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The current building banquet feast!


Unfortunately for us mere mortals living in this beautiful country called New Zealand, for the past few years as a whole, the Gods of industry (being legislature, product manufacture/importation and supply) have all been failing to provide these basic fundamental building ingredients to create a successful digestible and satisfying recipes to make new residential building projects and new types of buildings into that desired banquet of fulfilled contentment.

What we have instead, is a potluck smorgasbord of individual flavours and ingredients, half-baked processes and spoiled offerings, all resulting in a bad case of chronic food poisoning.

If you doubt my cynicism, please cast your minds back to the late 1990’s early 0’ies, and remember how palatable the “Leaking Building” fiasco was and how it catastrophically affected many NZer’s lives irreparably, with many still feeling the aftershocks today. This “illness” was primarily driven by “Big Business” and weak legislature.

Now the new bitterness of “Leaky Building 2”. This latest tit-bit has starting raising its ugly head over recent years due to over correction of legislation to combat Leaking Building One! Haven’t heard of this one yet, stay tuned for more delicious highlights, coming to a neighborhood near you ……real soon!!

So those in the know realise the wheels are falling off everywhere in the building industry right now, with increasing demands on personnel, the stretched production targets, the hap-hazard output and the dubious quality control and the resultant products and services we now have as the norm.

Has anyone with any sway stopped to think something is not right….or are they all content on riding this gravy train, going full steam ahead without addressing any of these fundamental issues, thereby only increasing the sickness created by the current building industries toxic cuisine.

Anyone who has tried building over the last few years in Auckland for example, will agree the quality of production, quality assurance, delivery and installation of materials is generally abysmal at best. There are large “successful” building companies going broke (That in itself nothing new) however in a building boom – how can this be?

There are many reasons bandied around as to why this has happened, but if you sift through the marketing hype, the finger pointing and the hazy bong smoke that emanates from the rule makers in the capitol, (yes they must be on drugs, seriously there is no other explanation!) I think at the core of this issue is simple.

It’s “profit” or should that say “greed” ……………at any cost!

Despite any of that wafty bong haze or the rosy future that politicians are programmed to regurgitate (maybe there’s a correlation here?). A failure to meet the basic fundamentals of good design, good product and good building practice has left many Architects, Designers, Builders, Subbies and most importantly new home owners and New Zealand families in both financial poverty and mentally ruined. We all know about some sad story line featuring this aspect of modern NZ life.

If you think about how long mankind has been building houses, you have to ask why we are still making these same mistakes.

Next time I’ll chat about how this has happen, then what I think we should do in a new approach to design, product selection and building techniques and hopefully the reasons for this rant will hopefully become clear!

Remember………Art for living!

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