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Improving housing standards for co-benefits for energy efficiency, carbon mitigation and health

Te whakakaha i ngā paerewa whare kia whai hua mā te katoa, he penapena pūngao, he whakaheke hauhā, he whakapiki hauora

Tuesday 11 February 2020

The built environment is one of the largest sectors of carbon emissions in New Zealand. To ensure we are carbon neutral by 2050 we need to begin strategic planning as soon as possible. By 2030 we must have mobilised all stakeholders, and ramped up investment in infrastructure and skills that will enable the change necessary to meet the emissions target in the built environment.

In many countries considerable power is delegated to city or regional authorities. Some of these, for example Copenhagen and New York, have taken this flexibility and proceeded clearly toward a low-carbon goal. For instance, New York has firm plans for buildings to be carbon neutral by 2050.

This symposium will bring together local and international experts to highlight the major contributions improving building standards could make towards achieving carbon neutrality, and other co-benefits including energy efficiency and health equity. We will consider the problematic differences between modelled and real-world results. We will look at case studies from New York and Australia, then examine the strategy needed for New Zealand to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The day will conclude with a call to action to develop (low carbon!) concrete next steps in our journey.

Style of course

Symposium – Multi-speaker presentations and panel discussion in lecture theatre setting

Who should attend?

This symposium will be relevant to tradespeople, architects, policy-makers and researchers who want to work towards New Zealand’s low carbon commitment.

Draft timetable

Time Session Presenter(s)
9:00am Welcome & housekeeping Helen Viggers, Research Fellow, University of Otago, Wellington
  Session 1: Re-visioning New Zealand
9:05am The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act (plus some question time) Hon James Shaw, Minister for Climate Change
9:25am Collective action on the built environment and co-benefits Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, University of Otago, Wellington
9:40am Where should NZ aim? Sam Archer, NZ Green Building Council
10:00am The carbon footprint of NZ stand-alone houses – bench marking and opportunities Casmir MacGregor, Senior Social Scientist, BRANZ
10:15am Session Panel All session speakers
10:30am Morning Tea  
  Session 2: Remaking the (built) world
11:00am The New York experience
(plus some question time)
John Mandyck, CEO Urban Green Council (via Zoom)
11:40am Embedding energy efficiency in the housing system: the case of apartment construction in Australia Dr Matthew Daly,
Associate Research Fellow, Sustainable Buildings Research Centre, University of Wollongong
12:00pm New Zealand Standards and how to change them Stanil Stanilov, Standards New Zealand / MBIE
12:20pm Session Panel All session speakers
12:30pm Lunch  
  Session 3: Rules, regulations and requirements
1:30pm Built environment and Zero Carbon Act Matthew Everett, Ministry for the Environment
1:45pm Perverse consequences – house size/energy charges Helen Viggers,  Research Fellow, University of Otago, Wellington
2:00pm Scope for advancing building sustainability Associate Professor Ralph Chapman, Victoria University of Wellington
2:15pm Ability of councils to require above code buildings Mark Bennett, Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington
2:30pm City Council – a case study Melissa Keys, Wellington City Council
2:45pm Session Panel All session speakers
3:00pm Afternoon Tea
  Session 4: Rolling out the Changes
3:30pm Adjusting to change in the future of work Dr Bill Rosenberg, Future of Work Director, CTU
3:45pm Sustainability Trust – a case study: rolling out insulation to rentals Phil Squire, former CEO, Sustainability Trust
4:00pm Kāinga Ora – a case study: components of the physical environment Alex Baker, Senior Sustainability Adviser, Kāinga Ora
4:15pm Solarcity – a case study Eric Pyle, Policy Director, Public Affairs, Solarcity.
4:30pm All speaker panel All speakers
5:00pm Close

Speakers include:

  • Alex Baker is a Senior Sustainability Advisor at Kāinga Ora where he is leading the establishment of a sustainability programme focused on the delivery of low carbon, low waste, biodiverse and resilient urban environments that promote physical and mental health, spiritual enablement and the economic wellbeing of occupants. Alex previously worked as a Senior Advisor in Strategy at Housing New Zealand.
  • Mark Bennett is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington. He teaches and researches in the areas of property law, trusts law, regulation, and legal philosophy. He holds degrees in sociology and law from Victoria, Harvard Law School, and the University of Toronto.
  • Ralph Chapman is an economist who has worked in government, the private sector and academia. He is an associate professor at Victoria University of Wellington where he is director of the Graduate Programme in Environmental Studies and researches climate change policies. Ralph is co-director of the NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities where his work focuses on practical ways of doing something about climate change – that is, mitigation policies in transport, energy, housing and cities.
  • Matthew Daly is an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong's Sustainable Building Research Centre. Matt has worked on a number of government funded projects examining energy efficiency in the residential housing sector, including decision-making in new build apartment construction, barriers and incentives for energy efficiency in the rental sector, and the performance of the residential sustainability scorecard in NSW.

