Student accommodation heats up thanks to Council and Victoria University

1 July 2015

Victoria University joined forces with Wellington City Council to make their student accommodation warmer, drier, and more energy efficient for Victoria University Wellington (VUW) standalone houses.

Last month Council worked with Victoria University to help them improve living standards for students. The 67 VUW residential properties received a free whole-house assessment from the Sustainability Trust as part of the Council’s Home Energy Saver Programme.

Council and VUW split the costs of the assessments, co-funding the sustainability assessments. Recommendations were also made by the Sustainability Trust, for each property, covering plumbing, insulation, moisture levels, heating and ventilation.

Mayor Celia Wade Brown says the University and Council worked in close collaboration to improve the standard of accommodation.

“Energy savings, lower carbon emissions and students who are warmer and healthier through the winter months are all positive outcomes from this project,” she says.

Victoria University paid for all costs for the upgrades, which included 300 LED bulbs, saving approximately 30,000 kWh per year and costs of around $7000. Water efficient shower heads were also installed along with insulation on hot water pipes and cylinders and door brushes to reduce drafts.

Other measures will include eliminating sources of dampness and installing energy efficient heating.

“The project was a trial for how we might work with larger residential landlord groups in the long term,” says Environmental Portfolio Leader, Iona Pannett. “We would like to help them with asset improvement works focused on getting homes warmer, drier and more energy efficient.”