Warm home ad­vice a call away

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

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. scott@auck­land­c­ity.govt.nz.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

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.

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