Taylor Wimpey, the British house building company known and respected around the world, has recently announced a joint competition with RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects. The competition has been set up to recognise and reward the most efficient techniques for designing and building homes. The need for new housing is a worldwide concern, and architects and developers across the globe are looking for more efficient ways to meet the demand. For these reasons, the competition is open to international entrants.

Efficiency is a factor sought by every business across all industries. At this time, the need for optimum efficiency is perhaps most visible in terms of the construction of new houses. In the UK it is widely known that the supply of new builds for homes is not meeting the annual demand levels. Seeking more efficient design and building methods is currently considered a high priority, as there can be no room to rush through building work at the expense of quality and safety.

A great deal of emphasis has been placed on the global nature of this competition. The UK is far from alone in facing a national housing shortage. The international nature of this competition should hopefully bring together different approaches from around the world, with the aim being to see shared knowledge deliver mutually beneficial results.

The joint nature of this competition highlights the ever closer relationships being formed between architecture and construction work. While one has always been dependent on the other, over the years there has always been a sense of a divide between the two. Closer co-operation is viewed as essential in reaching true efficiency in building, and it is anticipated that the competition will nurture even closer ties between those that design and those that build.

We wish every success to those entering this competition and we look forward to seeing how new builds and structural alterations in city centres, urban and rural areas can ease the pressure for new housing. We will be following the event with great interest, and know that ultimately the winner will be the construction industry as a whole through the discovery and development of more efficient processes and practices.