Nick Hill, Chief Executive, Building Officials Institute of NZ (BOINZ), has some ideas about how industry participants could contribute towards improving building quality.
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Professor Andrew Barrie from the University of Auckland says that developing people’s understanding – their literacy – about architecture can only lead to a better built environment. He’s part of a group encouraging this by producing maps and books that show what ‘good’ looks like.
A BRANZ research programme is taking a whole-of-system look at the industry to examine why we still have so many poor buildings in New Zealand when the ways to reduce this perennial problem exist.
Customers expect options with different prices and benefits when buying anything from cars to fridges. Why don’t we offer clients options to achieve a better-performing home? They can get many benefits for little extra cost.
Rather than being confined to the 1990s and 2000s, stakeholders BRANZ surveyed believe the problem of weathertightness failures in homes is ongoing and possible solutions go far wider than building design.
Before trying to improve quality, the building industry must agree what quality means.
There’s plenty of cracks to be found when examining why poor-quality residential builds are so common. A look at the number of requests for further information for each building consent tells part of the story, as does the rate of inspection failures.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is taking a whole-of-system approach as it reviews how it manages and regulates the construction sector.
There are many benefits from a focus on quality in construction. At the practical level, there are fewer call-backs and more satisfied clients. Beyond that, higher-quality buildings deliver healthier environments for living and working. At the top level, they can be inspirational.
Eliminating quality defects in residential construction would boost productivity. In recent research, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) quantified the benefit to our economy and households.