Daily Archives: November 8, 2010

NZ’s Next Biggest Loser ….. could just be your home

November 8th, 2010

It might just be time for your home to go on a diet?

An energy one that is.

Having reported some months back about the success of an energy rating system in the UK, the US and Australia its great to see TV News reporting tonight the launch in NZ of “HomeStar.”

Same UK Energy Rating as discussed

Same UK Energy Rating as discussed

Meanwhile I still believe there’s also an ongoing programme of joint industry initiatives from the building/construction side of things to implement their “Greenstar” Green Home Energy system too. (although this new announcement could form the basis of an amalgamation)

Sources indicate the UK’s rating system which I spoke about here earlier (displayed above) is now mandatory on property advertisements.

If its going to potentially affect the future price of your property, from here on in you just might decide now is a good time to see, well for one example at least……. what NIWA’s solar calculator can show you.

Track down my all my previous posts on energy here.

Australian example

Australian example

Sample Australian Energy Audit report here.

Sure we will hear more about this in the coming days.

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Making Nelson an even better place to live

November 8th, 2010

Nelson City Council is keen to have local neighbourhoods that:

•           Make people feel safer

•           Make neighbourhoods more attractive and appealing to walk around

•           Increase traffic safety and reduce traffic speed


From local and afar studies, they have identified key areas that have shown to impact on a city or towns lifestyle / quality of life …..some of the ongoing effects of not planning development well may include:

•           a city that is difficult to walk or cycle around and more dependent on cars neighbourhoods and communities that are disconnected and lack identity

•           buildings and public areas such as roads, parks and squares that are not appealing to people or don’t allow a variety of uses

•           the attractiveness, vitality and safety of public spaces can be compromised

•           every neighbourhood starts to look the same – and one size does not fit all

•           not making the most of the residential land that is available

In the Councils own words;

This plan change is all about making Nelson a better place by being more people-friendly and an attractive place to live. The design of, and relationships between, the buildings, the surrounding environment and streets has a significant influence on people because our everyday lives are affected by the environments we share in urban areas.

While Nelson has many attractive buildings and spaces, there are also some poor examples, where opportunities to do something better were missed.

So, with this aim in mind our local Nelson City Council has recently publicly notified (as at 25 September 2010) proposed plan changes** to the current Nelson City Councils RMA.

Through this Plan Change, Council wants to encourage a more considered approach to residential development that takes account of its setting and how it connects to what is already there whilst creating a quality urban environment for residents and visitors.

NCC Proposed new Setback Guidelines

Key to this are amendment changes to the Residential Zone policies and rule tables for subdivision, streetscape, front yards, on site manoeuvring areas, fences, comprehensive housing, and overlay rules.

NCC Proposed Guidelines - House to overlook Streets not be hidden behind high fences

NCC Proposed Guidelines - House to overlook Streets not be hidden behind high fences

These diagrams detail the type of streetscape proposed for new or redeveloped residential areas. The proposal is to have streets with houses overlooking them rather than being hidden behind high fences. To encourage this type of development the proposed plan change has new controls on the height of new front yard fences and placement of new garages – if located closer than 4 metres to the road boundary.

Full details, and submission forms are here over at the Nelson City Council website.

(** Submissions close 5pm Friday 3 December 2010)