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Membership leap at Green Building Council

2017 has seen a host of new organisations join the New Zealand Green Building Council.

The Council now has over 400 members.

Arrivals this year include government bodies as well as corporates, including ANZ, Auckland Airport, Bunnings, Housing New Zealand, Methven NZ, Ministry of Education, New Zealand Defence Force, Oceania Healthcare, Ports of Auckland and Watercare.

The New Zealand Green Building Council was founded in July 2005 to promote safe, warm, healthy and efficient buildings. It had 31 member companies when it was founded. Its key services include the building rating tools it administers: Homestar, Green Star and NABERS NZ.

In October 2017, Gary Walker, the executive general manager of Hawkins, was voted in as the new Chair of NZGBC.




Green housing winners in sustainable awards

People behind sustainable housing initiatives did well in the recent NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.

Winner of the Sustainability Superstar award was Bob Burnett of Bob Burnett Architecture. Bob designed New Zealand’s first 10-star Homestar rated homes. He also founded the Superhome Movement, promoting energy efficient, sustainable homes.

Vector won the Revolutionising Energy award. The company partnered with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei on a 30-home residential development for first-home buyers that includes a networked system of solar panels and batteries. Networking means that individual residents can share excess power with others in the community. In the first five months following installation, 47% of the community’s energy needs were met by onsite generation.




Slow pace of insulation retrofits in rentals

Rental property owners are moving too slowly to meet insulation requirements, a survey suggests.

A member survey by the Insulation Association of New Zealand suggests that property owners are moving very slowly to meet the July 1, 2019 deadline for insulation in rental properties.

Government estimates indicate that around 180,000 residential properties need to be retrofitted with insulation to meet requirements in the Residential Tenancies Act. The requirements were set in May 2016, with a deadline for compliance of July 2019.

However, the insulation industry estimates that only 10,000 out of the 180,000 homes have been retrofitted in the past year.

(The general rule requires ceiling insulation of R 2.9 for properties in zone 1 or 2, and R 3.3 for properties in zone 3, where insulation is reasonably practicable to install. Ground floor suspended floors must have insulation of at least R 1.3. There are special rules for ceiling insulation originally installed before 1 July 2016.)
Rental property owners who fail to comply could face a fine of up to $4000.




Net zero energy visitor accommodation

A Glenorchy visitor complex set to open using net zero energy has put the details of its construction online.

A visitor accommodation complex set to open in 2018 amid the mountains of Glenorchy aims to use just half the energy and water of similar facilities. It aims for net zero energy – generating as much energy as it uses. And it has been built using building materials carefully researched and selected for their sustainability.

The project’s design aims to achieve the Living Building Challenge net zero energy building certification – one of the toughest measures of environmental sustainability.

A high level of thermal performance is delivered by structural insulating panels. These 142 mm thick panels have a core of insulating foam, and can deliver a result significantly higher than building requirements.

Other building materials include reclaimed wood from agricultural buildings.

The materials used and how they were selected have been set out on the project’s website.

You can find more details here.