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BBC Wales's Geraint Vincent
"It's full of environmental gadgetry"
 real 56k

Saturday, 30 September, 2000, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
First tenants meet house of the future
Model of the House for the Future
The house is designed to be eco-friendly
The tenants of Wales's "House for the Future" have seen their new home for the first time.

Alison Powell and her three children will move into the purpose-built property at the Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans, near Cardiff when construction is completed in December.

The project is designed to provide an eco-friendly, solar-powered home which can adapt to its environment and even its occupants.

Model of the house
The size of the house can be changed
The creators claim the house can be adapted to suit the size of the family or changing lifestyles.

Among the house's features are structural bays which can be added to its timber frame to increase the space, a rainwater collection system for toilet flushing, and solar water heating panels.

The House for the Future is the result of a partnership between the National Museums & Galleries of Wales, BBC Wales and Redrow Homes which began last year.

It was the subject of an architectural competition, for which there were 321 letters of interest, 38 first stage entries and 6 shortlist finalists.

The winners, Jestico & Whiles, were announced in July last year.

Designers hope the house stimulates debate about changing lifestyles, culture, the climate of Wales, sustainable development and the future aspirations and needs of home buyers.

House for the Future building site
The family take up their tenancy in December
They say flexibility is key to its design and is conceived as a model for future housing, capable of reproduction in many different locations.

BBC Wales will make three forty-minute programmes on the house, covering the design, construction and landscaping.

Ms Powell and her children Avalon, Robin and Nicky will live in the house and document their experiences of it on camera.

"I'm sure they'll all have a great time testing out all the new innovations and spaces in this fantastic building," said John Williams Davies, project manager.

"It's very much the added 'real life' test that the house need before we open to the public on March 1 next year."

Visitors will be able to use and interact with facilities in the house when the Powell family have finished their week-long tenancy.

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