Section 2: Thinking about the future


Pupils will consider what homes today need, and what those in the future will require. They will explore what will be different about future housing and what housing may look like. This session will encourage pupils to think about sustainability, environmental considerations, technology and broader issues within society that housing may respond to.

Time needed

Approximately 1.5 hours.


Open ‘HOF Powerpoint 2’.

So, what do we mean when we say ‘sustainability’?

Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. 

In order to live sustainably, we have to think about:

  • OUR PLANET: Protect our planet’s natural resources for future generations to come. We cannot keep using the earths materials forever, so we need to use them sensibly to protect the environment and everyone who lives on it now and in the future.
  • PEOPLE: We have to try and work together as communities to improve our health, wellbeing, education and quality of life
  • PROFIT: Sustainability focuses on economic growth that creates wealth for all people without harming the environment and making sure that all people have access to a good life.

Activity 1. What can we do to create a sustainable future?

Download the ‘Sustainable Activities’ resource pack which includes images of sustainable activities and materials. Distribute the images so that individuals or groups have a minimum of one image each. The images show a variety of ways that individuals and bigger organisations can begin to tackle environmental problems.

Using the PowerPoint presentation, go through the images and discuss with the pupils what they see the problem to be, such as de-forestation, plastic waste, unsustainable energies and more.

As you show each image, ask them to raise their hand if they feel they have an image which could offer a solution to the problem you are showing, and invite them to explain their answers. There may be more than one solution at a time, and actions could positively impact several of the images shown.

Activity 2: Thinking about sustainable homes

The students will now think about what kinds of materials they may use to build their house of the future, and why they will choose those materials.

Show the following video to provide an introduction to the different materials that can be used as an alternative to less sustainable materials.

If you cannot play this video in class, please follow ‘Link 1’ in the external resources section, or follow the additional link in the PowerPoint.

“When we watched the video about materials we discovered new materials like straw bale houses and timbercrete”

There are 20 images on this PowerPoint with notes about the various ways in which ideas seek to have a reduced impact on the environment. They include a mixture of styles, designs, materials and locations. Talk through these ideas with the pupils.

Hand out their ‘SustainableHouse_Ideas’ resource sheet. Pupil’s should fill out ideas for what their house might be constructed from and how it would be powered. There is space to write and draw to visualise what it might look like.

Encourage them to think creatively about what it made be made out of, how they might reuse waste materials or what natural materials they could use, along with how those living in the house could become self-sufficient by producing their own energy and growing their own food.

Download resources

External resource links

Smart homes of the Future

Link 1: What is Sustainability?

Link 2: Sustainable living by KidCyber

Link 3: Some common sustainability terms and definitions

Pinterest: Eco Design

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