Our house, on Sciblogs

Article on our house, at Sciblogs NZ:
Building a healthy home for people and the planet

And a bigger version of the pic, complete with Fire Pixie and TSROTI:


10 thoughts on “Our house, on Sciblogs”

  1. Is 150sqm really considered “small” for a house (in NZ) these days? *is amazed* My ex-state-house is 90sqm + about 15sqm of separate garage, and seems “medium sized” to me (large for 1 person; a bit cramped for a family of 4); and I think my parents house that I grew up in was under 150sqm and still seems pretty large to me (even for a family of 4).


    1. New houses are in general getting bigger – when I was looking into building a 2bdrm under 100 square metres was unusual in the prefab homes.

      Having said that, NZ has a lot of houses that are over 50 years old as well.

      Our apartment, at 100 square metres, is considered large for what it is.

  2. Well, there’s the average size of a house in NZ, then there’s the average size of houses being built right now in NZ. We’re comfortably below the later, thanks to the huge increase in McMansions over the last decade.

  3. I don’t have the numbers to hand, but I think the average size of houses consented last year was over 200 square metres.

    I found it hard to get good numbers on house sizes, or average energy use. You’d think that after the leaky buildings fiasco, we would have learnt the importance of actually knowing something about the several hundred billion dollars worth of assets we call houses, but no, it seems this government considers that monitoring housing is one of those unnecessary bureaucratic jobs that it isn’t worth spending any money upon.

    1. If the mean new house is over 200sqm, I hate to think how many are sufficiently big to drag the average up like that. Especially with modern households generally having fewer people than, eg, 50 years ago it seems rather odd that the average house sizes have gone up dramatically (eg 200sqm seems about double 50 years ago), rather than gone down. (And yes, given government involvement of housing at many levels — including liability around leaky homes — not keeping more track of what we have seems… unfortunate.)


    1. Yay! Urban sprawl and high costs for heating/cooling/cleaning/maintenance!

      It’s an all-round success! (Well, for everyone developing houses, at least…)

      1. Yup. Average commute time in Melbourne goes up about 10mins per year.

        Also, the new outer suburbs are so sprawling, with so few amenities such as parks, schools and medical facilities that a recent enquiry labelled tham ”obesogenic” environments that promote weight gain and are predicted to become ghettos of ill health within 20 years. Not to mention that most new suburbs are 30km from the nearest public transport and nobody will be able to afford to drive to work with only a minimal rise in the price of fuel … Really, it’s a beautiful vision of the future for the world’s most livable city

        1. Well hey, if you’re a developer paying $200k for a section of land, are you going to put a $300k house on it and make a profit of 5% of $500k, or are you going to put a $600k house on it and make a profit of 5% of $800k?

          Clearly, what makes property development profitable clashes with what makes communities liveable, hence there needs to be strong government rules that force the develop of communities to be liveable, rather than profitable.

          (This comment being brought to you by being at a conference on planning for sea level rise, where developers in NZ will kick and scream and take local councils to court if the councils try to stop the developers from building houses right next to the sea, or on flood plains, or on rapidly eroding coastlines. And who ends up paying when the houses are washed away, when roads are lost, when drains and sewers fill with salt water? The councils, not the developers.)

          1. Yes. I’ve got a friend that works for the city of Melbourne that just conducted a study on build-quality/running costs of houses and offices built by owner-occupiers vs property developers. It was interesting to note that the money spent on running an inefficent developer-built house overtook the cost of building a better building within the average time that houses/offices are occupied by a single occupant (clumsy sentence but hopefully you know what I mean). They were hopeing to use this to drive up building standards. And then the government changed and decided to scrap the highest standards that exsist already in the name of affordable housing. What a crock.

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