Cost effective award goes to: eHaus Pathenay and Architectural award goes to George House in Wanaka by Rafe McLean.
I am here in my role as Mayor of Christchurch. This is not a role I held at the time of the earthquake sequence which began 6 & a half years ago.
I knew very little about disaster response and recovery and little about disaster risk reduction. It's been a steep learning curve.
What I know now is that with disaster there is always opportunity.
When so much of the built environment has been damaged or destroyed, the opportunity to build back better is too important to miss.
I remember listening to a Mayor of a town destroyed by a tornado saying 'I'm no greenie, but if you're going to build back, why wouldn't you build back green?' All their rebuilt civic buildings are platinum green buildings.
We didn't require people to take advantage of this opportunity- I'm not going to speculate why central govt took this stance other than to say that there is an increased upfront cost.
But for the people who live in the homes and the tenants of commercial buildings, their running costs are considerably lower when that investment is made. The city would have required higher standards if we had been allowed to.
But the opportunity has not been completely lost because many people and developers have voluntarily taken the opportunity to build back better.
The Passive House is starting to gain traction in both NZ and Australia and demonstrating that excellent indoor air quality, exemplary comfort and energy efficiency truly fit for the 21st century (and climate change!) is entirely possible and desirable.
Awards such as these will help promote excellence and gain public attention. These are only the second time the awards have been held and already the number and quality of entries has significantly increase.
I Look forward to seeing greater uptake of Passive House in both countries, as is happening around the world with places like NY City and Vancouver adopting it as the standard to ensure resilience and to mitigate the effects of climate change.
And if there is anything I have learned, it is that resilience lies at the heart of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and sustainable development.
Congratulations to the winners of these awards but more importantly to the Passive House movement for making a difference