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 Sustainable Construction

As part of the Built Environment section at BRANZ, the Sustainable Construction Team undertake research and provide advice to the industry on a number of building-related environmental and sustainability issues. Relevant resources for the industry include the following:

level_logo.gifwww.level.org.nz has been developed for the construction industry by BRANZ to help to design and build homes that have less impact on the environment and are healthier, more comfortable, and have lower running costs.

Climate change

More research is underway identifying flexible, integrated climate change responses for the building and construction industry. The ultimate aim of this work programme is to design and build a carbon-neutral and climate-adapted building for the New Zealand context. Contact branz@branz.co.nz for more information.

Climate change adaptation
This BRANZ study report contains guidance on adapting New Zealand's built environment for the impacts of climate change.

Climate change scenarios for BRANZ study of built environment vulnerability
This report has been prepared by NIWA to assist BRANZ in assessing the impact of climate change on the New Zealand built environment, and to further their goal of developing a set of adaptation options. Knowledge of future climatic conditions is especially important in the built environment because the infrastructure is designed for a long lifetime. This report provides climate scenarios for several locations in New Zealand for the 21st century.
Climate change scenarios for BRANZ study of built environment vulnerability (PDF 3MB)

Designing homes for climate change
This specification-assistance document provides design targets to ensure that your new home will be climate friendlier, in both how it impacts on the environment, and how the environment impacts on it.

Social Impacts of Climate Change in New Zealand
This Supplejack Ltd study investigates the social effects of the predicted impacts on the built environment. It is part of a multi-phase BRANZ study on the impacts of climate change within the housing sector. Climate change is only one among a number of major future causes of change within the housing sector, and this report explores the ways in which climate and social changes will interact to produce a range of important social impacts. It also identifies key housing adaptations relating to climate and social changes.
Social Impacts of Climate Change in New Zealand (PDF 1.86MB) 

ClimateKiwi.jpgThe Easy Guide to Being a Climate-Friendly Kiwi
Climate change could impact on your household or business by exposing your home or office to such things as warmer average temperatures, more extreme winds, heavier rainfalls and increased flooding. What can you as an individual, family or business do about it? The Easy Guide to Being a Climate-Friendly Kiwi provides easy-to-use, practical information on how to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions on a day-to-day basis, and includes a New Zealand-specific climate change calculator to work out your carbon footprint. A lot of people think there is little they can do to help, but this guide shows just how easy it can be to be a climate-friendly kiwi.

Construction and demolition waste

Are you a designer, quantity surveyor, site manager, or contractor who wants to reduce material and liquid wastes from construction sites but need practical guidance and recycling contacts? You need to read our Easy Guide to Reducing Construction Wastes - a practical guide to reducing wastes from building sites.

You can also visit the REBRI website - REBRI stands for Resource Efficiency in the Building and Related Industries. Its purpose is to promote, advocate, and assist resource efficiency measures in the building and related industries. read.

Eco-building

The Easy Guide to Eco-Building is a concise booklet describing how to carry out construction projects with consideration for the environment. It suggests things to consider from the very early stages of design right through to the end of the building's lifetime, and there are references and contacts you can follow up on.

HomestarTM

Homestar.gifHomestarTM is a New Zealand home rating and advisory tool that examines a broad range of home performance and resource consumption-related issues and is applicable to both new and existing homes. The tool helps people assess the intrinsic value of their homes using a robust framework adapted from similar tools throughout the world, based around key indicators of warmth, health and resource performance.

Sustainability

Sustainability is one of the most important issues to challenge the construction industry and will continue to do so in the years to come. The revision of the New Zealand Building Act (2004) to incorporate the principles of sustainable development is a key example. There is a degree of apprehension by the construction industry that sustainability is bad for business and therefore practical and relevant information about sustainability, and even more importantly what it means for the industry, is required so the consequences of potentially major changes in government policy can be easily and cost-effectively incorporated into everyday business practice.

BRANZ has produced a number of resources to assist the industry.

BRANZ environmental policy
BRANZ is also committed to improving the way it does business by implementing an environmental policy, in order to provide our customers with innovative, creative and profitable solutions that help create a better built environment. Read our environmental policy (PDF 10KB).

BRANZ Bulletin 446 Sustainable Construction
The building and construction sector is typicallty characterised as a major consumer of energy and rescources, and producer of a significant amount of waste. There are a range of financial, social and environmental benefits available to the industry for putting sustainable construction into practice. This bulletin outlines some of the specific actions that individuals, businesses and the industry can take to secure these advantages.

Price: $0.00

Building environmental assessment methods
This BRANZ study report contains a compendium and evaluation of the building environmental assessment methods currently operating in Australasia.

EDAlogo.gifEco Design Advisor 
Eco design advisors, based in local authorities, provide free advice for designers/architects, builders and homeowners about sustainable building. Though the advisors are employed by local authorities, the programme is a BRANZ initiative and BRANZ provides the advisors with technical support.

‘It's been a very, very successful initiative,' says BRANZ Sustainable Built Environment Manager Lynda Amitrano. ‘We're hoping, long term, that eco design advisors will be in a majority of councils.'

Visit the Eco Design Advisor website.

Urban design
For a range of urban design protocol publications, best practice guides and guidelines, and technical reports, see the Ministry for the Environment website, including:

BRANZ sustainabilty publications

 Sustainability

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A best-practice home (Sustainability)

Balancing sustainability on site at BRANZ

Beacon Pathway Ltd: helping homes achieve sustainability

'Bog standard' sustainable renovation

BU568 Low-impact homes
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BU564 Trombe walls
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BU533 Green roofs - an overview
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BU530 Straw bale construction
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BU529 Heat pump water heating
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BU524 Solar water heating
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BU523 Reducing waste from building sites
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BU503 Rainwater harvesting in commercial and industrial buildings
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BU500 Optimising energy-efficient design of houses
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BU486 BRANZ Household Energy End-Use Project (HEEP)
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BU485 Domestic on-site wastewater systems
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BU480 Water heating systems
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BU478 Rainwater collection for domestic use
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BU474 WERS - Window Efficiency Rating System
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BU473 Heat pumps
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BU471 Insulating glass units
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