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Owners defer to builders, designers on eco choices


Homeowners defer to builders and designers on eco-friendly choices

11 August 2006

One of the reasons that more people don’t make eco-friendly choices when building a new home is that they leave eco-design decisions up to their designer or builder.

Research funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) and conducted by BRANZ on Zero and Low Energy Houses (ZALEH) and by Victoria University on homeowner sustainability decision-making has highlighted that homeowners tend to opt-out of discussions about eco-friendly construction practices.

This places a large responsibility on the builder or designer to understand eco-design issues and options.

The research revealed that there was a lack of accessible technical information available to those homeowners with an interest in eco-design issues and that designers and tradesmen generally lacked expertise in eco-friendly design.

As part of a programme to make the findings of sustainability research available to builders, designers and members of the public, BRANZ has recently announced a pilot scheme to place Eco Design Advisors into three Councils from the beginning of September. The scheme forms an important component in the wider sustainability strategies and range of programmes run by each of the three councils.

This pilot programme is jointly funded by the Ministry for the Environment, Building Research and the participating councils and will run for ten months in Waitakere, Hamilton and the Kapiti Coast. It may be extended to other Councils.


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