    Matt previously worked as a Senior Research Consultant with the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS, as well as over 10 years as an environment, sustainability and design consultant in the private sector. Major projects included two research projects exploring barriers and opportunities for collaborative housing for older Australians, and an analysis of retrofit decisions of households in Western Sydney in response to heat events.
  • Andrew Eagles is the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council. He is a qualified economist with more than fourteen years’ experience in the built environment. Working for consultancies, associations, government and built environment charities, he has a wealth of knowledge in housing, market mechanism, advocacy and the construction supply chain.

    Andrew joined the New Zealand Green Building Council in September 2016 as Chief Executive. The NZGBC is the country’s leading not-for-profit for the sustainable built environment. As well as exemplary research, the NZGBC oversees Homestar and Green Star, the award winning certifications for New Zealand homes and buildings, and NABERSNZ, the tool for confirming performance of offices in use.
  • Matthew Everett works as a principal analyst in the Ministry for the Environment’s Climate Change Directorate. His main focus is on helping develop the policies and overall strategy needed for New Zealand to make the transition to a low emissions economy over the next 30 years. That is almost the same amount of time that Matthew has worked in the New Zealand public service in a career largely based around issues of sustainable development. He has worked in both analytical/advisory and management roles at EECA, the Ministry for the Environment (twice), the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development.
  • Philippa Howden-Chapman is a professor of public health at the University of Otago, Wellington, where she teaches public policy. She is co-director of He Kāinga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme and director of the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. She has led a number of randomised community housing trials in partnership with local communities, which have had a major influence on housing, health and energy policy. She has a strong interest in reducing inequalities in the determinants of health and has published widely in this area, receiving a number of awards for her work. In 2014, Howden-Chapman and her research team were awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Prize. She was the first woman and the first social scientist to win the prize. She was chair of the WHO Housing and Health Guideline Development Group and and is a Director of the Kāinga Ora Board. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
  • Casimir MacGregor is a Senior Social Scientist and programme co-leader of the Transition to Zero Carbon research programme at BRANZ. His research focuses on enabling innovation and change within the building and construction industry to address climate change. Recent research includes regulatory responses to the role of buildings in mitigating and adapting to climate change (with MBIE), an energy epidemiology of health settings, and how the building and construction industry is preparing for climate change with the University of Otago Business School.
  • Melissa Keys is a sustainability professional who is passionate about working with others to create positive outcomes for people and our planet. Her background is in driving sustainable change in social enterprise, the public and private sectors. Melissa co-founded Conscious Consumers (the evolution of what is now CoGo) and has also held roles at the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Ministry for the Environment. She has just joined the team at Wellington City Council as the Zero Carbon Principal Advisor and is working on the Council’s Zero Carbon Strategy and Implementation Plan.
  • John Mandyck joined Urban Green Council in 2018 as its first-ever CEO. Urban Green is a non-profit environmental organisation dedicated to transforming buildings for a sustainable future in New York City and around the world. Prior to Urban Green, he capped a 25-year career at United Technologies Corporation as Chief Sustainability Officer for the Fortune 45 global leader in the building, aerospace and food refrigeration industries.

    John is a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health where he provides strategy to help define the future of healthy, sustainable cities. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Business where he was recruited to design and teach the sustainability course required for all full-time MBA students. John is the founding chair of the Corporate Advisory Board for the World Green Building Council and former chair of Urban Green. He has published on sustainability in Harvard Business Review and is the co-author of the book Food Foolish, which explores the hidden connection between food waste, hunger and climate change. He started the Race to 9 Billion podcast and can be found on Twitter and Instagram @JohnMandyck.
  • Eric Pyle is Policy Director at Solarcity. Previous roles in the energy sector include CEO of the Wind Energy Association, General Manager of Drive Electric and Director of Environmental and Social Development at the Ministry of Research Science and Technology, which involved setting the direction for energy research policy. Eric has been at Solarcity for 18 months.
  • Bill Rosenberg is Future of Work Director at the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi (CTU). He recently retired after ten years as Economist and Policy Director at the CTU, and is now working on the impact of big forces including climate change, technology, globalisation and demographic change on work and working people, supporting the CTU’s participation in the Government CTU BusinessNZ Future of Work Tripartite Forum. Before joining the CTU, Bill held technical and management positions in computing and e-learning services at Lincoln and Canterbury Universities, and was a city bus driver for five years. He was a member of the board of the Tertiary Education Commission Board (2006-11), a member of the government’s 2012-13 Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety which led to the reform of New Zealand’s occupational health and safety system, a member of Statistics New Zealand’s Advisory Committee for independent review of the CPI in 2013, and a member of the government’s 2018-19 Tax Working Group.
  • Phil Squire has been with Wellington’s Sustainability Trust since its beginning in 2004, with the last ten years as Chief Executive. He has recently stepped down from the CE role, with a focus now on projects and programmes to reduce energy poverty and climate change mitigation. Phil’s diverse background includes a Masters in agricultural engineering, research and consultancy in land treatment of wastewaters, and ten years as a Zen Buddhist monk in California.
  • Helen Viggers is a researcher with He Kāinga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme. Her work focuses on the warmth of New Zealand homes and considers building improvements, heating sources, fuel charges and household income. She originally trained as an engineer.

Course cost and registration

$300 early bird, $400 after 19 December 2019.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.

Register now

Presentations