Minister to speak at NZGBC Sustainable Housing Summit

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The New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) has announced that Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith will be providing the opening address at this year’s Sustainable Housing Summit in Auckland.

The Sustainable Housing Summit is a biennial event organised by the NZGBC. The purpose of the event is to showcase leading thinking on sustainability in the residential built environment, and to provide the sector with an opportunity to participate, debate and network with like-minded peers around the critical challenges and opportunities facing housing in New Zealand.

NZGBC chief executive Alex Cutler says the organisation is delighted to have Dr Smith open the Auckland Sustainable Housing Summit.
“Housing is a major political issue, and it is fantastic to have the Minister give us his insights into how Government is seeking to address issues such as affordability, quality and sustainability,” Ms Cutler says.

The Summit considers whether the current model of measuring affordability by capital cost rather than through whole of life cost is flawed.
“Achieving the lowest build cost per square metre usually means satisfying minimum code requirements, in the cheapest possible manner,” Ms Cutler says.
“In this context, affordability is restricted to initial purchase price of the house, but ignores the true total cost of home ownership.

True affordability
True affordability must consider not only the purchase price of a property, but also how much it will cost to own, operate and maintain, how costly it will be to commute to work and interact with the community, and how the house will impact the health of the occupants.”

“The Sustainable Housing Summit will feature some fantastic speakers and a panel discussion that looks at these issues, as well as several national and international case studies of innovative, affordable, sustainable buildings”.

International speakers contributing to the Sustainable Housing Summit 2014 include keynote speaker Lucinda Hartley, one of the Top 100 Influential Melbournians in 2012, and co-founder and director of CoDesign Studio, a social enterprise focused on empowering neighbourhoods through design of public spaces and community facilities.

In addition, Paul Cooper, director of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre in Wollongong, presents the winner of the Solar Decathlon China 2013 Illawarra Flame House, a renovation of a typical Aussie fibro home.

National speakers include New Zealand Institute of Architects president Pip Cheshire and Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens. Also featured will be case studies from Hobsonville Land Company’s Axis Small Home Test Lab, WikiHouse NZ and Strachan Group Architect’s Studio 19 Social Housing Project.

The Sustainable Housing Summit:
• Auckland: June 25, Aotea Centre, Auckland 
• Christchurch: June 27, Christchurch Civic Building, Christchurch