Update from Alex: Shifting up a gear

26 June 2016

The feedback on our Sustainable Housing Summits, held in Auckland and Christchurch a couple of weeks ago, has been phenomenally supportive: it lends weight to NZGBC’s feeling that we might just be reaching a tipping point in terms of residential market transformation.

There’s a growing evidence base for accepting better-quality standards across the market, proven by the fact there are more than 5,000 homes registered for certification across the country. Approximately 4,000 of the 5,000+ are in Auckland’s Special Housing Areas, directly influenced by the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) and its requirement for a minimum of 6 Homestar. The largest single Homestar development, Market Cove (near Mangere Bridge), has just registered 1400 dwellings, and the pool of Homestar Assessors is growing.

Next month, the Independent Hearing Panel will report back to council on the quality of Auckland’s new housing, alongside other, more contentious issues such as intensification. Regardless of whether the Homestar requirement remains in or comes out of the Unitary Plan, the baseline is well and truly being reset in Auckland.

Another step-change is occurring in Christchurch. At the summit, Fletcher Living announced they’ll be using the Green Star Communities tool to guide their East Frame development. Developed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), the tool covers five principles that define sustainable communities: enhanced liveability, economic prosperity, environmental responsibility, design excellence, and strong leadership and governance. We’re delighted to be working with Fletcher Living and GBCA on this project.

Closer to home, we’ve made sure NZGBC remains on the straight and narrow by getting our first NABERSNZ rating for office energy efficiency. We scored 4.5 stars, which signifies excellence – but we’re still keen to improve!

Finally, it’s renewals time, so you should have received your membership invoice by now (let us know if you haven’t). It’s great to see so many of you already back on board. The demand for sustainability in the built environment is growing, and by investing in skills development and sheer bloody hard work, you’re perfectly placed to ride that wave.