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New Education Programme Designed to Transform Construction

Press Release from Centre for Sustainable Practice

10 March 2014

New Education Programme Designed to Transform Construction Sector

With the recent opening of New Zealand’s first commercial building designed to meet the stringent standards of the international Living Building Challenge, the timing is perfect for design and construction professionals to take part in New Zealand’s first course designed to dramatically raise the performance of New Zealand buildings.


Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua for Tuhoe,The Tuhoe building opened in Taneatua on Saturday (March 8) and its design team included Jerome Partington, Sustainability Manager at Jasmax and presenter of the Creating Living Buildings short course.

‘Creating Living Buildings’ is an NZQA approved 15 credit programme designed by Otago Polytechnic’s Centre for Sustainable Practice to support the transformation of New Zealand’s built environment using the Living Building Challenge. It is delivered through the Centre for Sustainable Practice in partnership with the International Living Future Institute, New Zealand Green Building Council and The Natural Step NZ. The course is also supported by AUT and UNITEC.

Creating Living Buildings runs from June until November this year and is offered through a two day block course in Auckland, Christchurch or Queenstown, followed by 10 weekly webinars. The course considers the practical integrated design process that enables us to deliver the stretch goals of the Living Building Challenge. Participants will practice implementation from their own professional experience as well as learn the theory.

Partington is well qualified to lead the programme, as sustainability manager of a large NZ architects practice. He has trained & worked in sustainable architecture and education for more than twenty five years, building a strong practical construction and eco technology expertise. Partington was recently awarded the Living Building Challenge Hero award by the International Living Futures Institute for Inspiring Leadership in NZ at its recent Seattle conference: Living Futures 13. He is also Chair of Living Futures NZ the local LBC collaborative

“The creation of buildings that are net zero (energy, water and waste), built from non-toxic, locally sourced materials and that are beautiful and inspiring is the goal of this programme,” says Partington. “We have the technology and the knowledge to create these types of buildings. All we need know is the will and to spread the know-how.”

“The Living Building Challenge is an award winning internationally recognised philosophy, advocacy and performance certification tool,” he says. “The Challenge has been effective world-wide with commercial, civic and educational projects now complete. Building codes have been changed as a result of the Challenge standards and manufacturers products reformulated to remove toxic ingredients.”

The Centre for Sustainable Practice’s vision is to kick start this transformation in New Zealand. Centre for Sustainable Practice programme director Steve Henry expects the course to attract the country’s best.

“People will soon demand built environments of this quality and associated level of social, sustainable and environmental responsibility. The green building movement is a critical partner in the global effort towards high quality, restorative lifestyles. “This programme views building through a wide lens that considers the people who will inhabit the built environment as well as the short and long term impacts of construction,” said Henry.


Notes to Editors

Provided through the Centre for Sustainable Practice

A business unit of Otago Polytechnic, the Centre’s mission is to inspire capability for real change.

Qualifications, research, business programmes, projects and leadership do this through implementing action competence - a combination of the ability to take action, a future focus, connectedness with others, knowledge, experience, and reflection.

Key Presenter: Jerome Partington (BA(Hons) Architecture, Diploma in Architecture NZGBC GSAP)

Jerome is an advocate for strategic sustainability as a compelling business opportunity – asking what does success look like and how can we achieve it? With a science background and a love of nature, he is focused on delivering restorative solutions for the built environment. Key to his work is developing expertise with The Living Building Challenge and sharing that with New Zealand professionals. He is currently Sustainability Manager and a Senior Associate at Jasmax and a Senior Advisor to The Natural Step NZ, leading some of the most advanced sustainable projects in NZ.

Key Programme Content

Overview of the current paradigm of ‘unsustainability’ in our construction sector

Understanding the principles and realities of the Living Building Challenge.

The process of integrated design and delivering advanced sustainable building performance.

Who is it For?

People who want to extend existing knowledge and qualifications in sustainable building – architects, engineers contractors and other built environment professionals.

The course contributes 15 credits towards a Certificate in Sustainable Practice (Level 5) or Graduate Programmes in Sustainable Practice (Level 7). There are no specific Entry Requirements.

Where and when

Two day block course in either Auckland, Christchurch or Queenstown then subsequent weekly webinars until late November for all participants linked by video.

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