Date 20 April 2006
Invitation to help make New Zealand’s homes smarter
A new design and building information project is calling for advice and support from all those who have a stake in improving New Zealand’s housing.
The project will develop a website for home owners and industry about ways to affordably design, build, retrofit and maintain smarter, more sustainable homes: homes that are healthier, warmer, more resource-efficient, cheaper to run, more liveable, more durable and gentler on the environment.
Compared with other developed countries, New Zealand’s housing stock performs poorly with many homes that are cold, leaky, poorly insulated and energy-inefficient. Few people know that simple changes to the way New Zealanders design and build homes can improve their home’s performance. Those who do often cannot find skilled and knowledgeable industry practitioners to deliver what they want.
Recognising this, the Ministry for the Environment initiated the project, and has contracted Beacon Pathway and Consumers’ Institute to develop a “one-stop” information resource, building on the successful Australian YOUR Home manual and website (www.greenhouse.gov.au/yourhome)
Individuals and organisations are now invited to join the project’s Ambassadors’ Network. Ambassadors will receive regular up-dates on the project’s progress and will be invited to review the website before it goes live early next year. The project team is looking for advice on what should be included and what other initiatives, programmes and resources they should connect with.
“The success of the project depends on collaboration,” says Peter Rankin, Content Manager, Consumers’ Institute. “We need the support and input of all those involved in the housing industry – both those who build homes and those who live in them.”
“There’s a wealth of information and expertise out there, and we want to tap into this, and share it with others. We want the people at the heart of New Zealand’s housing industry and the future users of our website to tell us what information they think should be included. From tips and advice, to formal studies and research, to web-links and organisational names – no input is too small.”
The new website will complement the successful ConsumerBuild website produced and managed by Consumers’ Institute and the Department of Building and Housing (www.consumerbuild.org.nz).
As with Consumerbuild, the new website will not advertise or endorse commercial products, services or enterprises.
To register your interest and support, please email the project manager under the title Ambassadors’ Network: Marta_Karlik-Neale@URSCorp.com
Beacon Pathway Ltd is a collaborative research consortium funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and five organisations with a significant stake in the residential sector: Building Research, Fletcher Building, New Zealand Steel, Scion and Waitakere City Council. Visit www.beaconpathway.co.nz for more information.
Consumers’ Institute is acknowledged as New Zealand’s leading provider of independent and comprehensive consumer information and advice. The Institute publishes its research and test reports in the monthly Consumer magazine and on www.consumer.org.nz .