Research and knowledge synthesis

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We undertake new research to fill the gaps in understanding house and neighbourhood performance. 

We have an extensive track record in research, having successfully completed a five year government research contract in sustainable housing and neighbourhoods.

We have robust systems to manage the research process ensuring a quality outcome (in full, on time, in spec), that meets your needs, and provides credible results.

We also believe that research is not only about generating learning, it’s about sharing it too.  We’ll help you spread the learnings to drive change.

Case study: Breathe design and build toolkit

Breathe began in 2012 when Christchurch City Council, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Beacon Pathway worked together to initiate a design and build competition to develop a concept for medium density living that would provide a variety of housing options and lifestyle choices based on sustainability, innovation and a strong sense of community. 

The successful Breathe competition provided a useful model for others to consider in relation to urban revitalisation. Following Beacon’s role in scoping and helping run the competition, we were asked to evaluate it, with a focus on providing guidance for other organisations looking to stimulate change through design competitions.

Beacon’s Verney Ryan and Vicki Cowan interviewed key stakeholders in the competition (sponsors,  judges, and competitors) to research what was successful, and what could be changed for greater impact in the future.

Out of this work, we developed a toolkit to assist others in setting up a design and build competition both here in New Zealand and around the world. It is a starting point for marshalling resources and a guide to pre-planning what and how a competition can deliver. 

Find the toolkit here

Knowledge synthesis     

We turn existing knowledge into a form that means it can be used to drive change.

We understand that simply producing a report is not enough to change the world.  Different formats are needed for different audiences and situations.

We’re experienced at pulling together knowledge from our own research and other work around New Zealand and the world into a synthesised package that addresses the needs of clients.

Case study: Value case for building back smarter

Beacon was engaged to scope the establishment and potential of a Build Back Smarter service for Canterbury.  One line of work was the preparation of an extensive value case for building back smarter based on the findings for the pilot project and drawing on other research.

The value case clearly identified that the earthquakes have created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address some of the root causes of poor health and fuel poverty in Canterbury households.  With adverse effects on health, mental health, education, employment, household finances, and social wellbeing, the cost of poor housing is a complex web falling on residents (homeowners, tenants), councils, district health boards, and government departments ranging across Health, Social Development, Housing, and Education. 

Improving these houses brings value far beyond the homeowners themselves, and developing the value case has highlighted the value for central and local government in particular.

Contact Beacon

Breathe public displays

Public displays of entries engaged Christchurch residents with the Breathe design and build competition

Huntsbury 2 homeowners

Beacon’s Bill King acted as project manager in the Build Back Smarter pilot

Here’s what our clients have to say:

“Beacon’s greatest value is compiling knowledge”

“Beacon is critical in helping to ensure the good in-situ application and delivery of sound research and investigation.“

“I like that Beacon is independent and practical - their research is applicable and usable, tangible and relevant.“

“Beacon has played a key role in development of housing policy e.g. rental house quality (WOF). Great knowledge base that we know is credible and reliable and means we don’t have to do it ourselves.“