Medium-density opportunities

By - , Build 154

LIFE IS FULL OF CHANGE. Sometimes, this is so fast and unexpected we are left reeling. Other times, we can see it coming. We have time to react and make the most of opportunitities it may present.

I am delighted about one big change for Build this month – it is now being sent to all licensed building practitioners. Each issue will include some of the mandatory reading components of the LBP skills maintenance scheme as well as our usual range of educational material. Welcome aboard.

A recent development in the industry is the growing trend towards medium-density housing. Although definitions vary, this tends to be groups of houses up to 3 or 4 storeys high, configured as stand-alone, semi-detached or terraced houses, or apartments.

Statistics suggest that 20% of all new dwellings are now medium-density housing, with numbers in Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury well above this.

The growth gives builders an opportunity to expand their businesses from merely building traditional houses. Some may want to do this, but there are differences and challenges.

BRANZ has started a research programme to clarify issues around medium-density housing and provide solutions. Projects range from economic to social, from examining the quality of medium-density housing to testing materials and fire issues. One project has identified that improved compliance pathways specifically tailored or developed for some medium-rise buildings are needed.

Ultimately, we want to ensure that, as we build more medium-density housing, we are delivering housing that meets the needs of all New Zealanders and buildings that perform over their lifetime.

BRANZ has stepped up to play our part in making this happen. It’s up to those in the industry to also strive for excellence and create a legacy we can be proud of.

Annemarie Crampton

Build Editor

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