We’ve been fielding huge interest for small footprint, healthy homes and amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, there’s never been a greater need for well designed, high-performance homes. A smaller home = smaller mortgage = greater resilience. Set plans are a catalogue of pre-designed house plans & spec’s you can choose from when planning your new home. With Greenbridge’s set plans, you can have confidence in the: design detail; non-toxicity of materials; energy efficiency; and build cost….
Prior to Covid-19, Greenbridge’s director Daniel Woolley was working on the first of our set plan home designs. However in light of the new social and financial landscape emerging, where the potential benefits of a well designed range of set plan home designs is needed more than ever, our Set Plan range is now his number one focus…
Set plans aren’t a new idea, with many group builders having their own ranges – so what is Greenbridge doing differently? To answer this question, let’s start by looking at why the standard practice of custom design in the NZ building industry isn’t serving kiwi home owners…
INEFFICIENCIES OF CUSTOM DESIGN & BUILD
When was the last time you ordered a custom mobile phone, television or car?Why not?Because it would cost too much and you’d likely end up with a compromised product, that wouldn’t perform well. Why then in Aotearoa, is it normal to custom design and build the most expensive of our purchases – our new homes?
Good home design takes time and therefore money to produce, with the likely design cost for a new home being $30,000 or more. Architects, who are generally considered the highest skilled design professionals in this field, generally charge around 10% of the project cost and even then, may not have sufficient time to consider healthy materials and high performance.Consider then, that the majority of homes in NZ are designed by drafts people that often not only don’t have the time, or budget, but don’t even have knowledge of these specialist areas.
Stand-alone homes currently account for the majority of new builds in NZ with new home sizes having exploded from 110sqm for 4 occupants in the 1960’s, through to 210sqm for 2.4 occupants in 2010.Thankfully these figures are starting to drop, with the medianhouse size in 2019 being 180sqm (largely due to the increase of townhouses and apartments).
The New Zealand new home market is largely one of McMansions, because people are focussing on square meter build rates, rather than the total build, or even more importantly lifetime cost – resulting in oversized, poorly performing and often ugly homes.This is particularly true of many group home builders, who despite often having set plan ranges, usually focus more on profitability for the build company, rather than good outcomes for home owner.
A BROKEN BUILDING INDUSTRY
Beyond the upfront cost of custom design, there are several other facets contributing to why NZ homes are often expensive, unhealthy and perform so poorly.The following are Greenbridge’s top five reasons why…
• Big homes may bring down the per square meter build rate, but a big build = big costs!
• The industry focus on minimum standards, rather than system performance, results in low performing and often unhealthy living environments.
• The lack of understanding and integration of healthy and environmental building design, material specification, and build practices in the NZ build industry in general.
• The monopolisation of many of the building materials used in the NZ market, resulting in monocultural, overpriced home builds (builders often focus on specifying products with the best rebates).
• The majority of NZ’s build companies have between 1 & 4 builders and come from a “cottage industry” mindset, with homes being largely constructed the way they have been for the last 500 years, despite huge leaps in technology.
WHAT’S GREENBRIDGE DOING DIFFERENTLY?
Greenbridge’s specialist home designers Daniel Woolley and Luke de Villiers have over 30 years combined experience and approach design of our set plans from a unique perspective…Daniel trained in industrial design and has extensive experience: designing cabinetry, with healthy home construction, and recently qualified as Taranaki’s first NZGBC Homestar assessor.Luke also trained in industrial design and gained much of his experience designing yachts (throughout New Zealand and abroad), making him a specialist in small space design. Their combined skillsets, means that rather than designing one off buildings, Greenbridge approaches the development of our set plan homes like designing beautiful, efficient and high performance ‘products’.
Investing in a Greenbridge Set Plan, gives you a beautifully designed home, made of healthy materials, with excellent energy performance (all Greenbridge Set Plans are Homestar rated), with clear build costs from the outset (every Greenbridge Set Plan includes a full quantity surveyor costing and materials list).And thanks to ANZ’s Healthy Home Loan Package along with our small footprint designs, they can be more affordable too.
To find out more, or to get your hands on Greenbridge’s new Set Plan range, check out Part Two of this Blog next week…