Sustainable Habitat Construction

Building a Better Way


Dave Strachan B.Arch. 1979 - Reg.Arch. 1999 - M.Arch. 2001

As design director of SGA, Dave has more than 30 years experience in the fields of building, interiors, teaching and architecture. Dave has a Master of Architecture Degree in Sustainable Design from the University of Auckland and is a graduate of the Newcastle University Glenn Murcutt Master class. Enthusiasm, energy and experience are brought to the practice through Dave’s commitment to creating an innovative contemporary, sustainable architecture, appropriate to New Zealand and its unique landscape. Dave created a series of more sustainable designs for Lockwood Homes.


As General Manager for Beacon Pathway Ltd (Beacon), a research consortium focusing on sustainable housing, Nick Collins brings not only twenty years experience in the building and construction industry, but also in-depth knowledge
of the latest building research.

Nick has headed Beacon since 2004, responsible for developing a clear Strategic Plan focused on the key priorities to bring about sustainability in the residential built environment. Major projects underway include: building 100 NOW Homes® in partnership with group builder to drive uptake of sustainable new homes; and the NOW Home® Renovation project focusing on improving New Zealand’s existing housing stock. Nick works with stakeholders from central and local government, industry, infrastructure and consumer groups to facilitate and encourage wider change.

Originally a geographer, with an MA (Hons) from Canterbury University, Nick has worked largely in the building products market, in companies such as Pryda Reid, Auckland Brick and Tile, and Monier Bricks. During this time he was instrumental in the setting up of a National Trade Training Qualification for roof tilers. In the mid 1990’s he returned to the University of Auckland to complete an MBA to develop his financial / commercial skills.
Nick was invited to contribute to Auckland City Council’s Mayoral Sustainability Taskforce in 2006, and oversaw the development of a web-based guide to sustainable building ( for the Ministry for the Environment.


• Science background with a PhD in Chemistry
• 1995-2006; Science Manager and Operations Manager for Landcare Research gained a wide background in rural and urban development, climate change and sustainable practices.
• In 1998 initiated research into integrated water management in the urban environment, partnering with Waitakere
City Council.
• In 2001 initiated and contributed to the concept and developed design of the Landcare Research building at T amaki. Acted as internal and latterly also external project manager for the construction process giving practical experience in the construction of a sustainable building. It won a Green Ribbon award for sustainable design and an EECA award for energy efficiency.
• In 2006 developed a business involving research and consulting in sustainable development and design.
• Currently involved in research into the residential built environment through Beacon Pathway. Leading their research in domestic water management.
• Developing strategy and policy in water management for Waitakere City Council
• Also holding workshops with councils throughout New Zealand in water demand management.
• Working with industry and local government on sustainable development strategies
• A Natural Step advisor


Born and raised in Invercargill
Attended Otago University: Degree in Politics
Worked as self-employed contractor and free-lance writer/broadcaster for some 25 years.

• Housing, renovation, building, design
• Wine appreciation and NZ viticultural areas

• Programmes presented Renovators, Open Home, Town and Country, Maggies Garden Show, Home Front, Master Builders House of the Year, Home and Entertaining House of Year, 5 O’Clock with Jude, Placemakers Home Front.
• 3 year stint on DIY talk back radio.
• Writes and presents commentaries for documentaries, and corporate and informational video presentations on wide range of topics.

• Numerous seminars at Home & garden XPOs.
• Wrote and presented 5 series of Placemakers Roadshow seminars on changes impacting the building industry.

• MC at many conferences and seminars
• Dinner speaking engagements



Since completion of his engineering degree, Nigel has worked in energy research. His work
experience includes the running of his own research consultancy and research for Members of Parliament. Nigel worked on contract for BRANZ in 1982 undertaking a study of thermal insulation in houses.

Nigel has lectured and presented extensively throughout New Zealand, and internationally. He has appeared on television and presented three building science related radio series on National Radio. He is a Teaching and Research Fellow at the School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington. Nigel has particular research interest in:
· Energy in Buildings - data collection and analysis, experimental investigations, presentations and policy advice on: housing, offices, schools, hotels, hospitals
· Energy Efficient Buildings: Analysis, modelling, design support
· Renewable Energy: Solar water heating, passive solar design, wind and policy issues
· Thermal Insulation - in-situ measurement, calculation
· Building Energy Code - technical support for revision of New Zealand Building Code
· Building Evaluation - work undertaken on hospitals, courts, banks, offices. Assisted in the development of “Building Quality Assessment” sold in New Zealand, Australia and United Kingdom Health and Buildings - sick building investigations,
healthy housing research
· History of building technology – as well as lecturing he has a regular series in BRANZ’s BUILD magazine and had an 8 week radio series on Radio NZ National.

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