Sustainable buildings 'work for people'
Office buildings lit by the sun, affordable housing development and roof gardens that absorb rainwater were among the on-topic themes at November's Sustainable Building Conference.
The Department was a sponsor of the Auckland conference, which attracted nearly 300 designers and engineers, academics, and local and central government representatives.
Minister Hon Shane Jones and David Kelly, Deputy Chief Executive, Building Quality, were among the keynote speakers.
The Minister and David noted that sustainable building is about more than 'environmental friendliness'.
Buildings must deal with climate change and other environmental challenges, work for people and contribute to their local neighbourhood. As such, sustainable buildings align with the Government's overall themes of economic transformation, families young and old, and national identity.
David and the Minister both noted the desire to avoid unnecessary regulation, which could add to building costs while stifling innovation.
Departmental participants found the conference instructive and stimulating. The tone was positive and there were good opportunities to debate issues with stakeholders. The Department's stand also received a steady steam of visitors and interest in its various publications.