What does it take to build affordable housing?

    Thursday, March 10, 2016

    The Australian Dream is an idea or belief that owning a house or property can lead to a better standard of living and secure future. However, building design throughout the world has become more sophisticated and technical and is adding a range of new building costs. In Australia, this is compounded by the property market boom. Together these changes have made the cost of housing a major barrier to many Australians searching for their own Australian dream.

    Housing affordability is an essential aspect of a building design. But what does it take to construct affordable housing and why is it important?

    Building design throughout the world has become more sophisticated and technical

    Why is affordable housing important?

    Not only does housing realise the basic human right to shelter, affordable housing is also essential to a person's or a family's wellbeing. 

    According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, affordable housing creates a stable platform on which benefits such as secure employment is based. Furthermore, it also helps create a relationship with the community as well as developing a homely environment where people can feel safe. 

    Unfortunately, there are a number of Australians who are unable to access affordable housing. According to Habitat for Humanity Australia, there are over 173,000 Australians currently on the public housing waiting list, while there is also an approximate housing shortage of around 553,000 affordable properties. 

    This is a major problem not just for the government but for all Australians. 

    How can Queensland produce affordable housing?

    Policy and legislative reforms can help Australians access affordable housing by creating subsidies and other mechanisms. Alongside this, civil and structural engineers can act as key stakeholders in affordable housing. 

    One of the engineering sector's goals has been to deliver quality products at lower costs. Structural and civil engineers have used scientific methods to improve the energy efficiency and structural integrity of housing developments. Reducing redundant construction techniques and implementing streamlined management processes are two ways engineering consultants have been able to accomplish this.  

    How can affordable housing help Australia?How can affordable housing help Australia?

    In recent years, there has been an effort to not only lower the initial cost of housing, but to also find ways to reduce the costs associated with upkeep. The rising cost of fossil fuels and the parallel rise in energy costs has led engineers to consider ways to reduce the long-term costs of owning a house. 

    One way that engineers are trying to reduce the ongoing costs associated with energy is by making housing more thermally efficient. The implementation of features such as insulation and energy-conserving building materials are making an impact on energy savings. This has the effect of reducing the cost on occupants and property owners by decreasing the amount of energy they use to either cool or heat their homes. 

    If you would like to find out more about building design, talk to the experts at Burchills Engineering Solutions