FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes
University of Leeds Featured PhD Programmes
FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes

Flexible age-friendly future homes (Advert Reference: ERDF20/EE/ABE/JONESPaul)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

Sunday, August 16, 2020 Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The PhD project forms part of the Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme (IIIP) which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The IIIP Programme is a collaboration between Durham, Newcastle and Teesside and Northumbria Universities and aims to encourage a culture of innovation that benefits business, leading to greater export opportunities and increased graduate employment.

The Programme enables small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop new products and services.

This project will be a collaboration between Northumbria University and Plan B.

This unique PhD programme will be hosted by Plan B and within IDpartnership offices Newcastle (49% of the time) and Northumbria University, Department of Architecture and Built Environment (51% time). Plan B is a Masterplanning and Project Managing Architecture practice based in Newcastle. Plan B is a company that is expert at designing, specifying, costing and financing specialist housing developments including retirement villages. With ageing of communities there is an urgent demand for later life housing, particularly those with flexible design that will support individuals to age-in-place. The scope of this PhD programme has potential to influence innovation in this housing market.

As individuals age there is an increasing reliance on formal and informal support as care needs and frailty increase. It has long been recognised that the majority of people would rather adapt their home and services brought to their home to enable them to continue to live in their communities that offer biographical continuity. This brings challenges of adapting homes to support changing circumstances and use of aids and equipment within that space. Physical access to a home and upstairs areas can be problematic when mobility problems exist and this is illustrative of one aspect of a home that requires adaptation and if this is not possible relocation is often required.

Whilst much attention has been given to adapting and sensing homes there is substantial acknowledgement that more innovation in this space is required to enable older people to age-in-place if they desire to do so. In the technological age senses that can be embedded in the building and off-the-shelf products are widely available yet little consideration is given to this in the housing industry. The aims of this PhD programme will be to explore how adaptable homes, embedded with sensing technology can be created; understand the key implications of this for the building design; and to create adaptability within new housing plans. Design methods will be adopted to address these aims.

The Principal Supervisor for this project is Professor Paul Jones. The Co-Supervisor is Professor Glenda Cook.

Please note eligibility requirement:

• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
* Appropriate IELTS score (6.5 or above), if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. ERDF20/EE/ABE/JONESPaul) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Midnight 16th August 2020

PhD Start Date: 1st October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home and EU students with a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2020/21, this is £15,285 p.a.) and full Home/ EU Fees. The stipend will be part-funded by the ERDF grant and the University. The sponsor company will fund up to the home fee amount. Applicants from outside the UK/EU are not eligible for this award unless they are able to self-fund the difference between UK/EU domestic fees and international fees: (View Website)


Jones, P. Marsden, R. 2018-2020. A House for Bradley Lowery- this design research project is a new care typology for sick children and their families. Won through invited competition for the Bradley Lowery Foundation- to be complete Dec 2020.

Jones, P. Marsden, R. 2017-2020. Humbledon Hill Houses -Design and construction of 12 Eco-houses in Sunderland with BDN ltd. Winner of two National Awards. Second Phase to be completed in 2020. REF Output

Jones, P. Alwan, Z., Holgate P. 2016 Waste Minimisation in Construction using BIM in association with a Framework of Strategic Sustainable development Journal of Cleaner Production.

Jones, P. Alwan, Z (2015). Carbon Footprint assessments to improve climate change’ in the International Journal Structural Survey, published by Emerald Awarded Outstanding Paper of the Year.

Aitken, D., Cook, G., Lawson, A (2019) Housing Options for the Future: Older People’s Preferences and Views on Villages with Care and Support. Health and Social Care in the Community. DOI: 10.1111/hsc.12805

Cook G., Aitken D., Hodgson P., Marston R., Binks E., Peach R., McMillan C., Herman L., Park K., Conway S., Graham H., Blood G., Cossar P and McKinnon D (2016) Approaches to integrated housing, health and social care services: case studies from North Tyneside Council and Northumbria Healthcare. Housing LIN case study report
Cook G., Bailey, C., Hodgson, P., Gray, J., Barron, E., McMillan, C., Marston, R., Binks, E., Rose J.
(2016) Sheltered housing tenants’ perceptions of wellbeing and their usage of hospital services. Health
and Social Care in the Community. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12398

Bailey C., Cook G., Herman L., McMillan C., Rose J., Marston R., Binks E., Barron E (2015)
Deploying Telehealth with Sheltered Housing Tenants living with COPD: an Implementation Study.
Housing, Care and Support. 18(3/4): 136-148

Marston R., McMillan C., Binks E., Herman L. Cook G., Bailey C., Barron E., Rose J. (2014) North
Tyneside Living: an integrated housing, health and social care model to deliver preventative and
enabling sheltered housing services. Housing LIN Case study 98

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