Market transformation: Housing industry survey

Maurice Marquardt, Cerasela Stancu, Sarah Gunn.

A survey designed to assess the level of knowledge and uptake of sustainable business practices by businesses in the housing industry sector was carried out in June 2006.

Adoption of environmental practices of New Zealand companies is lower than survey results from European and Australian companies. Over one third of companies offered services to improve insulation or increase thermal mass in houses. By contrast, the greatest need for
information was identified as water-related issues closely followed by energy efficiency. The greatest consumer demands experienced by the companies, in order of importance, were for energy efficiency, insulation, noise reduction and solar hot water.

The main obstacles to the adoption of more sustainable practices, in order of importance, were lack of customer demand, cost of sustainable materials, lack of reliable information, and lack of knowledge and skills. The Building Code was singled out as an obstacle to change, innovation and best practice. Customer demand was identified as the key factor that would stimulate companies to adopt more sustainable practices