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Heritage Concept – A sense of where you come from, your ancestry, family heirlooms and memories add to the richness of your current existence.
Family Concept – Family structure changes over the years and a family home needs to respond to this – accommodating additions; extended family; different generation lifestyles; changes in lifestyle, work patterns, and financial resources; and family members leaving and returning.
Social Concept – A proper balance of communal and private spaces; communication and co-operation between family members; and a welcoming aspect to visitors make for a socially harmonious household.
Spiritual Concept – Living treasures, object treasures, beauty in proportion and detail, family rituals and traditions, shrines and sacred places, respect for others, and creative, soulful living all express the spiritual nature of a place.
Psychological Concept – Spatial order and harmony, appropriate use of colour and light, outlook and connection the outdoors, and the opportunity for personal expression contribute to the psychological well being of a building’s occupants.
Biological Concept – The creation of a healthy indoor climate and a breathing structure through appropriate choice of materials and construction is important for the long-term health of the occupants.
Ecological Concept – Buildings that use materials that do not contribute to environmental problems in their harvesting, production, installation, demolition and disposal; that use energy and water efficiently and sustainably: and are coupled with sustainable land use; are vital for the long-term health of the planet.
Functional Concept – The spatial flow within and around a building; the relationship of rooms to each other, social activities, the outdoors, sun and wind; and public to private gradations need to be properly planned to create a harmonious background to the life of the building.
Materials Concept – Materials feel more appropriate if they reflect the place where they are used. Regard for local materials and their availability, and response to the local climate contributes to a style of house that feels at home.
Structure Concept – Structure needs to be appropriate to the site, the climate, the sense of solidity or openness of the design, and the function of the building. Honest and expressed structure increases the connection between people and the spaces they live in.
Maintenance Concept – Maintenance of your building is like maintenance of your body and clothes – part of everyday life. Choosing and placing materials appropriately is important to get the best out of them. Caring for your home is more enjoyable if it is done bit by bit as things wear out, rather than taking drastic steps. Accept the beauty inherent in natural weathering, and treasure the patina of age as part of your family history.
Economy Concept – Better to do some of your project well than all of it indifferently. Build in stages as your needs change and finances permit. Be involved in the building process, using your own labour. Get your family, friends and local community to help and return the favour. Re-use existing materials, start a collection of things you love well before you begin, the pressure of time inevitably destroys dreams.