Super Innovation Network Challenge – Future Homes VR Model


The Future Homes project is developing new housing for an ageing society. They will combine innovations in flexible living, materials, digital technology and zero/low energy systems to provide support for everyone at any life-stage. Part of Newcastle City Futures, the project won £1.12m from the Homes and Community Agency in December 2016 to construct four demonstrator units in Newcastle. These demonstrator homes will then inform the design of a further 30 homes that will potentially be developed within the residential quarter of Science Central, to develop and test new housing models and standards. 

The Future Homes vision is to engage and involve the broader community in the design of sustainable, resource efficient, need, age and disability ‘blind’ desirable dwellings that incorporate the best of modern technology and provide flexible and adaptable space to meet changing user needs.


The Challenge:

A key part of the Future Homes project is to gain community engagement. Future Homes are seeking a technical partner to create a virtual experience of the Future Home that demonstrates the innovation in both design and construction and portrays the concept of living in the ‘Future Home.’

The VR model will need to deliver the following:

  • Promote a better understanding of the challenges of aging and the suitability of housing to meet these demands of an aging population.
  • Showcase the innovative design and technological advancements that will be contained
  • Demonstrate an ability to adapt to an evolving output form the co-design group
  • Engage the public in an active dialogue



The primary purpose of the VR model is to be a public engagement tool that can be used in a variety of setting and locations; effectively a mobile demonstrator home. Initially the intention is to use the model as a key feature of a pop-up exhibition during the Great Exhibition of the North which will run for 10 weeks commencing the 22nd June 2018.  It will also be used at VentureFest North East innovation conference taking place on 14th November 2017 that attracts over 700 delegates.  It will then be used as a resource for partners to showcase; the project, key research findings and contributions of partners.


Key audiences:

Multi-generational families and young people – 18-30 year olds.


Rewards & Benefits:

  • A potential audience of the >3 million visitors that will be attracted to the Great Exhibition of the North, VentureFest North East and other exhibition opportunities.
  • Being the primary platform to demonstrate a highly innovative practice in housing development and design.
  • Work alongside strategic partners, including the National Innovation Centre for Aging, Ryder Architecture.



  • The VR model should be developed in parallel to the demonstrator home design process and utilise the design output and architectural modelling, prepared using Autodesk Revit.
  • The VR model must be capable of capturing the spatial, material and design aspirations of the Future Homes design team.
  • The model needs to be portable and have ease of operation in order for a range of partners to utilise it for ongoing engagement and exhibition purposes.
  • The proposer will participate in and be a co-contributor to the Future Homes project.



Costs of the VR model can be met up to a limit of £5,000. The VR model developer will benefit of collaborating with a range of designers, industrial innovators and gaining a high level of visibility.


Criteria & Assessment:

Proposals that respond to this challenge will be assessed in 2 stages;

Stage 1 Expressions of interest: meet with essential criteria and technical specification.

Stage 2 Discussion with Future Homes project team on alignment with the Future Homes vision.


Key Dates:

Challenges opens June 21st 2017

Challenges closes July 24th 2017


How to apply:

If you are interested in this market testing exercise, please email the Innovation SuperNetwork team at or complete the form below so we can help you and guide you through the application process

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