Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Housing Commissions Lessons to be learnt

The Age has reported the housing commissions in Fitzroy, Prahran and Richmond will be reworked to better integrate them with their surroundings. Lessons from the 60's need to be learnt, lest we repeat the same mistakes from the past. A few thoughts:

  1. The cheapest solution is not always the best.
  2. Architects and engineers should offer work probono, or at least at a discount. Governments can chip by offerring incentives.
  3. At least one member from each discipline of the design team should visit the existing housing commissions. Interviews should be done with existing tenants to find out problems first hand, from which responses to each should be made, and reasons given for not fixing identified problems.
  4. Holistic design integrating support services on site need to be considered. (A police station, centrelink, mental health services on site)
  5. Government offices need to meet a 5 star greenstar rating, what minimum star rating should housing commissions meet?
  6. New metrics need to be created. How do we design "hope"? What makes sites inspiring?
  7. What minimum tools do we need to provide and design into the site that will help people get out. Is ownership or the lack of it, something that needs be conveyed?
  8. How do we utilize modular prefabricated housing to reduce costs, and increase the speed these developments are constructed?
  9. A lifecycle costing needs to be provided as well as a cost per unit at the beggining of the design phase. Outcomes at the end of a familiy's/person's stay need to be factored into the costs somehow.

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