Existing homes

Build Back Smarter

The Build Back Smarter pilot project aimed to show that home performance improvements can and should be included in the ‘standard’ repair of earthquake damaged Christchurch homes.

The Build Back Smarter project undertook six case study upgrades to show performance improvements could be included in earthquake repairs.    Beacon’s Home Assessment and Prioritised Plan tool was used to assess each home and develop an individualised upgrade plan to fit with scoped earthquake repairs.  A Beacon project manager provided case management and coordinated the upgrade work with the homeowners and PMO contractors on site.  

The upgrades focused on:

  • ceiling, floor and wall insulation
  • double glazing
  • solar or heat pump hot water
  • rainwater tanks and efficient fittings
  • clean efficient heating. 

Each case study house was assessed before and after upgrade using Homestar, and interviews with the homeowners highlighted the benefits they enjoyed from the upgrades.

Making the most of the opportunity

The kind of damage sustained in the earthquakes – broken chimneys, damaged roofs, ceilings or walls, broken or poorly fitting windows and frames, cracked or damaged floors or foundations – provided the ideal opportunity to consider improving the performance of homes.

Generally these types of improvement only happen during major renovations, about once every 30 years.  They are disruptive and costly.  Undertaking these changes while builders, plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople are already working in the home makes sense.

What else is in the knowledge base?
  • The value case for building back smarter
  • Retrofitting wall insulation fact bank
  • Final report on the Build Back Smarter project
  • Case study reports for each Build Back Smarter house
  • Build Back Smarter checklist