Red tape a barrier to building design
To get state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, warm and less wasteful buildings, Southland must overcome barriers caused by poorly designed bureaucracy, lack of knowledge and costs, the Southland Energy Conference was told yesterday.
Verney Ryan, from Auckland consultancy Beacon Pathway, said there were roadblocks to development and New Zealand needed to overcome its culturally ingrained "harden up" approach to heating and energy use.
When looking at a new building, rather than focusing on the immediate cost people needed to look at the lifetime costs, he said.
Council processes were a major barrier for prospective builders, he said.
Many district plans were not set up for new technologies, which meant unnecessary red tape, bureaucratic snags and excess costs made it hard for new builders to do the work they wanted to do, he said.
There was also a lack of knowledge of renewable technology such as solar panel systems in some councils. However, Mr Ryan said council staff were equally frustrated. They wanted to get things done but were uncertain about what they could and could not do.
Councils were not "the other side", Mr Ryan said. They belonged to everyone and the community could help change the way they approached new buildings.
Nick Collins and Lois Easton, also from Beacon, explored some of the ways councils could promote sustainable buildings and new technology.
Ms Easton talked about examples of council initiatives in other parts of the country which had fuelled sustainable development, including changes to district plans to remove red tape preventing solar panel installation.
It was important for Southland to tailor its initiatives to local conditions, she said.
Workshops with designers, builders and power suppliers at the conference found there was a lack of access to information and skills which could help promote the new ways of doing things. There was also some support for an eco design adviser for the region.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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