Sustainable housing network set up

Otago Polytechnic and five other metropolitan institutions have established a sustainable housing network building on last year's national sustainable housing competition.

The institutions - Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Manukau Institute of Technology (Auckland), Unitec (Auckland), Wintec (Hamilton), WelTec (Wellington) and Otago Polytechnic - already operate a collaborative metro sector group and have put in funds to start the network.

Otago Polytechnic staff member Tim Bishop, who co-ordinated the Shac '09 competition, will run it.

Otago received Ministry for the Environment funding to run Shac '09, which encouraged tertiary institutions, architects, engineers, designers and researchers to design and build environmentally friendly homes.

The grant was a one-off, but the institutions had decided to establish the network to continue the relationships and information-sharing which had begun during the competition, Mr Bishop said.

"People enjoyed the collaboration across the disciplines and wanted that to continue."

The only criteria for membership was an interest in "living well with less reliance on resources", and being prepared to share ideas with young people, he said.

"Collaboration with young people is a key aim. Polytechnics are taking the lead in establishing the network because we train many young builders, engineers and designers. They are literally [the people] building our future."

It was hoped to hold another sustainable housing competition which would begin next year.



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