How do people use large houses?

  • YEAR
    Khajehzadeh, Iman
    Vale, Brenda
    2015 Conference Papers
    Architecture and Social Research
    Conference Papers


From 1974 to 2011 the average new New Zealand house almost doubled in size while occupancy reduced over the same period. A first study indicates the features of large houses include several bathrooms, double/triple garaging, extra bedrooms/living areas and specialized rooms although there is no study of how these extra spaces are used. As a part of a larger study of how resources are used in different sized houses, the aim of this pilot study is to find the overall time small households in New Zealand spend in the rooms of their houses. Two questionnaires were developed to investigate the type/number of spaces/furniture in NZ houses and ask households to report time spent in each space over 14 consecutive days. The results show that irrespective of house size, households spend most time in the usual bedroom of each member(s), and the space(s) for living, dining and the kitchen and less than 10% of time using extra rooms available. In this pilot study people with larger houses spend more time at home. Analysis also reveals time spent at home is highly patterned and very similar on working days but different at weekends.


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