Source:Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
The Eco Design Advisor (EDA) service was established by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) in 2006 to offer free-of-charge, face-to-face sustainability advice for residential building projects, such as new builds and home improvements or renovations. The service is aimed at home-owners, designers/architects and builders; the advice may pertain to heating and insulation, ventilation and moisture, energy reduction or spatial layout, among other sustainability or ecological considerations. The service is currently operated out of eight territorial authorities: Auckland Council, Hamilton City Council, Palmerston North City Council, Kapiti Coast District Council, Hutt City Council, Nelson City Council, Christchurch City Council and Dunedin City Council.
To evaluate the EDA service, an online survey was sent to people who had undergone a consultation between 2016 and 2018. This report details the results of that survey. Survey participants were asked a number of questions regarding their motivations for booking a consultation, the topics covered with their advisor, changes they had made or planned to make to their properties as a result of the consultation, and their thoughts about the usefulness of the service.
The majority of EDA customers were using the service to obtain advice about home improvements or renovations. The exception is in Christchurch where most EDA customers were building new homes. Typically, EDA customers were using the service to receive advice about insulation, ventilation and moisture related queries. The advice and informational material received from EDA consultants was rated as very or highly useful. Eighty-two per cent of customers had already made or planned to make changes to their property based on advice from their consultant. Using advice provided by their EDA consultant, customers making changes to their properties tended to do so in the area of thermal efficiency (e.g. installing insulation or curtains), followed by alterations for ventilation and moisture control, and changes to ensure the efficient use of energy and water.
Generally, customers of the EDA programme rate it as useful, however, the results of this survey suggest that there may be some discrepancies between service centres in terms of advertisement and delivery of the service. Future work is suggested to determine the extent and nature of this.
Auckland Council technical report TR2019/005