Teamwork makes the green building dream work

04 March 2020

Photo by cheng feng on Unsplash

Our main role here at the Green Building Council is to join together everyone in Aotearoa who wants our homes and buildings to be healthier, better, sustainable places in which people can thrive. All our ways of working, from our events, to the green building verification schemes we look after on behalf of you, to our advocacy efforts, which amplify our voices, are intended to forge effective and impactful collaborations and alliances, which ultimately make our buildings better.

In last year's survey of our members, you asked us to focus more of our efforts on advocacy. (This year’s survey is open until 13 March, so take ten minutes and tell us what you think!) We also get told to focus more on advocacy in meetings, and at key events.

And we’ve listened, and acted, leading to real change. Thanks to your feedback and suggestions, our advocacy efforts are producing better buildings across the country. Here are some highlights we’ve achieved together:

  • Auckland Council are also going to include HomeFit in the council’s Retrofit Your Home scheme, which provides financial help to heat and insulate and improves thousands of homes every year.
  • Not to be outdone by Auckland, Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council are looking to have all their homes warm, healthy and dry by 2025, and want to use HomeFit to achieve this goal.
  • The Government, and Auckland Council, are now building all their homes to 6 Homestar or above. Private sector homes being masterplanned by Kāinga Ora and Panuku, and all state housing will achieve this healthy homes standard.
  • The Government, the largest and most influential building occupier in the country, have set out that they will be seeking NABERSNZ on the buildings they lease.
  • Following our calls to amend the Building Code to improve energy efficiency Government have asked for our assistance, and we are working one day a week alongside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on this.
  • The Ministry of Health has advised district health boards that “all new buildings, fit outs or renovations should use a certified sustainability rating system such as Green Star, which designs in efficiencies and healthy buildings”.

And, besides all the above, the zero carbon road map is becoming the reference point for taking action on existing buildings and improving the performance of new buildings. But there is still much to be done. If you work with a Government department that could be building more sustainably, then do show them the road map. If you would like your Council to do more, then do please direct them to us.

Thank you all again for your suggestions and guidance. Working together, I know that we will achieve even more in the coming months.

He waka eke noa.