Ask home owners and home seekers in Auckland what they look for in a home and they'll reply 'affordability and location'. Christchurch residents are more concerned with security and availability, however increasingly many of us are looking for homes that are energy efficient, healthier and which will perform over time. In other words they need to be sustainable.
Getting to grips with just what sustainability means has been challenging for many homeowners, until the advent of Homestar; a benchmark for sustainable homes supported by the building industry and Government. As part of the drive to foster better understanding of the issues, Homestar is a key supporter of the New Zealand Green Building Council's Sustainable Housing Summit, 27 June 2012.
Krista Ferguson, Director of Homestar says, "The upcoming Sustainable Housing Summit will generate a very exciting debate in New Zealand around the challenges we face to make our homes healthy, affordable, and sustainable and energy efficient. We're looking forward to hearing from the likes of Bill Dunster, world-renowned UK architect, who specialises in low energy developments including BedZED - one of Britain's largest mixed-use sustainable communities."
"Home owners are increasingly prioritising warmth, comfort and efficiency in a home over a nice kitchen. They're also looking for data they can rely on when they're renovating or buying a new home.
"There's a veritable mine of information out there which is often 'supplier-led' and which potentially confuses consumers; should I install a heat pump or solar power, ramp up my insulation, put in a water tank and attempt to operate off the 'grid'? We'll be grappling with these issues and others at the Summit and addressing just how to get Kiwis on board the sustainability track," says Ms Ferguson.
The Sustainable Housing Summit will also cover wider concerns such as how better design creates better cities, how smart vibrant cities put people first and will also challenge the myth that 'marble bench tops' are more important than insulation when someone renovates or buys a home.
Other key note speakers include:
- Shay Brazier from the Zero Energy House, Point Chevalier, Auckland
- Tim Horton, Commissioner of the Integrated Design Commission, South Australia
- Adam Beck, Manager Sustainable Communities at The Green Building Council of Australia
Ms Ferguson says, "To ensure that Kiwis are at the forefront of sustainability we need to tap into the best resources available. The Sustainable Housing Summit is the key to understanding what is possible, and we welcome any party interested in creating healthy and inspiring homes and cities to join us."