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Building Code should be making apartments greener

12 January 2005

New Building Code should be making apartments greener

The Green Party is calling for the Government to use the new Building Code to counter the body corporate rules for new apartments that are forcing their residents to be environmentally irresponsible.

Sue Bradford, the Greens' Housing Spokesperson, says the Code, currently being drawn up by the Department of Building and Housing, should make it mandatory for apartment complexes to provide the sort of environmental essentials that Kiwis expect, such as clothes-drying areas and space for recycling bins. Such blocks should also be centrally heated to use energy as efficiently as possible and include communal gardens where possible.

"The purpose of the Building Act passed last year is to promote sustainable development. The Greens lobbied hard for a waste reduction clause to be included within it," said Ms Bradford.

"Now that the resulting review of the Code is underway, I call on the Government to ensure that, on the ground, new developments actually live up to that goal.

"Body corporate rules that ban people from drying clothes on balconies or courtyards are totally irresponsible, forcing people to use clothes dryers for purely aesthetic reasons is ridiculous. It seems almost inconceivable that in an age where preservation of our limited energy resources is critical, we're asking people to use power needlessly.

"And insisting people use wheelie bins to dispose of their rubbish is equally unacceptable as it discourages recycling. While I'm sure there are people who will doggedly recycle anyway, it is very tempting for people to just throw everything away in the one place.

"But Government rules are only the beginning. Architects and developers should be going beyond these basic environmental requirements and using such 'green' techniques as rainwater collectors, heat sinks that store solar heat and serious insulation," said Ms Bradford.

ENDS

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