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Please find below the judging results for your proposal.

Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Novelty:
Feasibility:
Impact:
Presentation:

Judges'' comments


Changing development patterns has enormous potential to create lasting changes to GHG emissions intensity of built environment.

At it's core, the proposal seeks to match like-minded individuals to form building cooperatives. While this step is straightforward and important, critical challenges lie after the matchmaking has been done, and that will determine the success or failure of this approach.

The proposal addresses the key barriers and has a thorough work program. It also scored high on impact and fairly high on innovation.

Semi-Finalist Evaluation

Judges'' ratings


Novelty:
Feasibility:
Impact:
Presentation:

Judges'' comments


Comment from Judge 1:

The project has low cost compared with its potential benefits. But it relies heavily on IT systems and advisory services to overcome some significant cultural barriers. Both financiers and individual buyers have to be influenced. Also, there is no clear strategy to guarantee that the homes will be more efficient, although it is likely. The global impact is uncertain, and the proposer acknowledges this but the impact assessment assumes it will happen.

Comment from Judge 2:

Novelty: This proposal is a bold and novel approach to disrupting a business model with built-in inefficiencies that create wasteful carbon emissions. I am persuaded by the notion that housing construction driven by cooperation between future owners will yield deep environmental and social benefits compared to a developer model. It may take longer and require massive cooperation between local governments and banks, but the idea of starting with community-building is exciting.

Feasibility: The proposed building model has been proven in other regions, and many of the barriers are known; however, I could not assign the highest score for feasibility because the proposal only address a portion of the action that will be necessary for the ultimate goals to be reached. Additional efforts would be required to address legal and financial barriers.

Impact: I sense a wide range of potential impact. The main missing piece in the proposal that would help to estimate impact is research into the amount of land in the target community that is reasonably available or potentially converted to cooperative building. What factors make a city a good or poor candidate for this approach, or is it truly universally applicable?

Presentation: The proposal is well-written and the action plan is clearly organized.

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Lucas Kengmana

Jun 11, 2016
12:49

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Thank you very much for taking the time to review my proposal and for providing constructive and insightful comments. In the comments that follow I be keeping a record of my changes to show how I have adapted the proposal in light of your feedback.

1. I've extended the "What actions do you propose" section (specifically the forth paragraph under "What Kaenga will do" to make it clear that although the choice of whether the new dwelling will be more sustainable will ultimately be the choice of the future owners, nonetheless Kaenga can play an active role in promoting this by adjusting the choice architecture.


Lucas Kengmana

Jun 11, 2016
02:56

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2. Made some minor edits through out the proposal to improve readability. 

3. Amended the "What actions do you propose" section (specifically the first paragraph under "What Kaenga will do") to better explain how we will help to tackle the legal and financial issues. Also, amended the Cost section to reflect the fact that we are now proposing to provide legal templates to building groups.


Lucas Kengmana

Jun 12, 2016
12:35

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4. Added a subsection to the "What actions do you propose" section which deals with how we propose to engage the broader community, particularly group members and project financiers.


Lucas Kengmana

Jun 12, 2016
12:18

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Clarification on Judge 1's comments about the impact assessment - not addressed in the text because it is in the impact assessment section.

I did not provide this impact assessment (I think it must have been undertaken by an Impact Assessment Fellow). Nonetheless, I do not think the assessment is unreasonable because I think that while it is uncertain that the solution can be exported internationally in the short run, over the time periods that are used in the assessment, I think it is plausible that we will be able to achieve traction. I would be happy to work with whoever provided these estimates to refine them and ensure that they are consistent with the text of the proposal.


Lucas Kengmana

Jun 14, 2016
05:59

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5. Expanded the 'Where Will These Actions be Taken' section to discuss why Wellington is well suited for this project including a discussion about the fact that two large suburbs have recently been zoned for medium density and more land is likely to be zoned medium density in the future. 


