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It's World Green Building Week

Posted by Andrew Eagles (Admin) 8 months ago

It’s World Green Building Week, and hundreds of Kiwis have been getting involved in an array of events we’ve been throwing across Aotearoa.

We’re the New Zealand Green Building Council, and we believe everyone should be safe, healthy and happy in our beautiful country – at home, at school, at work. Everywhere.

But millions of us are not healthy and happy, because our buildings aren’t good enough.

Over 700,000 of our homes are poorly insulated. And 40 per cent of our homes are damp and mouldy. Besides being bad news for our health, unhealthy homes are also bad news for our bank balance, as they cost more to heat.

This is improving, and better, warmer homes are building momentum, thanks to commitments by organisations like Panuku for healthier, more energy efficient homes.

But still, too many homes are damp, and cold. Too many of our tamariki are sick because of where they live.

And it’s not just our homes that aren’t good enough.

New Zealand businesses are losing money because their buildings are inefficient, pushing up their monthly bills, and pushing down their staff productivity, wellbeing and retention. That’s bad news for business owners, the people who work there, and the New Zealand economy.

The poor state of our buildings is stopping all New Zealanders from being safe, healthy and happy.

Buildings pump out climate change pollution too, throughout their lifecycle, from the production of building materials, to building processes, during the operating of a building, its maintenance, and right through to its disposal.

And our homes, workplaces, and other buildings use over half of New Zealand’s electricity.

This means that, when Kiwis beat climate change, we won’t have done it without tackling the pollution from our buildings. And tackling this will also help make our homes and other buildings warmer, drier, better places to be.

During our World Green Building Week events, I have heard one conversation repeated many times, by many different people. We have the knowledge, the expertise, right here in Aotearoa, they have said, to make better, less polluting buildings. But we need to involve more people, and involve them in a conversation about how we do that. And then, together, take action.

All of this is what makes Auckland’s Climate Action Plan such a great green game plan. It’s involving all of us. It includes buildings. And it’s ambitious.

New Zealanders want all of our buildings to be happy, healthy places. For our children. For our businesses. For our whānau. For our environment, so we can breathe fresh air and swim in unpolluted water.

Looking after what’s indoors, helps look after the great New Zealand outdoors, and provide a clean, healthy and happy legacy for our children, for our mokopuna, for generations to come.

So check out the ideas – and share your own, and vote for your favourites – around constructing new buildings, and improving existing buildings to be healthier, less polluting, better places for Kiwis to live, work, laugh, sleep and enjoy being in.

 

Andrew Eagles
Chief Executive - NZGBC

Andrew is a qualified economist with more than fourteen years’ experience in the built environment. Working for consultancies, associations, government and built environment charities, he has a wealth of knowledge in housing, market mechanism, advocacy and the construction supply chain.

Andrew joined the New Zealand Green Building Council in September 2016 as Chief Executive. The NZGBC is the country’s leading not-for-profit for the sustainable built environment. As well as exemplary research, the NZGBC oversees Homestar and Green Star the award winning certifications for New Zealand homes and buildings, and NABERSNZ, the tool for confirming performance of offices in use.

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