Sharing Space and Older New Zealanders: Preferences for the Conversion of Existing Houses
Authors: Yavari, Fatemeh; Vale, Brenda
Given the slow rate of adding new houses to the existing stock in New Zealand and the fact 80%
of older households fall into the small categories, it is essential to find effective design solutions for
redeveloping existing houses to achieve a better quality of life for the elderly. Two New Zealand housing
types were redesigned to New Zealand Lifemark standards. Three design proposals were produced for
each type with various degrees of sharing. To discover how potential users felt about degrees of sharing
in the proposed designs, these were presented to people aged 55‐85 years using an online questionnaire.
Participants were asked to comment on the six schemes and proposals for the redesign of the section and
outdoor space. The main focus of the survey was to investigate the features liked by respondents in each
scheme. This study shows that conversion of the selected houses to accommodate ageing in place is
possible. Findings from this study also show having a spare multi‐purpose room and private deck are the
features most favoured by the respondents. Size and sunlight are also important factors in housing design,
and smaller, and potentially easier to heat and maintain units, are less liked than larger ones.