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 Sustainable Construction

As part of the Evaluations and Building Sustainability section at BRANZ, the Sustainable Construction Team provides resources for the construction industry in the form of:

These activities are undertaken for a wide range of clients on a wide range of building-related sustainability issues. Although the team focus is on the environmental aspects of sustainability, economic and, to a lesser extent, social aspects are also examined.

Consulting

The group has the following areas of expertise:

  • The design of energy-efficient buildings and building services.
  • Building energy and environmental measurement, auditing, benchmarking and reporting.
  • Post-occupancy assessment and evaluation.
  • Environmental modelling of building materials, components and whole buildings.
  • Life cycle assessment.
  • Environmental product declarations (EPDs).
  • Cradle-to-grave material waste management.
  • Climate change impacts, remediation and adaptation strategies.
  • Technical support for guidelines, codes, standards and tools for buildings.
  • Spatial distribution and trends in building activity.
  • Inclusive design for all occupants, no matter their age or ability.
  • Training, guidance and support for a wide variety of interest groups.

The group has special interests in the interaction of materials and systems within the built environment and is able to apply robust statistical processes to help solve cross-disciplinary problems.

Research

The group has the following existing research projects:

  • Specifications for High Performing Houses: This provides group home builders, designers and architects with up-to-date and accurate guidance on how to build better in terms of thermal envelope design to improve comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Advanced Residential Construction Techniques: This involves developing a compendium of feasible systems and techniques that will enable improvements in productivity and efficiency in residential construction.
  • Delivery of Successful Urban Intensity in Auckland: This will identify how the industry needs to change to successfully meet the needs of Auckland's urban intensification goals.
  • Environmental Profiling: This involves developing a framework and process that aligns with standards on sustainability of construction products and buildings, making it easier for New Zealand manufacturers to consistently represent the environmental performance of their products.
  • Measuring our Sustainability: This involves developing a robust environmental measure of New Zealand's new-build housing stock to track progress (in the form of trends) over time.
  • Good Homes for Low Income Tenants: The purpose is to understand the energy and indoor environment features that have the biggest benefit in low-income existing rental dwellings in terms of comfort and capital.

Analytical tools

The group has the following analytical tools available to use freely and explore:

Educational information

The group has the following sustainable information available:
LevelREBRIUniversal Design

 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
$13.50 Add Print version to cart
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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)
$13.50 Add PDF to cart

BU485 Domestic on-site wastewater systems
$13.50 Add Print version to cart
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BU478 Rainwater collection for domestic use
$13.50 Add Print version to cart
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BU473 Heat pumps
$13.50 Add Print version to cart
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BU471 Insulating glass units
$13.50 Add Print version to cart
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BU414 Coping with climate change
$13.50 Add PDF to cart

Business opportunities in sustainable housing