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Research points the way to sustainable building

7 August 2006

Research points the way to sustainable building

New research shows that Auckland City's planning rules present very few barriers in encouraging the development of sustainable buildings in the
city.

The council joined forces with the organisation, Beacon Pathway, to commission the research, which was carried out by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.
The chair of the Environment, Heritage and Urban Form Committee, Councillor Christine Caughey, says the report identifies the incentives and barriers to sustainable building in Auckland city.

"It's important to know that the council is not standing in the way of those who want to produce sustainable buildings.

"We're very pleased that this research shows that our district plan does not impede builders, architects and developers who want to use sustainable design techniques and environmentally-friendly materials and features, which help to conserve the future of important energy and water resources."

"However, the report also stresses that council could do more to actively encourage people to pursue sustainable building options and this is something we will focus on going forward," Ms Caughey says.

The report, Auckland City Council Sustainable Building: Barriers and Incentives says some of the areas the council should look at include:

* providing more information on sustainable building
* advocating to improve the Building Code
* reviewing district plan provisions and standards, particularly
around car parking and the ability to locate buildings towards the sun
* increasing staff understanding and knowledge of sustainable
building.

Ms Caughey says more work is also needed to improve the quality of air in our homes. She says many commonly used materials, such as paint, can release toxic gases for several years.

She says the research report will be forwarded to the Mayoral Taskforce on Sustainability, which is spearheading council activity aroundn sustainability.

The Environment, Heritage and Urban Form Committee also voted to encourage a focus on sustainability through:

* Auckland City's input into the Building Code
* the forthcoming review of the Isthmus District Plan
* the development of an action plan to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions.

ENDS


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