The newly-formed Construction Innovation Hub has teamed up with the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE) to challenge school students in the UK to design a home for the 21st Century. The winning design is set to become a reality.

The 2019 MOBIE and Construction Innovation Hub Student Design Challenge will ask students to design the ultimate 21st century house which may begin as a starter home but be extended to accommodate a multi-generational family. Students are asked to consider technology, affordability, size, space, family growth, sustainability, comfort, individuality and aesthetics.

It is MOBIE and the Construction Innovation Hub’s intent for the winning home design to be developed by architects and professionally structurally engineered, enabling the manufacture and assembly of modules at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry – a member of the Construction Innovation Hub. It is hoped that elements of the design will be showcased at major home and design events later in the year, with the full design showcased in virtual reality.

Mark Southgate, chief executive of MOBIE, said, “Established in 2017 by renowned architect and TV presenter, George Clarke, MOBIE aims to inspire new generations to join the building and construction professions and fundamentally transform the way we think, design and construct homes.

“MOBIE’s focus is on developing innovative ways to build homes, providing access to education and skills development and, vitally, challenging the housing market to do better. This challenge covers all the bases and we look forward to seeing entries from across the country that design homes to genuinely transform the way we live in Britain.”

George Clarke, founder and trustee of MOBIE, said, “I’m super excited about MOBIE’s new challenge with the Construction Innovation Hub. It’s an amazing opportunity for students of all ages to design a family home for the future which embraces modern methods of construction, innovative materials and digital technologies. I’m enthusiastically looking forward to being wowed yet again by the creativity and commitment of young designers.”

Keith Waller, programme director of the Construction Innovation Hub, said, “We are delighted to team up with MOBIE as part of the Student Design Challenge. The strong focus on modern methods of construction, sustainability and embracing new digitally-enabled manufacturing and assembly technologies goes to the very heart of what we are trying to achieve through the Construction Innovation Hub, as we work to be a catalyst for change right across the sector, delivering wider economic, environmental and social benefits for society.

“But key to delivering real and lasting transformation will involve attracting more young people with diverse new skills into the construction sector and that’s why initiatives like this one are so vitally important. I’m really looking forward to seeing what exciting new designs emerge through the Student Design Challenge and I wish all of the students who get involved the best of luck.”

Schools interested in taking up the challenge can find registration forms at

A shortlist of finalist teams will be selected, and those teams will be invited to attend a judging event hosted by the Construction Innovation Hub at the MTC on Friday, June 28.




George Clarke founded MOBIE in 2017 as an educational charity to train and inspire young people to innovate in the design, manufacture and construction of HOMES in the UK and abroad. The charity’s purpose is to attract and inspire future creators of the Built Environment through exciting new technical and vocational courses and schools outreach. It is for younger generations to define how they want to live now and in the future- MOBIE will help them do it.

About the Construction Innovation Hub

The Construction Innovation Hub brings together world-class expertise from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), BRE (Building Research Establishment) and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to transform the UK construction industry.

With £72 million from UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, we will change the way buildings and infrastructure are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within our built environment.

We will be a catalyst for change. We will drive collaboration to develop, commercialise and promote digital and manufacturing technologies for the construction sector. Research will help us understand how the industry can progress to develop new skills, product standards, capabilities and innovative solutions. This will be combined with an academic programme to create the security-minded frameworks and rules that will underpin our future digital built environment and grow exports for UK know-how.

About the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. It provides funding and support to UK businesses and researchers, part of the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next 4 years. It plays a central role in the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. It is run by UK Research and Innovation, which comprises the Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

About UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation is a new organisation that brings together the UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England into a single organisation to create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish. The vision is to ensure the UK maintains its world leading position in research and innovation.

About the MTC

The MTC (Manufacturing Technology Centre) is established to provide innovative manufacturing processes and technologies in an agile environment in partnership with industry, academia and other institutions.  The MTC houses some of the most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world, creating a high quality environment for the development and demonstration of new technologies on an industrial scale. This provides a unique opportunity for manufacturers to develop new and innovative processes and technologies.

About BRE

BRE is a world leading, multi-disciplinary, building science centre with a mission to improve buildings and infrastructure. BRE generates new knowledge through independent research and uses this to underpin the delivery of standards, testing, certification and qualifications that help to ensure buildings, homes and communities are safe, efficient, productive, sustainable and enjoyable places to be. BRE customers use the organisation’s expertise and services to deliver their social, environmental and economic goals.

About the CDBB

The CDBB (Centre for Digital Built Britain) is a partnership between the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge. It seeks to understand how the construction and infrastructure sectors could use a digital approach to better design, build, operate, integrate the built environment. A digital built Britain will:

  • understand what information is needed to enable better through life economic, social and environmental value from our built environment;
  • champion human-centric design of infrastructure and the services they deliver;
  • exploit new and emerging digital construction and manufacturing skills and technology to reduce costs and increase productivity;
  • grow new career, business and export opportunities for the UK.