Everyday costs are rising due to a lack in natural resources and a growing population, how much are we questioning how we live and designing and building for future living?
There are obviously cost savings to building a project style home off the plan, however having a home that is not designed for either the people or the place with a major underlying factor being cost cutting and profit, therefore there must be a compromise in the design, materials, finish, quality and level of construction.
A salesperson or Project style builder wants to sell their product, therefore by giving the client what they want, where as a designer is selling the design, getting the best result for the client, exceeding their design brief, guiding the client based on experience and a rounded knowledge of the overall process and advising across a range of areas.
Really how well are our buildings being constructed? In 100 years time are our buildings still going to suit the environment and our needs? Will we be preserving much of the project style homes that are being built today, for example typical brick veneer, tiled roofs, rendered walls. Sure there will be a huge increase in renovating and retrofitting our buildings, but will we be trying to save any of these buildings or materials.
We will be trying to save buildings that are unique, constructed well, significant architectural creations that are working with the environment and the people and shaping our history. Let’s look and demand interesting and unique designs that push the boundaries and question the current way of building. Sure a designer can put ideas in front of a client but ultimately it is up to the client, their design brief and decisions.
Let’s put the responsibility in the hands of creative and passionate people, who want to make a difference and shape future sustainable living, buildings and communities. Again we can put sustainable ideas to the client but it is ultimately up to them in their choice, maybe the outcome will be a more local, natural, sensitive selection of material choice as opposed to another that has a high embodied energy.
What does the future of housing look like? Or more to the point how could it look?
How about, landscaped native habitats that integrate our homes with the once natural local environment. The houses may not just be walls and roofs giving shelter but artistic, sculptural, architectural pieces, buildings that produce power, harvest rainwater and work with the local environment. Sites that allow for growing food on or nearby and composting food scraps. Power saving appliances, water saving fixtures and software to monitor the performance of the home.
It’s a holistic approach to the overall design, rooms and spaces located on the site for comfort. Sculptural overhangs and sunhoods that have been calculated to allow the winter sun in to warm the spaces and the summer sun to be blocked. Construction using sustainable materials with a low embodied energy along with local food and products that give back to our community and country.
How much energy does a building use over its lifetime, what are the chemical, waste and transport effects, what is its lifetime? Are we selfish and is it just education and a change of choices that will change our future living and housing? It may just be small compromises and more sensitive choices, but it is a start.