FROM 2014, the government progressively launched 11 National Science Challenges to focus science investment on difficult issues that matter to all New Zealanders.
With funding of $326.4 million over 10 years, the challenges’ goals, if achieved, are intended to have major and enduring benefits.
These mission-led programmes take a different approach to research and require collaboration across disciplines and organisations. While several of the challenges touch on the built environment, one is firmly focused on addressing significant issues in this space.
The Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities challenge launched in May 2016 aims to improve the quality and supply of housing and create smart and attractive urban environments. It is early days for the challenge, but pages 42–60 showcase some of the research under way. We will have more in Build in future issues.
Quality housing is also the key to our second feature – Grand designs. We open with Chris Moller, host of Grand Designs New Zealand, sharing his thoughts on what makes a great design (see pages 68–71).
We then drill into an essential element of a grand design – quality in design, functionality and the build standard. But what is quality?
Research in BRANZ’s eliminating quality issues programme of work has defined quality (see pages 73–74). Interestingly, a BRANZ survey of industry preceptions found that the bulk of the industry think they are going beyond Building Code minimums in new houses. Questions remain. Is this just perception or reality? How significant are the efforts to go beyond Code? Could more be done?
For grand designs, and even good design, we can aim higher. We offer advice for designers, builders and clients on pages 73–80 and, as always, in other articles such as The Right Stuff on pages 24–39.
I find it hard to believe that Christmas is now only a few weeks away. To all our readers and advertisers, many thanks for your support this year. And from all the Build team, we wish you and yours a safe and happy Christmas and a successful 2018.
You are welcome to send the Editor a note at any time. Annemarie.Crampton@branz.co.nz
Articles are correct at the time of publication but may have since become outdated.