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Budget Builds: Affordable Home Solutions.

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posted on 04.05.2022, 23:17 by Taylor, Zachary

Affordable housing is becoming an increasing issue in New Zealand as current house prices are increasing expeditiously, severely affecting first home buyers with no pre-existing assets. The purpose of this paper is to rethink the way we inhabit homes by examining developing countries approaches of incremental and self-help construction to generate affordable solutions. Although successful incremental designs have been reached in a third world approach, little research shows how these ideas can benefit first home buyers in a first world context with aid from prefabrication. This paper investigates the specific context of New Zealand through a digital and physical experimental approach of design.

The resulting design proposal develops expandable homes that allow inexperienced users access to engage in self-help building methods to achieve cost reductions. Design considerations are influenced by affordability, construction, and income to develop a preliminary understanding on how the combination of incremental and self-help techniques could prove an affordable platform for first home buyers.

Analysis of the developed design highlights that a cost-effective outcome is not possible through standard forms of prefabrication. As the material and manufacturing processes chosen to allow engagement of inexperienced users was not cost-effective, additional research is found to be needed to generate an alternative solution.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

120205 Residential construction design; 120505 Residential construction processes

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

3 Applied research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Marraige, Guy