I think I have alluded over time about my dislike of New Zealand housing. I suppose that across the world houses have evolved to best try and meet the climate challenges of that area. I am not sure that New Zealand housing has evolved that much.
A “typical” house here is made of wood and has a steel roof (I use the quote marks because so many houses are quite individual due to a culture of self-building, not like the UK identikit properties). It is lovely to hear the rain hitting a steel roof. An example house is just below…
New Zealand’s climate varies massively from the far north to the far south and yet you would think that solar panels had only just been invented, that no-one can count to two given the amount of single glazing, that wall and ceiling insulation doesn’t exist and that air conditioning, electric blankets and dehumidifiers were the way of the future. Use of firewood seems quite common.
I am of course being quite sarcastic above, but houses that are far too hot in summer and far too cold (and indeed damp) in winter clearly have a problem. The phrase “rug up” is coined here for those times when you just have to wrap up warm while indoors in colder weather.
Finally, houses that are not fit for purpose are also probably not healthy to live in, especially in the colder months. There is almost a stubborn attitude that says “I can put up with a few cold months because I don’t need this stuff for the rest of the year”. The sad thing is that people continue to build these low quality houses. It is pathetic.
I would say this, if you fit double glazing, your house will be warmer in winter AND cooler in summer. If you fit insulation, you probably won’t need any electric heating at all. If you fit solar panels, you will probably have hot water provided for a lot of the year.
New Zealand has a reputation for being a “green” country, but the housing is about as poor as it gets, hopelessly energy-inefficient…and yet it carries a hefty price tag to buy it. Go figure. This country is incredibly short-sighted and wasteful and needs to get itself into a much greener gear. Give us greener houses and not greenhouses please!