and imaginative in its reach, and radical in its
approach, this plan will address the needs of homeless people and
families in emergency accommodation, accelerate the provision of
social housing, deliver more housing, utilise vacant homes and improve
the rental sector.

Backed by funding of €5.55 billion, Rebuilding Ireland is designed to
significantly increase the supply of social housing by 47,000, double
the output of overall housing to at least 25,000 homes per annum by
2021, service all tenure types (social, private and rental), and
tackle homelessness comprehensively. The wide-ranging plan seeks to
address all aspects of the housing system under Five Pillars:

• Address Homelessness
• Accelerate Social Housing
• Build More Homes
• Improve the Rental Sector
• Utilise Existing Housing

Rebuilding Ireland is available on www.rebuildingireland.ie(link is
external)  (link is external)
Follow us on Twitter for regular updates: @RebuildingIrl  #RebuildingIreland

About Universal Design
Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so
that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent
possible by all people, regardless of their age, size or disability.
This includes public places in the built environment such as
buildings, streets or spaces that the public have access to; products
and services provided in those places; and systems that are available
including information and communications technology (ICT).
(Disability Act, 2005)

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