Warm home advice a call away
Chantal Grass wants a warmer home for the winter.
The Hillsborough homeowner is renovating her 1950s house and called in Auckland City Council’s new eco-design service for help.
“One of my main concerns is to get a healthier house in the winter months,” Ms Grass says.
“It’s quite a cold house, but I also want to be energy effi and save on our power bill.”
The free service provides on-site advice for people building or renovating to help make the house warm and sustainable.
The two-hour session can cover tips on water and electricity use, using low-impact materials and reducing construction waste.
Ms Grass says the advice helped her decide what to do first in her long-term renovation.
“The things I was going to prioritise were not the most important ones,” she says.
“He told me how to focus my budget on other aspects like double glazing.”
She says the amount of information available about different products can be overwhelming.
“I’ve been to home shows, I’ve read magazines and websites and I got so many samples you don’t know which is best.”
Eco-adviser Eion Scott says it’s crucial to tailor advice to suit individual homes and sites.
He steered Ms Grass towards double glazing to warm up the house, a former bach overlooking the Manukau Harbour.
“The house is orientated to the view, which is wonderful, but it’s important to have double glazing against the cold,” he says.
When building a home, Mr Scott says there’s plenty to think about before even selecting a location.
“The site is fundamentally the most important thing about the house,” he says.
“Access to sun, shade in the summer, where you put the house on the site. You can make major changes just by having the house orientated correctly.”
The eco-design service is an initiative of BRANZ, a building research company, with funding from the Environment Ministry and the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority.
City development committee chairman Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says it’s part of the council’s commitment to sustainability.
“We believe the eco-design service will help fulfil the requests we receive for technical information from homeowners.”
To arrange a consultation call 379-2020, or email eion. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good advice: Hillsborough homeowner Chantal Grass talks to Auckland City Council eco-adviser Eion Scott about making her house warmer and more sustainable.
Happy home: Jane Thompson reads for her daughter Molly Thompson-McVicar.