Straw into gold : a low carbon approach to Christchurch's housing needs
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Citation:Pringle, R. (2016). Straw into gold : a low carbon approach to Christchurch's housing needs. Explanatory document. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Architecture (Professional), Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/4260
Research question: How can low carbon materials be used to provide a sustainable medium density housing model for Christchurch? Climate change is one of the biggest problems facing mankind, and the contribution the built environment makes to the problem is immense. Architecture can play an important role in the survival of the global environment. If materials and methods that are environmentally sustainable are utilised, then architects can do their part in addressing the pressing issue. This project explores low carbon architecture that uses local, renewable, biobased materials. Bio-based materials like timber and straw are an abundant, and in the case of straw, under utilised building material. Each year in Canterbury alone, 310,000 tonnes of straw is burned as waste. This presents an opportunity to turn what is seen as waste into a valuable resource; turning straw into gold. Out of the destruction caused by the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake comes an urgent need for new housing and an opportunity for change and innovation. The aim is to address the urgent need for housing by using prefabricated straw and timber panels to form a sustainable, medium density housing development in the centre of Christchurch.