UPL is switching from using natural gas to using electricity and other more sustainable options for more than 100 dwellings it’s planning to build over the next two years. It’s also committed to build at least one Homestar® rated house or townhouse this coming year, in what’s believed to be a first for Lower Hutt. Homestar® is an independent rating tool that measures the health, warmth and efficiency of houses.
According to the NZ Green Building Council, New Zealand’s built environment is responsible for 20 per cent of the country’s carbon footprint, and emissions from the construction industry have increased by 66 per cent in the decade from 2007- 2017.
UPL Chief Executive Craig Walton says the construction and related property services industry has a significant role to play in reducing emissions.
“We want to significantly reduce any harm and impact on the environment, and we encourage others in the building industry to consider what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint,” he said.
“UPL has scope to do this in several more sustainable ways when building, especially during the material selection phase and minimising waste during the construction process. We also want to apply best practice in terms of passive design in areas like insulation. We aim to minimise energy consumption, promoting warmer, dryer and healthier homes at minimal cost to the occupier.”
“Our shareholder, Hutt City Council, has set a net-zero carbon target and we want to do everything we can to help achieve this by incorporating sustainability features in the dwellings we are designing and developing. This includes using electricity and water-saving features minimising building waste and making buildings ready for charging electric vehicles.”