Shedding light on the out of sight - the design for a sustainable community that investigates the physical environmental impacts of the average New Zealand household
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Citation:Mirus, A. (2018). Shedding light on the out of sight - the design for a sustainable community that investigates the physical environmental impacts of the average New Zealand household. Explanatory document. A research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional), Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4522
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can the design of a self-sufficient community reduce the environmental impacts of a New Zealand household? KEY OBJECTIVES ARE: 1.Investigate low-carbon construction in the residential sector. 2.Determine requirements for self-sufficient living. 3.Design elements of a self-sufficient village using low-carbon construction. The environmental impacts of the western lifestyle are leading society towards unsustainable future. ‘Out of sight’ land is being drained to support this way of living and is exhausting the planet’s resources. Through architectural intervention, sustainable lifestyles can be enabled and look to lessen societies impact on the environment. This project investigates self-sufficient principles to reduce the current impacts of the typical New Zealand household. The average citizen in New Zealand uses over five hectares of land to provide their lifestyle over one year, yet only lives on a 617 m2 property. A self-sufficient village is suggested to bring the out-of-sight land to the attention of the consumer, shedding light on the pressing issue. The design of the village also seeks to reduce the amount of land consumed by the average New Zealander to an area that the earth can sustainably replenish. Just under a third of global greenhouse gases emissions are contributed by the construction sector, this subject is also acknowledged as an obligatory issue architecture must address. Straw bale, timber and adobe construction are explored as viable low carbon alternatives to mainstream construction in an attempt to reduce the impact future construction will have on the environment. Projected demand for housing in the Queenstown Lakes District will see hundreds of new homes built in the area. The aim is to provide an environmentally sustainable alternative to these future developments, using self-sufficiency and low carbon construction as tools to obtain this goal. The outcome is a design for a sustainable community built on the edge of the Cardona Village.