Jotting 2

Australians didn’t always subscribe wholeheartedly to Single Storey design, because our colonial forefathers brought and replicated a building style they were well use to from England and Europe.

It wasn’t until much later that buildings, as did our developing suburbs, take on a viral sprawl of predominantly Single Storey construction, until post war Project Builders honed this trend, taking it to a mindless contagion.

The “Golden Years” of post war building when baby boomers were watching the Mickey Mouse Club on TV, was when much of our prime market garden land fringing around city centres, was squandered for housing.

It was all “GO” then with short sighted “Planning” that caused infra-structure problems for future generations. These were the days when Dual Occupancy wasn’t allowed, and existing home owners fined if they retained their water tanks.

Only when suburban infra structure became so stressed to the eye balls, was Dual Occupancy then permitted, and now guess what –  fines if you don’t have tanks. This sort of  “logic” is remedial where we wait until a problem presents itself before we fix it, rather than plan to avoid it in the first place.

Govt. instrumentalities weren’t the only ones to blame though; the general public was equally responsible for enthusiastically subscribing to squander, because people still had design choices other than whacking up a Single Storey on their quarter acre dream allotment.

Once the Single Storey “trend” became embedded in the public psyche, it became an  “icon” of Australiana that made Australians the greatest wasters of land and building materials in the world (and still are sadly).

What are Planning Authorities doing about it – nothing; if fact in some respects, wasteful housing is ironically encouraged. Australian Planning Departments are’nt much about saving environment;  their policies are thrust to find better ways to plough a service structure through it.

Today most Aussies perpetuate Single Storey building because it’s what they’ve been most exposed to, thus a certain “security” in retaining it, and being the same as one’s neighbours. This desire to be the same has created a sprawling eyesore, that few visitors from overseas would want to film as part of  their holiday record in Oz, yet conversely we fall in love with attractive housing and village settings overseas. The penny just hasn’t dropped here yet.

We have become so entrenched in the least efficient mode of building design (the Single Storey), that we now even defend our right to perpetuate it with ridiculous rationale, vested interest and even lies, which is all pretty crazy considering Single Storey building is the most expensive way per square metre of obtaining a home.

I’ll introduce some of these crazy urban myths next jotting.