2019 November 4 University of Otago Wellington: Improving Housing Standards for Co-Benefits for Energy Efficiency, Carbon Mitigation and Health

4 November 2019 by Jason Quinn

The Public Health Summer School symposium on 11 February will be eye-opening and I recommend you attend. This is the team that made the Healthy Home Guidelines a political reality and now they have turned their attention to fixing the Building Code, exploring the mutual benefits that flow from designing for energy efficiency, carbon mitigation and health.

I attended the WHO International Housing & Health Guidelines Southern Hemisphere Launch last year. This was an incredible set of presentations, including the hard data on New Zealand’s disease burden CAUSED by our poor housing.

From the website:

“The built environment is one of the largest sectors of carbon emissions in New Zealand. To ensure that New Zealand is carbon neutral by 2050 we need to have made substantial progress by 2030 in strategic planning, mobilising all stakeholders, and ramping up investment in infrastructure and skills that will enable the change necessary to meet this 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.

This symposium will be relevant to tradespeople, architects, policy-makers and researchers who want to work towards New Zealand’s low carbon commitment. The day will conclude with a call to action to develop (low carbon!) concrete next steps in our journey.”

Register here:


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