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Home Design and Build Trends

As the issue of leaky homes continues to make New Zealand headlines, home-builders are continuing to develop a desire for healthy, energy efficient homes.

Architectural designer Peter Davis, of AD Architecture, says there was not one “look” people were requesting, but clients in recent years want assurance that they will be getting a healthier home.

“There’s a pretty big variety of trends people are going with in terms of style and aesthetics, it’s more about the quality, comfort and energy efficiency of homes,” Peter says.

“There is a lot more discussion around things like photovoltaics, better insulation, better windows. We are designing most of our houses with thicker walls for extra insulation, insulated floor slabs, and superior performance windows and glazing.”

Even those not building new homes are talking more about the importance of energy efficiency, which is pleasing to see, Peter says.

“We have been through that whole leaky building thing, and the mould in houses, and when people are investing a lot of money they want to make sure they are going to be comfortable.”

There was still a way to go in terms of exceeding the standards required in the NZ Building Code, which many were beginning to do with help from the Homestar rating scheme and the Superhome movement.

“We’re trying to lift things to where we think they should be, rather than the minimum [building standards], Peter says.

In terms of the look of a home, Peter says they have seen a decline in requests for mono-pitched roofs, and a resurgence of gable formed homes.

Homeowners are taking advantage of the extra height a gable roof provides, and outdoor cladding is being brought inside the house as a feature on its own.

Large sculleries are a popular and common part of the modern kitchen, and as cloud storage replaces the need for filing cabinets and cupboards, and tablets replace computers, separate offices are now less sought after.

“People used to insist on having another study, but that is just becoming a space within the living room, a little nook or desk that might be closed off,” Peter says.

As a member of the New Zealand Green Building Council, David Reid Homes supports a more sustainable and energy efficient home environment, with all the tools needed to create healthy homes.  Contact your nearest David Reid Homes office for more information.

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