Loophole allows for small builds

WILL HARVIE
Last updated 08:36 06/01/2014
Gap Filler shed
John Kirk-Anderson/Fairfax NZ
THE ORIGINAL: Gap Filler's shed was constructed in Sydenham and later shifted to the former Crowne Plaza site.

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OPINION: If it's less than 10 square metres, you can build it.

Christchurch designers have been using a loophole in the Building Act to erect sheds in the central city without building consent from the city council.

The wee buildings, often constructed from salvaged timber and fittings, are allowed if they are one storey, contain no sanitary facilities and the ground footprint is less than 10sqm. Above grade, designers have expanded useable space creatively.

Non-governmental organisations like the (Student) Volunteer Army Foundation have included numerous bay windows in its nearly completed office shed near the Pallet Pavilion. Next door, Life in Vacant Spaces, which brokers deals between landowners and the creative community, included a high ceiling, veranda and portico to give the impression of more space.

At the Recycle a Dunger shed, now freshly positioned at Cashel and High Sts, designers used an A-shaped roof to increase the space available for bike repairs and recycling.

WikiHouse designers used sloping walls to create more useable space, co-founder Danny Squires said. WikiHouse is a 10sqm pre-fabricated building that can be assembled and disassembled in a couple of hours. It's currently stored in a garage.

The shed at the Agropolis community garden on the former Poplar Lane site demonstrated old building techniques such as adobe, rammed earth, straw-bale and cob were viable in contemporary times, designer Kerry Mulligan said when construction began at Labour Day weekend.

The garden hut is now close to completion.

An early shed, Gap Filler's office, was built by volunteers at a site in Sydenham and was later moved to the central city.

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