thesis_access.pdf (115.94 MB)
Download file

Designing a sustainable, medium density housing solution that is an affordable alternative for developers

Download (115.94 MB)
posted on 2021-11-22, 20:15 authored by Saris, Milla

It has been acknowledged that there is a housing crisis in New Zealand (NZ), particularly in the large urban centres (Hulse, 2015). As a solution, medium density housing developments are becoming more prevalent. However, these developments are controversial in a country that prides itself on its generous housing and open spaces.  Sustainability is also an issue in the NZ architectural environment. NZ is a small country isolated in the South Pacific, so ‘sustainable’ materials must often be imported, this long-distance transportation increasing their cost as well as their carbon footprint. Many products also reference ‘green washing’, with companies misleading consumers into believing their product is environmentally friendly (EnviroMedia Social Marketing, 2017). Legitimately sustainable technologies and materials are often seen as unaffordable, and people (particularly property developers) are not prepared to consider eco-friendly building practices if they do not believe they will get an economic return for their investment.  Because of these factors, New Zealand does not have a dynamic and sustainable medium density housing vernacular. The current research addresses these issues by seeking out materials and technologies for use in a theoretical medium density housing development. The project focuses on finding innovative and sustainable potential solutions for architects, developers, property buyers, and wider community stakeholders. It argues that architectural materials and processes should aim to fit as closely as possible within cradle-to-cradle frameworks involving closed loop production, construction and reuse systems (Braungart & McDonough, 2010).


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 Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Gjerde, Morten

Usage metrics