For New Zealand, sustainability issues remain important. Traditioanlly, 'sustainability' has been interpteted as 'environmental', but more recently, sustainability has been seen as being more than just environmental or energy issues. This section outlines the distinct pieces of research under this theme.
Building Energy End-use Study (BEES)
The Building Energy End-use Study (BEES) has been a 6-year project monitoring and analysing the energy and water consumption of non-residential buildings around New Zealand. This research has been the first of its kind to be done in New Zealand.
Nearly all of New Zealand's non-residential buildings are totally dependent on the water reticulation network. Treated potable water is used for hygiene, conditioning and other purposes, including irrigation and toilet flushing. An increasing number of building and facilities managers want to understand the feasibility of installing alternative water sources into their non-residential buildings.
The purpose of the framework is to provide information and resources to facilitate more consistent calculation of potential environmental impacts of New Zealand buildings across the building life cycle using a technique called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The focus of initial work has been on early design of new-build offices.
Water has been referred to as New Zealand's largest strategic asset. Many opportunities exist to reduce water wastage in urban areas, but the first step is to better understand how we use this precious resource.