Housing typologies in your area

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There are 1.6 million existing homes in New Zealand, many of which are underperforming.   Insulation, as an example, is specified at high levels now for new houses, but many existing homes were built before insulation was mandatory and are still inadequately insulated.

Our research identified ten basic house types.  Even though New Zealand’s climate varies from the top to the bottom of the country, the same basic housing types in each period of history were used throughout the country for mass housing.  In the main these were timber framed houses with metal roofs and little or no insulation.  As shifts in society and culture occurred, including updates to the building regulations, changes appear in house typology.

Early housing (pre-1890)

Early housing example

Villas (1880-1920)

Villa example

Bungalows (1920-1940)

Bungalow example

Art deco (1925-1935)

Art deco example

State houses and mass housing (1930-1970)

State house example

1960’s and early 1970’s multiunit houses

1960s-70s multi-unit house example

1970’s housing (1970-1978) pre-insulation

1970s house example

1980’s housing (1978-1989)

1980s house example

Early 90s (1990-1996) pre-revamped Building Code

1990s house example

Last decade (1996-2007) post-insulation upgrade

Last decade house example


Using these house typologies, we looked at which housing typologies are easiest to retrofit, and what proportion of the overall housing stock do they make up.  This is helpful for councils in considering the extent of the challenge in improving the housing stock in their areas, and the most appropriate interventions to improve performance.


  • 31-Oct-2008 (Report EN6570/9)

    New Zealand House Typologies to Inform Energy Retrofits (PDF 651KB)

    Verney Ryan, G Burgess, Lois Easton

    This report outlines the methodology and work undertaken to develop a series of housing typologies to inform Beacon in relation to energy retrofit interventions. It outlines the findings from a workshop examining house typology and a process of engagement with key experts to develop a framework for definition of house typologies applicable to the New Zealand housing stock.

  • 31-Oct-2008 (Report EN6570/8)

    Housing Typologies: Current Stock Prevalence (PDF 392KB)

    Ian Page, J Fung

    This report analyses the characteristics of the housing stock (such  as roof space and sub-floor space access, existing insulation levels, window and wall cladding condition, etc) that affect the ability, opportunity and need to retrofit sustainability features.  The report confirms the typologies developed in earlier work are generally useful and numbers in each group are provided.