Lucas Kengmana

Jun 14, 2016
09:15

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6. Added a photo to the Summary section and some figures to the "What actions do you propose" and the "Time line" sections to help to explain the proposal better.

7. Updated the proposal to take into account pgraczyk comment.

8. Added a comment to address pgraczyk broader concern. Couldn't add this to the text due to space constrains but reproduced this below for your easy of reference.

 


Lucas Kengmana

Jun 14, 2016
09:45

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Kaenga will help to mitigate climate change by creating more energy efficient homes and by helping to reduce transport emissions through increasing urban densification and strategically placing these dwellings next to public transportation.

There are significant opportunities to reduce emissions. Six percent of New Zealand’s houses completely lack insulation and most houses have poor insulation that would not meet the requirements of the new Building Code.(20) A study found that New Zealand dwellings’ average winter temperatures were six degrees lower than World Health Organization minimum recommended temperatures.(21)

Until recently, there was little evidence that new housing was improving the situation. Average indoor temperature in the Lower North Island of New Zealand (the area where Wellington is located) actually decreased by 0.5 C, between 1971 and 2004.(22) A new law increasing the requirements for insulation and an energy efficiency programme may have improved things somewhat. Nonetheless, it is clear that New Zealand’s current real estate model will only improve its environmental performance when it is forced to.

Instead of focusing on building better houses, New Zealanders have been focussing on building larger houses – the average size of NZ houses has almost doubled over the last 70 years, increasing the area that needs to be heated and contributing to urban sprawl and unaffordability.

This is particularly disappointing because a McKinsey study on the cost curves of emissions reduction suggests that insulation provides one of the most efficient ways to reduce emissions and that improving water heating can also be done at a net cost savings.(23)


 

 

The building cooperative approach will allow people who want a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly home to achieve this in an affordable manner. Although Kaenga will not force its users to select environmentally friendly options, we believe that uptake of these options will be high for the following reasons:

  1. We believe that most of the features that make a building environmentally friendly also make them people friendly. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that green office buildings see higher occupancy rates and better staff satisfaction and performance than standard offices. This impact is so noticeable that banks in New Zealand give favourable lending terms to commercial property with a high sustainability rating. It is also confirmed by the data which suggests that building cooperatives are more likely to be built to a high building standard.

  2. Many studies find that the upfront costs of building green is only a little more than building in a traditional manner, and tends to generate saving in the long run.(24) Further, Kaenga will introduce economies of scale which will reduce cost both directly and indirectly by increasing the breadth of choice available in construction. For example, materials or technology which are not currently available in New Zealand could potentially be imported by a large group which may not be feasible for individuals who are building.

  3. For example, a significant proportion of the cost of installing solar panels is the cost of the time for the installation crew to travel to the site. Installing several solar panels at once can significantly reduce this cost.

  4. Finally, Kaenga will also provide users with relevant information in a digestible way to promote the benefits of environmentally friendly building and make clear the environmental/climate impacts of people’s decisions.

Beacon Pathways managed to produce a house which was able to generate a 50% reduction in electricity while housing 6 rather than the average 2.7 people.(25)

Transport emissions make up about 20% of New Zealand’s emissions. By increasing urban density, Kaenga will naturally reduce travel distances and as a result, it should reduce emissions. Further, with good planning, it should be possible to design these developments to maximise public transport options and eliminate the need for a car. This is crucial because as a report from the Australian Railway Association found, the savings the average Wellingtonian will make from using public transport to commute is only $3039 whereas their savings would be the savings the average Wellingtonian will make from using public transport to commute is only $3039 whereas their savings would be $10,586 if they gave up their car altogether. Therefore, incentives to take public transport are much stronger when they are coupled with the ability to completely do away with one’s car (and as discussed in Section 2, building costs can also be saved when a group decides to remove parking from its plans). 0,586 if they gave up their car altogether. Therefore, incentives to take public transport are much stronger when they are coupled with the ability to completely do away with one’s car (and as discussed in Section 2, building costs can also be saved when a group decides to remove parking from its plans).

