Addressing the call for medium density housing innovation through design

  • YEAR
    Gjerde, Morten
    Groom, Sarah
    Robertson, Tom
    Saris, Milla
    2016 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science and Building Design
    Conference Papers


Increasingly, people in New Zealand are finding it difficult to get into housing that is affordable and that fits with their needs. Although the government is unwilling to see this as a looming crisis, it has addressed the problem by introducing means by which housing can be built more quickly. A large proportion of the new housing is expected to be in the classification of medium density. With some 30,000 new homes required in the short term in Auckland alone, the current situation presents an opportunity to rethink how medium density housing (MDH) is configured in New Zealand. The paper develops a design framework for MDH that accounts for more sustainable, adaptable and affordable housing that can better meet the needs of New Zealanders now and in the future. The research sets out the potential for MDH to make use of prefabrication and modular design to enable efficiencies today and flexibility in spatial configuration over the building’s lifetime. The framework would inform design solutions that are more efficient to produce, more flexible for occupants and that would have higher sustainability ratings than those of speculative housing that is currently being produced.


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