Space standards floor plan

CABE commissioned a full size scale model of the ground floor of a typical two bedroom, four person family home to make it easier to imagine what it would feel like to live in a typical new-build home and bring alive the argument for minimum space standards for all new homes.

A full size scale model of the ground floor of a typical two bedroom, four person family home shown complete with furniture.
Photo by CABE

The model illustrates the findings of CABE’s report Space in new homes: what residents think, which found that new homes are too small for everyday life.

The floorplan was commissioned for CABE’s Simpler and Better housing event which took place on 8 June 2010 where we called for a simplification of housing standards.

What it looked like

The 7.60m by 3.74m floor plan outlines the rooms and fixtures in a typical new home and includes a built in kitchen and bathroom furniture printed onto 32 flexible floor tiles.

Real furniture is used in the lounge to give a sense of space and to show how the room would be used by an average family. It includes a table and four chairs; sofa; coffee table; two sets of small bookshelves; a side table; pouffe; highchair; clothes airer; washing basket; and freestanding lamp.

The model is accompanied by an exploratory panel with background information about how new homes in England are smaller than new homes in the rest of Europe.

The floorplan measured 7.60m by 3.74m internally, making its Gross Internal Area just 28sqm.
Designed by Crystallise.

Where the model has been exhibited

  • CABE’s reception at 1 Kemble Street
  • Exhibition space at Urban Vision North Staffordshire
  • Foyer of the Broadway Theatre, Barking for the Mayor of London’s Peoples’ Question Time
  • Places Matter offices for the Liverpool architectural festival
  • Foyer of Liverpool John Moore’s University for CABE’s Housing Standards Design Task Group meeting


There was positive feedback about the model from attendees at CABE’s event and from other people who saw it at exhibitions around the country.
Images of the floor plan featured on the Single Aspect housing blog.