South Tyneside architect’s dream for eco-friendly homes in the future

Paul Richardson on site in Turkey
Paul Richardson on site in Turkey

A South Tyneside-born architect is spearheading plans to build eco-friendly and sustainable communities for the future.

Paul Richardson, originally from Westoe, South Shields, has spent most of his career in architecture working overseas on luxury projects.

But last year the 42-year-old had a ‘bit of a life change’ and teamed up with other like-minded professions to form Haven Earth.

He said: “What we are wanting to do is create is sustainable towns and cities of the future.

“We want to show people that creating a home doesn’t have to be complicated and that is feasible to live self-sufficiently off the land around them.

“The dwellings are regenerative and recycle their own waste through natural systems mimicking nature.”

An artist's impression of a finished home.

An artist's impression of a finished home.

Paul, who attended Mortimer and Whitburn comprehensive schools, before studying at South Tyneside College, and his team aim to create these communities globally and already a model is taking shape in Turkey.

Workshops will be held at the site in Bodrum to educate others, and eventually its hoped this will be turned into a tourist hotspot which will help generate income and also show people how to create their own organic homes.

Paul, whose parents still live in South Shields, said: “Within five years these homesteads would be self-sufficient and they would need very little work.

“There’s two ways to create the domes, one is to use earth bags, which are similar to the sand bags the army would use.

“The other is use aircrete, which are very light but very study blocks which are wrapped in fibreglass.

“It doesn’t take long at all to create the domes, within one week in Turkey an entrance done and a study had been formed.”

The models can also be adapted to a country’s requirements - there’s aims to create living quarters which will serve as an orphanage for up to 60 children in Kenya.

Paul is remaining open-minded if one of his green communities could ever take shape in England.

He said: “There’s so much red tape and requirements when it comes to building regulations in Britain. There has been some recent changes to laws in Wales, where the Government releases you from building codes if you own the land - so you never know, this could happen here.”