News and Events

Survey sees big improvements in NZ housing

A survey of 700 users of the Eco Design Advisor service has found New Zealanders are increasingly taking action to make their homes more energy efficient. 

Spokesperson Eion Scott from the Auckland Council says one of the main findings is that 88 percent of those surveyed had made important changes in the home after getting an independent, free, in-home consultation from an Eco Design Advisor. For main findings, see the summary. A copy of the media release is also available. For full results, see the Auckland Council Research and Monitoring Unit Report.

Seven Sharp's "Heating Guru"

TV One's Seven Sharp current affairs programme ran an item on Nelson Eco Design Advisor Richard Popenhagen, calling him a "heating guru" and recommended among its top 7 tips to check out what other councils offer this service (which you can do on our "Contact Us" page). See the item on demand here Seven Sharp. The programme did a follow up visit after insulation was installed. See the item here.

Service wins innovation award

The Eco Design Advisor service has won the Carter Holt Harvey Innovator of the Year Award at the 2014 Building Officials Institute of NZ Conference (BOINZ). The award recognises building surveying professionals who demonstrate commitment to innovation. The award was collected by Ian Mayes, Hamilton City Council eco design advisor, pictured here with Helen Oram, Hutt City Council Environmental Consents divisional manager, and BOINZ president, Phil Saunders.

Eco design advisors win BOINZ innovation award


2014 Open Day - Pelorus Sports House, Hutt City

More than 30 designers, home performance advisors, industry leaders and even a councillor or two attended the 2014 Eco Design Advisor Open Day, held in Petone, Hutt City, in early August. The range of speakers and opportunity to network with the seven Eco Design Advisors proved a hit with the audience, with comments ranging from "Really stimulating, rejuvenating and interesting day" to "Great study day, incredibly interesting and very relevant". To see the range of topics and download presentations, and for other Eco Design Advisor conferences, click here.

2013 Survey Results give big tick

Warmer, more comfortable homes, less mould and condensation, and lower heating and water bills, are the most immediate benefits of councils providing advice and promotion for sustainable buildings.

The Eco Design Advisor service got a big tick from customers who took advantage of the two hours free advice on offer, according to the latest customer survey. More than 80% took action as a result of the advice, putting in more insulation, curtains, draughtproofing, underfloor vapour barriers and efficient heating and moisture extraction. Of these only 21% did so with the help of Government subsidies, indicating the advisors’ help has led to a much broader uptake of insulation and clean heating than EECA figures suggest.

More than 60% also changed the way they use the house, making better use of the sun and windows for ventilation during the day, and closing curtains at night, drying clothes outside and turning off lights and appliances when not needed.

The advisors also encourage more efficient water use, and 13% reported changing shower heads, 8% adding a water efficient toilet and 7% collecting rainwater.

They have noticed immediate results, with 77% saying the house was warmer, 63% was more comfortable, 43% noticing less mould and moisture, and 30% saying it has led to lower power and water bills. Twenty percent reported improved health outcomes as a result (see graph).

Connie Christensen was one of 235 respondents to the Eco Design Advisor (EDA) 2013 customer survey and won a $50 Placemakers voucher for her efforts. Connie was a client of former Auckland Council EDA Fred Braxton and found his advice helpful in guiding the design of her 13m2 "Tiny house on wheels". Connie Christensen
Gillian and Ian Dodge were among 235 respondents to the Eco Design Advisor (EDA) 2013 customer survey and won a $50 Placemakers voucher for their efforts. They are pictured with Nelson EDA Richard Popenhagen who provided advice on their house.

For the main findings of the customer survey, click here (PDF 923 Kb).