Christchurch Energy Champion Award - sponsored by Cafe

The Christchurch Energy Champion Award was a one-off award in 2014 to celebrate energy efficiency success stories and achievements in Christchurch.

Winner – Community Energy Action

This well-established community champion of healthy homes ramped up their efforts after the earthquakes.

Strong partnerships with a range of organisations - including more than ten funding partners - have long under-pinned CEA's success in improving Christchurch home energy efficiency. From its charitable work insulating homes of young families and the elderly, to its advice line, outreach programmes and advocacy, it has worked tirelessly to improve local households' health and wellbeing. Their focus shifted when the earthquakes hit Canterbury, and many found their homes in disrepair. Drawing on its experience delivering targeted programmes, CEA piloted Build Back Smarter with Beacon Pathways to improve homes undergoing EQC repairs and worked with CERA to carry out emergency repairs for vulnerable households. It's now delivering Rebuild Warmer with the Red Cross - a three-year $3.3m programme to upgrade the thermal envelope and improve energy use and ventilation in 250 homes across Christchurch.

The judges said: "Their work shows energy, initiative and a long-standing genuine dermination to tackle fuel poverty and see people living in more energy efficient homes. CEA rose to the occasion after the earthquakes of 2011 and continued their work regardless."

Winner – Tait Communications

A new high-tech campus will embody innovation and sustainability, becoming an asset for the city.

In designing its 11 hectare campus, multinational radio communications firm Tait is creating an asset that chimes with the public vision of a sustainable, liveable Christchurch. A 7,000m2 office building, the first of several, is due for completion soon. Employing the skills of fellow-finalist Opus International Consultants, it's on track to be 50% more efficient than the previous site through smart design and technology. Oriented for sun, it will bring in natural light via a large atrium, massively reducing energy use. A state-of-the-art system will use recycled ground water to heat and cool spaces efficiently - while daylight harvesting and LEDs further cut energy use. Generous cycling facilities will also reduce transport energy use. With plenty of green space, Tait aims to attract other tech businesses - creating a ‘vibrant collaborative campus' and economic asset for the city.

The judges said: "An ambitious, whole campus-lead sustainability project. As a complex anywhere it would be advanced and worthy of admiration. In the context of Christchurch it has potential to be a positive touchstone for a re-emerging city, both economically and environmentally."

Highly commended – Opus International Consultants

Some of Christchurch's most high-profile developments will be beacons of energy efficiency.

Opus has applied a whole-of-life design approach - focused on long-term energy performance, reliability and ongoing maintenance - to some of Christchurch's most high profile ‘anchor' projects. The Justice and Emergency Services Precinct includes innovative features such as natural ventilation, solar and heat pump water heating, and efficient air conditioning via aquifer water - all of which will drive down energy use and costs. The Avon River Precinct, another anchor project, boasts energy-efficient LEDs and high-tech lighting management, giving the city a high quality asset that will cost less to run and maintain. Working closely with clients to enhance their vision, Opus is also delivering energy-efficient innovations to commercial and education projects across the city - through building design, lighting, heating, cooling, energy management and increased use of renewable energy.

The judges said: "Energy efficiency isn't an add-on, but a fundamental part of the way Opus approaches project design. With several large, high-profile projects underway, it's helping create high-value assets and have a positive long-term impact on the city."

Highly commended – TM Consultants

It has found 20% energy savings for its own commercial clients, as well as educating the sector.

Engineering consultancy TM Consultants is championing energy efficiency in Christchurch's re-development. Director Mike Baker in particular has worked hard to break down the myth that energy efficient buildings must be more expensive than BAU. He's spearheaded the production of a guide to energy efficient design for architects and other consultants, with more than 400 copies distributed to professionals in Christchurch. The company has also run training sessions on energy, with more than 40 firms attending - helping in a tangible way to achieve a more energy efficient rebuild by increasing awareness across the sector and proving the business case for energy modelling. For its own clients, TM Consultants has found average energy savings of more than 20% on more than 16 commercial projects throughout the city.

The judges said: "A consultancy with a difference, focusing on selling and promoting energy efficiency and educating the wider professional community."