BISI: A new framework for designing affordable habitats

On Friday 20th June we launched BISI Affordable Habitats, the publication that was the culmination of our 2014 ENVISION Student Partnership. The launch was a great success, with representatives from care & housing providers, construction & development companies and universities in attendance.

The launch event consisted of a breakfast, followed by a presentation from the ENVISION student team with James Ward and Andrew Duffin of NBRS, finishing with a round table discussion about the future of Affordable Habitats, chaired by Andrew Leuchars.

Feedback from the publication was overwhelmingly positive, with industry representatives applauding the promotion of activating secondary social spaces in the BISI Framework. There was robust discussion about how these ideas could be executed in reality.


About the Publication

Rapid population growth and the competition for space in cities, creates the need for affordable housing. It is a pressing global concern. We believe that the idea of affordability is intertwined with accessibility and proximity. This concept lead our research team to the broader consideration of affordable habitats rather than affordable housing.

Our concept was to develop solutions for affordable habitats that evoke and embody the human scale. An exploration of the human scale can foster new and mutually beneficial connections between demographics and demonstrate positive methods for forming interdependent relationships within communities.

Our approach to affordable habitats considers the human scale through three components, to alleviate the pressure on primary living spaces and engage secondary spaces. These three components are the integration of the built environment, infrastructure networks and social capital. We have coined this the BISI Framework.


The BISI framework supports lower income households in compromised situations by providing them places to live, connect and socialise. The framework is adaptable across the age & demographic spectrum. The publication features two case studies: Affordable Habitats for Students & Seniors.

Read more & download a copy of the publication:

Be a part of Envision Student Partnership in the future:


NBRS+PARTNERS is a people focused, research based studio that aims to enrich lives. By developing creative design partnerships our portfolio spanning public and private sectors exhibit an understanding of the people whose lives will be affected. Above all NBRS seeks to design environments that will have positive life changing affect. Architecture is the cornerstone of NBRS+PARTNERS global interdisciplinary design practice with expertise in Architecture, Heritage, Interiors, Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, ESD and Research. Since 1968, NBRS has developed a research led international architecture practice based in Sydney Australia. NBRS is recognised for its innovative, award-winning design excellence and comprehensive expertise. Our design-minded, 50 strong team’s unique focus on creative partnerships helps to realise solutions, with extraordinary results.

One comment

  1. This is great, this is one of the reasons I got into architecture to begin with

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