2nd Edition

The Housing Design Handbook A Guide to Good Practice

By David Levitt, Jo McCafferty Copyright 2019
    360 Pages 458 Color & 92 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    360 Pages 458 Color & 92 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    360 Pages 458 Color & 92 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    Everyone deserves a decent and affordable home, a truth (almost) universally acknowledged. But housing in the UK has been in a state of crisis for decades, with too few homes built, too often of dubious quality, and costing too much to buy, rent or inhabit. It doesn’t have to be like this. Bringing together a wealth of experience from a wide range of housing experts, this completely revised edition of The Housing Design Handbook provides an authoritative, comprehensive and systematic guide to best practice in what is perhaps the most contentious and complex field of architectural design.

    This book sets out design principles for all the essential components of successful housing design – including placemaking, typologies and density, internal and external space, privacy, security, tenure, and community engagement – illustrated with case studies of schemes by architecture practices working across the UK and continental Europe.

    Written by David Levitt and Jo McCafferty – two recognised authorities in the field – and with contributions from more than twenty other leading practitioners, The Housing Design Handbook is an essential reference for professionals and students in architecture and design as well as for government bodies, housing associations and other agencies involved in housing.

    Contributors.  Foreword.  Introduction.  1. Places That Get Better Over Time.  2. Typologies.  Semi-detached.  Terraces.  Flats.  Maisonettes.  Housing for an Ageing Population.  Student Accommodation and Build to Rent.  3. Density.  Low Density (35–90dph).  Medium Density (90–250dph).  High Density (250–350+dph).  Tall Buildings (350+dph).  4. Internal Space.  5. External Space.  6. Mixing Homes with Other Uses.  7. Privacy.  8. Security.  9. Bins, Bikes and Cars.  10. Tenure and Sustainable Communities.  11. Estate Regeneration.  12. Co-design.  13. Sustainable Design and Construction.  14. Cost in Use.  Abbreviations and Glossary.  Sources of Information.  Index.  Acknowledgments.


    David Levitt and David Bernstein co-founded Levitt Bernstein in 1968. At the same time, they started what is now one of the UK’s largest housing associations. David Levitt’s involvement in commissioning and designing housing – and his interest in the concerns of clients and residents – produced The Housing Design Handbook in 2010. Eight years later, he has returned to it – adding the expertise of his many contacts in the field.

    Despite retiring from practice in 2005, David has continued as a ‘design champion’ for housing developers and housing associations and as a board member of Design for Homes.

    Jo McCafferty joined Levitt Bernstein in 1997 and now leads the practice’s major housing studio. Her key role has been championing inventive solutions at masterplanning and detailed-design scales and to work with communities to empower residents through the design process. As co-editor ofg this edition of The Housing Design Handbook, she brings her experience on current projects, emerging policy and contacts to give insight into best practice.

    Jo sits on the RIBA Awards National Panel. She is a CABE Built Environment Enabler and a guest critic at the University of Newcastle, University of Cambridge and invited lecturer at the Architectural Association.

    ‘There is much talk these days about design in housing but less understanding of what that means in practice. This unique compendium illustrates housing that raises the bar in terms of quality and shows how good design can create great places to live. It is a must for all those involved in the design, construction and commissioning of housing.’

    Peter Murray, Chairman, New London Architecture

    ‘This collection of short essays and good practice examples is an invaluable source of inspiration. In spite of scarce resources, it shows that we can create and maintain high-quality, lower cost homes. It challenges many assumptions about design, density, and the way integrated communities can work.’

    Professor Anne Power, London School of Economics

    ‘Drawing on a broad range of international examples, this book provides an inspiring survey and forms a comprehensive guide to designing great places to live. From pioneering postwar estates to community-led housing and exemplary student accommodation, it is an essential toolkit for architects and clients alike, with topics ranging from typologies and densities to external space and how to successfully mix housing with other uses.’

    Oliver Wainwright, architecture and design critic, The Guardian