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Sustainability defined in new building legislation

19 August 2003 Media Statement

Clear sustainable development principles for new building legislation

Sustainable development will be clearly defined in the government's proposed Building Bill, says Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel.

Lianne Dalziel was responding to concerns expressed by the Construction Industry Council today that the intent of sustainable development references in the proposed bill were unclear.

"We propose to amend the purpose of the draft Bill to include the requirement that buildings are constructed and used in ways that promote sustainable development," Lianne Dalziel said. "This would sit alongside other purposes such as ensuring that buildings are safe for people who use them, that they have an appropriate level of amenity, and that people can escape during a fire."

The proposed requirement to promote sustainable development is underpinned by a number of principles, which will drive the development of the building code including, the need to facilitate:

- the efficient use of energy and energy conservation in buildings

- the efficient use of water and water conservation in buildings

- and renewable sources of energy in buildings

"By including specific reference to water and energy conservation and efficiency in the principles, I believe we have provided the certainty that industry will be looking for," Lianne Dalziel said.

"Although sustainable development was not the subject of the initial building review it is appropriate that it is included in the draft Bill. I am sure that the public and industry will welcome an approach that will see our buildings built with energy and water efficiency and conservation in mind, where that is appropriate.

"I asked officials to brief the CIC on the proposal as I did not want them surprised by its late inclusion. However it is clear that they have misunderstood the proposal."


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