It is difficult to rigorously model Kaenga’s impact. However, for the purposes of illustration, we have assumed that homes built by Kaenga will reduce emissions by 50% of their current average. We believe this is achievable and perhaps even conservative given Beacon Pathways’ data. We also assume that household commutes will decrease from 20 km to 10 km and 73% of residence will swap from commuting by car to commuting by public transport.

These assumptions will lead a single household to reduce their CO2e emissions by 760 kgs (562 from energy savings and a 198 kg reduction from transport emission). In our fifth year of operations, we will generate 285 metric tonnes of annual emission reductions from the 513 dwellings built over Kaenga’s lifetime. However, given that these buildings are long-lived (and rarely replaced once built) we believe it is more appropriate to consider lifetime emission reductions. To calculate this, we scale the annual emission reduction for the 400 dwellings built in year five by 50 years (a conservative estimate of a dwelling’s life). Based on this methodology, we calculate a total lifetime saving of 12 Mt CO2e.

In the long run, New Zealand’s total emissions could be reduced by up to 4% as a result of Kaenga and the building cooperative approach. This is based on the fact that emissions from housing make up 10% of New Zealand’s emissions, 50% emission reductions can be achieved using green building methods at little extra cost, and the fact that 73% of building cooperatives have shown a demonstrable commitment to sustainability.

 

(20) http://www.sbc.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/56545/Better-Performing-homes-for-New-Zealanders.pdf, p. 12.

(21) Pure Advantage (2012) “Green Growth: opertunities for New Zealand”.

(22) Pure Advantage (2012) “Green Growth: opertunities for New Zealand”.

(23) http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/sustainability/a_cost_curve_for_greenhouse_gas_reduction

(24) For example, one study found it was only 2% more expensive to build a green building (Kats, Greg, Leon Alevantis, Adam Berman, Evan Mills, Jeff Perlman. The Cost and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings, November 3rd, 2008).

(25) Pure Advantage (2012) “Green Growth: opertunities for New Zealand”, p. 224.

Kaenga will help to mitigate climate change by creating more energy efficient homes and by helping to reduce transport emissions through increasing urban densification and strategically placing these dwellings next to public transportation.

There are significant opportunities to reduce emissions. Six percent of New Zealand’s houses completely lack insulation and most houses have poor insulation that would not meet the requirements of the new Building Code.(20) A study found that New Zealand dwellings’ average winter temperatures were six degrees lower than World Health Organization minimum recommended temperatures.(21)

Until recently, there was little evidence that new housing was improving the situation. Average indoor temperature in the Lower North Island of New Zealand (the area where Wellington is located) actually decreased by 0.5 C, between 1971 and 2004.(22) A new law increasing the requirements for insulation and an energy efficiency programme may have improved things somewhat. Nonetheless, it is clear that New Zealand’s current real estate model will only improve its environmental performance when it is forced to.

Instead of focusing on building better houses, New Zealanders have been focussing on building larger houses – the average size of NZ houses has almost doubled over the last 70 years, increasing the area that needs to be heated and contributing to urban sprawl and unaffordability.

This is particularly disappointing because a McKinsey study on the cost curves of emissions reduction suggests that insulation provides one of the most efficient ways to reduce emissions and that improving water heating can also be done at a net cost savings.(23)


 

 

The building cooperative approach will allow people who want a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly home to achieve this in an affordable manner. Although Kaenga will not force its users to select environmentally friendly options, we believe that uptake of these options will be high for the following reasons:

  1. We believe that most of the features that make a building environmentally friendly also make them people friendly. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that green office buildings see higher occupancy rates and better staff satisfaction and performance than standard offices. This impact is so noticeable that banks in New Zealand give favourable lending terms to commercial property with a high sustainability rating. It is also confirmed by the data which suggests that building cooperatives are more likely to be built to a high building standard.

