Last week I saw this video shown at the Superhomes evening in Hamilton. A colleague next to me said quietly as we were watching this, "so not much has changed then." 

A video clip from 1948 covering housing in New Zealand, and there is parts of it that still resonates. (Link below)

We are still mostly obsessed with how much floor area we can get for our budget. It was a sobering moment for me, bringing home how our minimum standards are the norm. That's the purpose of the NZBC (New Zealand Building Code), to provide affordable minimums as a baseline, yet it is treated as a target by many, the aim for housing performance.

Change is coming, it has to. New Zealand's Minimum Insulation Construction levels are half of what they are in the UK and a 1/3 of what is the minimum in Europe. They are increasing shortly. Remember the resistance to double glazing? No doubt there will be resistance to this, but in time it will become the norm.

We cannot keep approaching this situation with the same mentality. As an Architectural Designer, it is my challenge to suggest ways of making our homes healthier and better quality often challenging the common mindset that my clients have. We only know what we have experienced and what we aspire to and need to experience is warmer healthier homes whilst embracing the action of doing things differently. 

Conversations about recessed windows, better insulation components and materials, shading in summer, and ventilation systems are all become more common in my practice. And I hope to get better and inspire better in how I do what I do. 

Smaller, Smarter, Better Quality, and long-term vision, for not only our occupation but the future generations who are going to inherit the product of our decisions. I hope that in 20 years' time we can no longer relate to this clip from 1948.

If you are wanting help with your build or renovation project and are based in Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Raglan, Hamilton, Morrinsville or Waikato Surrounds, book a complimentary chat with me, Sharon, and we can have a chat about how I can help you with your architecturally designed home.  

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Offsite NZ Member    Licenced Building Practitioner    New Zealand Green Building Council
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