Eco Design for Sustainable Buildings

Free Sustainable Home Assessments

What is on offer

  • FREE consultation; providing personalised, independent advice on how your home could be warmer, dryer, healthier and more sustainable. We will work with you to find the right options for your home and circumstances.
  • Reviewing and providing design advice on proposed residential building plans

Who can access the service

  • Owner occupiers – seeking to improve the quality of their home
  • Renters – looking to improve healthy home habits
  • Landlords – looking to improve the quality of their properties for their tenants
  • So whether you are building a new home, renovating an existing home, retrofitting an existing home or even trying to do what you can in a rental property, Sam's got your back!

How to make an appointment

If you would like to make an appointment to discuss please call the contact centre on 06-759 6060 or fill in the online form below.

Why do we need a free home assessment?

We are in the era of the indoor generation, now spending 90% of our time indoors. The indoor environment should be warm and dry to ensure it is a healthy environment for people to thrive. It is now well known that a damp cold house will increase occupants likelihood to develop respiratory symptoms.

In New Zealand;

  • 1 in 6 have a respiratory disease
  • Asthma is the third most common cause of death
  • Asthma costs the country 6 billion per year
  • 1 in 7 children have asthma (Asthma Foundation, 2021)

Better performing houses = a more comfortable and cosy home = improved respiratory health.

If your home is cold, has a moisture problem or mould, get in contact with our Sustainable Design Advisor.

Meet Sam Rowlands - NPDC Sustainable Design Advisor

Sam is our friendly Sustainable Design Advisor who comes from an Architectural background, practising as an Architectural Building Designer, specialising in sustainable renovations and even Passive House projects. He has a sound understanding of building science and can deliver it in a way that people can understand. 



Eco-design is design with an efficient use of resources in mind. With careful design, you can improve a building's sustainability, your health and your bank balance. Here are some easy steps towards making your home or workplace warmer, drier and healthier.

Free ways to save
  • Take showers not baths.
  • Limit your shower time.
  • Use and maintain bathroom and kitchen extractors.
  • Dry your clothes outside of the house.
  • Find an alternative to gas heaters.
  • Limit the number of pot plants.
  • When washing your clothes, use cold water and wash full loads.
  • Turn off lights when leaving the room.
  • Fix leaky taps.
  • Close your curtains at sunset.
  • Switch off appliances at the wall.
  • Block off open fire places when they are not in use (as per fire service advice).
  • Turn off ‘second’ or ‘beer’ fridges when they are not in use.
  • Only heat rooms that are occupied.
  • Move your bed away from windows.
Low cost ways to save
  • Install an energy efficient/low flow shower head.
  • Check your insulation and fill in any gaps.
  • Install a hot water cylinder wrap – even on new hot water cylinders.
  • Insulate your hot water pipes.
  • Install compact fluorescent light bulbs in the rooms you use most.
  • Replace down lights with surface mounted lights and re-insulate the ceiling area.
  • Draught proof your doors and windows.
  • Install and maintain smoke detectors.
  • When shopping for new appliances, check their energy efficiency rating.
  • Install security stays on the windows for passive ventilation.
Further ways to save
  • Install or increase ceiling, floor and wall insulation.
  • Install pelmets and full length lined thermal curtains.
  • Replace old appliances with energy efficient appliances – check for the Energy Star rating.
  • Install kitchen and bathroom extractors with timers.
  • Install rain water and grey water systems.
  • Double glaze your windows.
  • Install windows with passive air vents or security stays.
  • Install exterior mechanisms to shade windows which overheat your home in the summer.
  • Remove carpets from the kitchen, bathroom and laundry areas to prevent moisture build-up.
  • Use solar water heating or a heat pump to heat your living spaces to 18-24 degrees Celsius.

Warm up New Zealand

You may be eligible for ENERGYWISE funding to help insulate your house and install clean and efficient heating under the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme. To find out more information on this programme visit