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Who can help me?
Architects and designers
Your design team will be essential in helping you achieve your water objectives.
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Architects and designers have the skill set to think about problems from an integrated perspective and will approach your requirements in a holistic way. They can add the most value during early design stages by translating your objectives into design strategies. If you’re including a rainwater collection system, for example, you will need a roof that increases catchment areas and prevents leaves and debris from blocking pipes. Later they will help you to specify the right products for fixtures and fittings and to integrate systems. They also play a key role in the design of your outdoor areas and how they interact with the surroundings. For example, they can design a driveway that increases the amount of porous surface to lessen runoff.
Sustainability consultants can be valuable even before starting the design stages. They can be helpful when defining objectives and can provide guidance on how to quantify them. They can also create a water profile for you so that your objectives are quantified and can be verified during design and use. If you are interested in rating schemes, they can advise on the best alternatives to match your objectives, and can support you through the process to successfully achieve certification.
Eco Design Advisors
The Eco Design Advisor
service is an initiative of BRANZ. Advisors work within several city councils across the country to provide free, independent advice on how to improve the use of natural resources in our homes. Although their focus is mainly on existing houses, they can also help you identify strategies to improve efficiency before a project is built and reduce barriers to consenting. For instance, in Auckland they have streamlined the Building Consent process for plumbing rainwater tanks.
Experience gained on site has given suppliers valuable practical knowledge about systems and products. Adopting an integrated process, in which suppliers are involved in the project while it is still in the design stages, can result in greater efficiencies and reduced risk of changes during construction, as they are likely to advise on the most efficient and practical ways of installing systems. Having quantified your water needs during design will facilitate communication with suppliers, as you will have a clear indication of what is it that you are searching for in order to achieve your objectives.
Watercare / Your local water provider
Water Advice Line
is a free audit service provided by Watercare and delivered by the EcoMatters Environment Trust. It offers water advice to households so they can reduce their water consumption. A Water Survey is performed to determine areas for improvement and users receive a personalised Water Savings Report to assist them in reducing their household’s overall water consumption. Their advice is mostly focused on existing houses but could also be applied to new projects.