Members post a clear direction

24 April 2020

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

One overwhelming reminder from this year’s member survey is how numerous, engaged and passionate the people are who make up the New Zealand green building community.

It shows we have the ‘right people in the room’ to continue the journey to deliver the change that is needed to improve our homes, buildings and communities at scale’. Our members are capable and eager to deliver. But it’s not all plain sailing. Your comments reinforce that  the barriers to better building that frustrate you most continue to be a market fixation with cost over benefit, the love affair with minimum building code requirements, and a perception of complexity.

You like us but think we can do more

Overall, you approve of what we do. In fact 92% of you say you are quite happy, very happy or delighted with what we do. You particularly like our ability to communicate, how we promote the cause and our branding but that we need to continue our efforts to increase awareness of the NZGBC and our purpose. You’ve told us that we lobby for change well with the Government and sector, that our events and training are high quality and engaging, and you’re happy with our rating tools and related services and feel empowered through our member engagement.

“One voice for sustainable building in NZ”

“Proactive and provocative vocal leader in the built space”

You want to help us be better

Through ongoing conversations, we regularly take on board your feedback. The survey helps us formalise the areas for improvement. These include communication, the website, and ‘please, please improve your tools and processes’. There’s a call to spend more time understanding the sector and listening, more regional activity, more to promote zero carbon plans and targets, but some just want ‘more of the same please’. Some of you warn us not to get too political, “There needs to be much, much less left-wing political activism if you don't want to alienate your members”. Some of you have indicated what you’d like to see more of in the tools “More importance placed on residential and aging in place/universal design. Really lacking.”

We hear you and we’re not shying away from the challenge. Our strategies and upcoming engagement plans for improving the tools should go some way to showing action in these areas.

How are you engaging with us?

A whopping 80% of you say you read Building Momentum, with 64% claiming it is useful or very useful. Thanks for your ideas for articles, your top picks include case studies, more on zero carbon and advocacy updates, and some looking for more practical tips.

73% of you joined in events or training last year. And you told us what you are looking forward to attending this year: webinars, building tours, networking and connecting, case studies, product and material information.

60% of you say you are aware of Future Thinkers... but only 14.5% are involved or know someone who belongs.

Most of you have been involved with rating tool projects this year, with 44% of you engaged with Green Star, 18% NABERSNZ, 11% Carbon Zero, 23% Homestar, and 3% HomeFit.

You believe in our tools

Taking on board your feedback we are happy to see the support for our tools is strong, with 81% believing the rating schemes have had a positive impact on building quality in Aotearoa in the last decade, and 78% agreeing these schemes are fundamental to improving the sustainability of buildings.

You’ve sent us a clear message around the things that could help with verifying more homes and buildings this year:

  • Increase our marketing and industry reach, “Educate the public, push for better building standards, encourage waste minimisation, EDUCATE BUILDERS”
  • Lobby government both nationally and locally, “Push to have any new builds required to be verified.”
  • Simplify the tools, “Make the process easier and cheaper.”

While looking forward to the next two years, you’d like us to keep our focus on policy change and consumer awareness.

You’re with us for good reasons

Supporting the movement for better buildings in New Zealand is hands down the biggest reason for you to be part of NZGBC say 73% of you, with other big winners being demonstrating sustainability leadership and joining your voice to our advocacy and policy lead.

A clear mandate to Government

Overwhelmingly 91% of you agree that Government should lead by building green rated buildings. This gives us a clear mandate and direction to keep up the pressure on Government. And as you will have seen through our regular updates, it is starting to yield results across procurement guidelines, health buildings, requirement for NABERSNZ, housing and more.

How you want us to support you in 2020 – a selection of responses

“Come and visit our offices”

“identify and articulate clearly the pathway to carbon neutrality”

“Simplify things”

“Advocate for change in government policy so we can get more clients excited and involved with Green Star building”

The message is clear

You, our members:

  • want us to get Government to lead by building green rated buildings
  • believe in the importance of our rating tools but want simpler tools
  • want us to increase our reach
  • would love more opportunities for our community to work together.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our survey. Thank you also for your carefully considered suggestions, we welcome them all. Thank you for your confidence in our organisation. Our collective drive and ambition place us well to achieve our mission for all homes and building in Aotearoa to be green and sustainable, making healthier, happier New Zealanders.