November/December 2016

2016 10 28 14.41.43Designs for a Climate Safe House were presented to us by Otago Polytechnic Design students recently, and they were inspiring! A public exhibit of this work will be held in the New Year and a final detailed design will be prepared in the first half of 2017. We have valued working with the Design and Communications teams and their students at the Polytechnic and we’re excited about this project moving forward. While we’ve already mentioned some details in the past, they are worth repeating. Our longer term goal is to build a Climate Safe House, one that is affordable, relocatable, self-contained, warm and cosy. We’re working to provide an example solution to the challenges of our changing climate. Enphase Energy, a global energy technology company, is the first sponsor on-board, and has committed to providing a whole of house energy system including solar generation and grid-tied storage when the house is built, and we’re very excited to have such an innovative international company as a sponsor for the project.

Visit www.climatesafehouse.nz for details about the project. This is the website where all the information will be put as the project develops and our thanks to Martin Kean and Tom Clark for making it real and attractive. One of the really neat things about this project is the very positive partnerships we’re managing to establish.

Research is another critical aspect of the Climate Safe House work and it’s being generously funded by the Otago Community Trust. We are looking for people living on the flats of Waitati and in Long Beach who would value, at no cost, a detailed Home Performance Assessment. This  includes an assessment of the house, a diagnosis of problem areas, and an assessment of options with prioritised recommended actions. We can provide Home Performance Assessments in Waitati and Long Beach and if there is not enough demand we have other areas of the city who are crying out for this free service, so please get in touch with us promptly if you are interested.

Recently we were part of the Cosy Homes stand at the Great Kiwi Home and Living Show. As a result, our Cosy Energy Advice service has been in greater demand and insulation enquiries have increased as well. So with the coming of warmer weather its a good time to get things sorted before autumn reminds us of what we meant to do over summer to ensure we had a cosy home. There are four critical elements:

  1. Reduce heat loss (insulate, double glaze, seal up gaps etc)
  2. Control moisture (repair leaks, stop ‘rising damp’, etc)
  3. Ventilate (remove old air and replace with new)
  4. Heat (ensure you have the means to keep your home warm and cosy in harsh conditions).

Of course, providing energy services aren’t all we do at the Trust, although it does occupy most of our time. There’s also the Cuppa Tea team who meet once a month and prepare new publications on the Cuppa Tea blog. The lastest is a great piece called “Electric Vehicles 101” by Pam McKinley. It’s both an entertaining and informative read. The local food directory we host on our website is a simple way to list produce and supply.

For Free Cosy Energy Advice local call 03 929 1323.

You can also  find us on Facebook as Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust, on Twitter as @BlueskinPower and you can call the office on 03 4822048 or call in to visit and find out more about any of our work. Our office is located in Waitati at Waitati School and you can contact us by email at: office@brct.org.nz.  And a very Merry Christmas everyone!

By Scott Willis