NZGBC: Rebuild and renovate homes for long-term sustainability

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The meeting was a forum for building industry representatives to discuss how rebuilding and renovating Canterbury homes sustainably could deliver better long-term outcomes for the region.
“Cantabrians are facing significant renovations, and in some cases rebuilds, and for some members of the community it is the first time that they have faced doing this,” NZGBC chief executive Alex Cutler says.

“Our discussion centered on how they can rebuild affordably and sustainably, as well as how a home owner who is facing structural repairs or rebuilding can incorporate suitable insulation or double glazing or energy efficient heating, for example, in their rebuild solution,” Ms Cutler says.
“There is an opportunity for the industry to deliver sustainable solutions in the rebuilding and repair plans. There is also a strong need for leadership and creative solutions, as well as help and guidance for Canterbury home owners that focuses on pragmatic solutions for the community.”

Bettering housing stock
The panel of industry representatives at the meeting addressed how the industry and residents could overcome the technical and financial challenges of bettering the housing stock, and the current barriers to achieving this in Christchurch.

Ms Cutler says the challenges were acknowledged and potential solutions were discussed.
She says the Homestar home rating tool (www.homestar.org.nz) is a key measure of the environmental performance of stand-alone homes that is already available to the community, and could greatly support the greening of the residential sector in Canterbury.

“Homestar is the comprehensive home rating system developed by the New Zealand building industry, and backed by the Government, that aims to help Kiwis create healthier, more comfortable and energy-efficient living spaces,” Ms Cutler says.
“It provides a benchmark for rating the environmental attributes of New Zealand homes to increase their warmth, health and comfort, alongside practical guidance for how to achieve this.”

Tool could provide vital assistance
She says that as the Homestar tool was developed for New Zealand conditions, it could provide vital assistance for people and organisations across the wider Canterbury region that are thinking about the environment and sustainable communities as part of the rebuild.

The audience at the Green City Dialogue included representatives from a range of organisations, including construction, project management offices, community trusts and universities, as well as individuals interested in how sustainable homes could be delivered as part of the rebuild.
Panel members included Russell Devlin of Solarchitect, Duncan Joiner from the Department of Building and Housing, Brent Mettrick of Registered Master Builders Federation company 

Stonewood Homes, Annette Purvis of IAG New Zealand, Nick Collins of Beacon Pathway and Chrissie Williams, representing Christchurch City Council. Colliers International, Westpac and Wynn Williams & Co sponsored the event.

The third and final of the Green City Dialogue events in Christchurch will be held on Thursday, October 27 at 5.30pm, at the Westpac Business Hub. Anyone interested in registering to attend can do so through the New Zealand Green Building Council web site at www.nzgbc.org.nz.