David Wilson Homes has unveiled the results of a study in which it electronically tagged the residents of one of its research homes for six months.
The volume housebuilder attached the tags to members of the Parnell family while they lived in its four-storey research townhouse in Sheffield as part of its Project:LIFE investigation, which analyses how to allocate accommodation effectively.
The tags were designed to monitor how the inclusion of rooms not normally found in modern new-build homes, such as a laundry and a basement “den”, affected movement in the house.
Nottingham University researcher Mark Gillott, who has analysed the data, says that the study showed that the kitchen dining area was the most intensively used part of the house, and that family members tended to use other communal rooms individually.
James Wilson, David Wilson’s development director, said: "House design has to evolve as the needs of families change over the decades. We have to think now about what families are likely to want in the future as lifestyles change.
"We chose the Parnells as a fairly typical family. The parents happen to be married, but that wasn't one of the criteria.
“We wanted an outgoing family who would not be frightened by the technology, and with children old enough to express their views.”
The Parnell family was made up of a husband and wife, Nick and Sue, and two teenage daughters, Lucy and Hazel.