Living behavior in Taiwan is quite similar with that in Japan. What happens currently in Taiwan is like a reflection of what happened 6 or 7 years ago in Japan.
The Japanese TV show “That's a Dramatic Change!” was a huge success. At that time, the economy was experiencing a depression, young people cannot afford a new house or build their own on their lands. As a result, purchasing old houses became their first priority. This will also apply to Taiwan in due course.
Houses will grow old as well as you age. The owners of the house, aged from 55 to 70, with their children from 30 to 45, are the first generation with great need to renovate their house. House owners would like to have a pleasant and comfortable way of living after their retirement, while their children would like to have more privacy of their own.
More wish to renovate the house they inherited. After young generation get married, they may still live with their parents, yet they would like the house reflect their way of living, to chunk out useless stuff and tackle the leak on the roof. Their priority is usually the color and number of rooms, less people consider green design.
However, in my opinion, we should reprioritize the considerations of renovation, first is safety, drainage and waterproof system is the second, and the last is universal design and green design.
Safety is no doubt the first priority, no matter how much budget you plan to renovate. Therefore, structural examinations and assessments done by structural technicians and civil engineers are necessary. Moreover, ventilation, daylighting, temperature and humidity etc. are crucial elements to our health, should include in interior design to get higher quality of living.
Include the principles of safety, accessibility, usability into the design will definitely save money in your next renovation when you get old. House owner is the key man to determine the house lifespan, aside from scheduled examination and maintenance, behaviors in occupancy can also impact the depreciation of the house.
That is why I believe promoting green design is a mission I wish to devote myself into. To start with, there are just three principles in green design, energy saving, waste reduction and comfort.
There is another principle. Soon Taiwan will march to an aging society, therefore you need universal design which allows more factors like fulfilling the need of safety for elderly people, and this should work alongside with green design.
Having such awareness, we should no longer just look for beautiful pictures or compare prices online, instead, we carefully craft our needs, clearly convey our ideas of green to designers.
This article is also published in Storm Media（Title：改造老房子，只要漂亮和便宜大碗就好？沒考慮這件事，可能會後悔一輩子呀）