Embodied Carbon Footprint in Medium Density Housing Design
The built environment is responsible for approximately 20% of New Zealand’s carbon footprint. Sustainable design strategies may potentially present an opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts of buildings. To this end, this thesis will focus on the effect design decisions have on that use of finite resources/ building material in medium density housing (MDH).
As a response to New Zealand’s housing crisis and affordability, there is a changing perspective around MDH. The demand for MDH in New Zealand since 2017 was projected to increase 6% per year (BRANZ, 2017, p. 1). Of the projected MDH, approximately 51% of the dwellings are to be built in the Auckland region (Page, 2017, p. 14). This thesis posits and tests sustainable design strategies of MDH dwellings that do not compromise aesthetic qualities for functionality. Design-led research will identify the relationship between design and carbon, providing conclusions on how MDH can be designed to have a lower impact on the environment.