We are an Incorporated Society committed to transforming New Zealand's homes and neighbourhoods.  Through research and demonstration projects, we hope to show how to make our homes higher performing (resource-efficient, cheaper to run, healthier to live in), adaptable, resilient and affordable.

Latest News

16 December 2014

Build Back Smarter off the ground!

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New homes

Find out how to design and build new homes that perform better with our new build demonstration projects:

  • High Performance House at HIVE
  • NZHF HomeSmart Home
  • Waitakere NOW Home
  • Rotorua NOW Home

Find out more

Existing homes

Upgrading existing homes - our demonstration projects:

  • Build Back Smarter in Christchurch
  • HomeSmart Renovation project
  • Papakowhai Renovation project

Find out more

New: Improving the performance of our rental housing

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Our services

Check out the services and expertise we can offer your organisation

  • Share our knowledge
  • Robust tools and help to use them
  • Expert advice from our team
  • Experience in scoping and running projects
  • Bringing together partners in collaborative ventures

Find out more


Come here to find:

  • Resources for homeowners
  • Resources for practitioners
  • Resources for local government
  • Resources for central government
  • Videos
  • Conference, symposia papers and study tours

Find out more

New on the website

The new Toolkit for Residential Design and Build Competitions - learn from Christchurch’s Breathe competition.

Breathe winning design

Find out more

The Beacon Blog

Verney Ryan  says energy and water efficient houses don’t need to cost more

Read our latest blog at


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Beacon Pathway

Early research

Beacon’s original research programme included work on:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Indoor Environment Quality
  • Systems/Materials
  • Market Transformation

Find out more

Quick links

Based on our research and demonstration projects, we have developed resources for homeowners, councils and industry.

  • Home Performance Advisor training   More
  • Build Back Smarter checklist and guides - how you can upgrade your home’s performance during earthquake repairs.  More
  • Retrofitting wall insulation: Benefits and the opportunity earthquake repairs offer Christchurch - A fact bank on why wall insulation works and why it should be included in earthquake repairs. More
  • Policy options for sustainable homes: A resource manual for local government - Information and examples to support councils in developing policies and programmes which encourage sustainable building and renovation. More
  • Making your home HomeSmart: A homeowner manual - What to watch out for when renovating, and how to get the best performance from your home.   More
  • Neighbourhood Sustainability Framework and Assessment Kit - The tools to assess the sustainability of both new and existing neighbourhoods.  More
  • National Value Case for Sustainable Housing - This policy document assesses the value of making sustainable interventions across New Zealand’s housing stock.  More
  • Forced air ventilation systems - A study of how well these systems work to improve cold damp homes.  More
  • Unflued gas heater fact bank - Why unflued gas heaters are dangerous for your health and pocket.  More