Waitakere NOW Home: Occupants’ experience of the home and implications for future NOW Homes

Rachael Trotman.

This report reviews the research on the Waitakere NOW Home occupants’ experience of living in the home and the impact of their behaviour on the physical performance of the home.

Overall, the occupants’ experience of the house was extremely positive, with the features consistently impacting most positively on their experience of the house being the layout and open plan design, sun and natural light, warmth and temperature, the concrete floor and reduced energy costs. The occupants regularly and consistently referred to significant health and wellbeing benefits from living in the house, including decreased levels of ill health, increased children’s confidence, a more active social life, enhanced interfamily relationships, a low noise environment and generally feeling “happier”.

There was less clarity on the impacts on the occupants’ behaviour and how this might unfold. Their experience, however, has provided valuable insights for the HomeSmart Homes programme, both for the development of new houses and the monitoring and research associated with them.