  2. Many studies find that the upfront costs of building green is only a little more than building in a traditional manner, and tends to generate saving in the long run.(24) Further, Kaenga will introduce economies of scale which will reduce cost both directly and indirectly by increasing the breadth of choice available in construction. For example, materials or technology which are not currently available in New Zealand could potentially be imported by a large group which may not be feasible for individuals who are building.

  3. For example, a significant proportion of the cost of installing solar panels is the cost of the time for the installation crew to travel to the site. Installing several solar panels at once can significantly reduce this cost.

  4. Finally, Kaenga will also provide users with relevant information in a digestible way to promote the benefits of environmentally friendly building and make clear the environmental/climate impacts of people’s decisions.

Beacon Pathways managed to produce a house which was able to generate a 50% reduction in electricity while housing 6 rather than the average 2.7 people.(25)

Transport emissions make up about 20% of New Zealand’s emissions. By increasing urban density, Kaenga will naturally reduce travel distances and as a result, it should reduce emissions. Further, with good planning, it should be possible to design these developments to maximise public transport options and eliminate the need for a car. This is crucial because as a report from the Australian Railway Association found, the savings the average Wellingtonian will make from using public transport to commute is only $3039 whereas their savings would be the savings the average Wellingtonian will make from using public transport to commute is only $3039 whereas their savings would be $10,586 if they gave up their car altogether. Therefore, incentives to take public transport are much stronger when they are coupled with the ability to completely do away with one’s car (and as discussed in Section 2, building costs can also be saved when a group decides to remove parking from its plans). 0,586 if they gave up their car altogether. Therefore, incentives to take public transport are much stronger when they are coupled with the ability to completely do away with one’s car (and as discussed in Section 2, building costs can also be saved when a group decides to remove parking from its plans).

It is difficult to rigorously model Kaenga’s impact. However, for the purposes of illustration, we have assumed that homes built by Kaenga will reduce emissions by 50% of their current average. We believe this is achievable and perhaps even conservative given Beacon Pathways’ data. We also assume that household commutes will decrease from 20 km to 10 km and 73% of residence will swap from commuting by car to commuting by public transport.

These assumptions will lead a single household to reduce their CO2e emissions by 760 kgs (562 from energy savings and a 198 kg reduction from transport emission). In our fifth year of operations, we will generate 285 metric tonnes of annual emission reductions from the 513 dwellings built over Kaenga’s lifetime. However, given that these buildings are long-lived (and rarely replaced once built) we believe it is more appropriate to consider lifetime emission reductions. To calculate this, we scale the annual emission reduction for the 400 dwellings built in year five by 50 years (a conservative estimate of a dwelling’s life). Based on this methodology, we calculate a total lifetime saving of 12 Mt CO2e.

In the long run, New Zealand’s total emissions could be reduced by up to 4% as a result of Kaenga and the building cooperative approach. This is based on the fact that emissions from housing make up 10% of New Zealand’s emissions, 50% emission reductions can be achieved using green building methods at little extra cost, and the fact that 73% of building cooperatives have shown a demonstrable commitment to sustainability.

 

(20) http://www.sbc.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/56545/Better-Performing-homes-for-New-Zealanders.pdf, p. 12.

(21) Pure Advantage (2012) “Green Growth: opertunities for New Zealand”.

(22) Pure Advantage (2012) “Green Growth: opertunities for New Zealand”.

(23) http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/sustainability/a_cost_curve_for_greenhouse_gas_reduction

(24) For example, one study found it was only 2% more expensive to build a green building (Kats, Greg, Leon Alevantis, Adam Berman, Evan Mills, Jeff Perlman. The Cost and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings, November 3rd, 2008).

(25) Pure Advantage (2012) “Green Growth: opertunities for New Zealand”, p. 224.


Lucas Kengmana

Jun 14, 2016
09:41

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Sorry managed to double paste the last post.