Hutt City Council leads the way – incorporating benchmark standards for healthy, energy efficient homes

Hutt City Council is the first New Zealand council to include building performance information on properties’ Land Information Memoranda (LIMs).

Property owners now have option of having their homes or rental properties’ health, warmth and efficiency assessed, and their buildings’ performance certified on their LIMs.

Council’s Director Environmental and Sustainability, Helen Oram, says while this can add to the value of a property to potential buyers or tenants, and give them a more accurate picture of what they are considering buying, the main aim of the initiative is to improve the health of residents and the energy performance of the city’s housing.

“We know as much as 40 per cent of the Wellington Region’s housing is damp or mouldy,” she says.  “We know more than 1160 of the region’s children are admitted to hospital each year for preventable housing-related illnesses.  And we know all the accompanying misery, lost opportunities and cost to our health system is avoidable.”  

Homeowners will be able to assess their planned or existing houses using a range of tools, such as the NZ Green Building Council’s HomeFit or Homestar rating tools. Homestar is a residential rating assessment that measures the health, warmth and efficiency of new homes, and HomeFit is designed for assessing existing homes.

NZ Green Building Council’s Director of Market Transformation Sam Archer says it is a huge step in ensuring people know what they are getting.

“While many countries around the world require energy labelling on their homes, here in New Zealand w e lack that transparency, and families are unwittingly buying cold, inefficient places to live.

“This great step by Hutt City Council will help Kiwis make better, more informed decisions and helps push for better, healthier, warmer, and more efficient homes.”

Hutt City Council and NZGBC are members of the Wellington Region Healthy Housing Group.

Watch the Local Government NZ webinar where Helen Oram and Andrew Eagles speak about what local councils can do to support healthier, low-carbon homes here.