Why New Zealanders should demand more out of their homes.
As the landscape of New Zealand changes and the demand to live in cities increases, it’s more important than ever to take note of what European cities are doing to accommodate the needs of dwellers.
OSA Creative Director, André Kemp-Upton believes that New Zealand has typically been 25-30 years behind the rest of the world in building technology, and it’s due to our “she’ll be right” culture, i.e. We’ve been brought up to “chuck on another jumper” rather than addressing the real problem of a cold, damp house.
“We have very unhealthy buildings, and the majority of the world can teach us.” says André, “Now in 2019, we need to do this better, we just need to make it happen, with the governments support we can create healthier homes for our nation, and better buildings we will value and enjoy being in.”
We have the means and ability to make better choices to make this happen. The more efficient use of space, the most appropriate materials for our climate mean better design solutions must be considered in order to get more people living in higher-quality buildings. This can be done with better quality construction and listening and learning to the rest of the world who can and do build better homes. We can now design and build better quality spaces, for healthier living, and more affordability so that we have drastically reduced ongoing costs. This is our goal in design at OSA and one that all New Zealanders should be clued up about.
Buildings are made to last for 50-100 years, so the focus should be on creating a foundation of quality buildings which occupiers want to live in, rather than constantly wanting new benchtops and design aesthetics, to improve the value of their cold, damp homes. New Zealand should be building smaller, warmer houses that we can afford to build.
“A well-built house will have far fewer numbers of owners. Therefore, they will be happier and save money for other aspects of their overall life. It will reduce the energy dependence, and low running cost, and will result in happier families.”
OSA is a passionate group of designers and architects who believe in quality homes for a better lifestyle and future. “Saving money on energy waste will create better spaces for everyone in the community.” Consideration of this in your design brief and what you spend your build budget on is our goal. We want to help you to make good choices at the beginning of building a longstanding dwelling, so it still functions with people in mind for decades to come.