England’s second-largest city is calling on architects to come up with a “radical” new approach to domestic housing to shape its future design and construction.

Speaking at a property and investment exhibition this week, Leader of Birmingham City Council Mike Whitby said architects will be challenged to produce homes featuring “design values and sustainability levels” to become synonymous with the city.

The first “Birmingham Home” should meet climate change emissions targets with all materials locally sourced.

“The issue of combating climate change is perhaps the single biggest challenge facing society today. For ambitious international cities such as Birmingham this challenge is all the more pressing, set against a growing economy and ever developing cityscape,” says Whitby.

A design competition to develop the Birmingham Home is expected to be held during 2008, to be completed by next year, says Birmingham Council.

Earlier this year, Birmingham became the only city in the UK to join the International Connected Urban Development (CUD) programme, in recognition of its work to develop environmentally friendly ‘smart’ homes and communities.

By Ozge Ibrahim