About Us

Our services: Collaborative and demonstration projects

New Category of Home partners in factoryBeacon has extensive experience in scoping and running collaborative and demonstration projects.

We believe that research has to be tested in the real world.  Demonstration projects provide a proof of concept that gives weight and credibility to results.  And adding in robust assessment and analysis provides learnings for future projects.

We also believe that projects benefit from collaboration between a wide range of partners sharing resources, knowledge and skills.


Leverage our networks

One of Beacon’s greatest resources is our extensive network across the housing sector. We have connections in central and local government, industry, affordable and third sector housing providers, design and construction, and industry associations.

Work with us to tap into this resource to draw together partners around an opportunity or project. Leverage your input with funding or skills from other organisations. 

We’re also often aware of opportunities and activities in other parts of the sector and we can put you in touch with the right person to talk to.  We can help you to bring partners on board, using our sector-wide network, and to facilitate the partnerships throughout the project.


Use our project management expertise

We have experience and expertise in:

  • Scoping the project, defining work programmes and securing budgets (contract, donations, sponsorship).
  • Managing demonstration projects, working within partnership frameworks, engaging contractors, managing timelines and budgets.
  • Monitoring the project, analysing and reporting on what went well and what didn’t.


Case study: Build Back Smarter pilot project

This ten home pilot project is the perfect example of Beacon leveraging its networks to get a project going to bring about change. 

Soon after the earthquakes, Beacon realised that the extensive repair required in Canterbury presents an opportunity to improve the region’s existing housing stock because:

  • The sheer number of houses needing major repair means wide scale improvement is possible
  • Damaged linings and cladding mean there is an opportunity to make upgrades that would only usually occur once every 30 years
  • It is an ideal opportunity to undertake upgrades that research says make a big difference to warmth, comfort and efficiency of houses, with follow-on improvement to health and productivity

Beacon successfully pulled together funding from EECA, Fletcher Building, Christchurch City Council, Christchurch Agency for Energy, and the Ministry of Science and Innovation for a demonstration pilot showing that home performance improvements can and should be undertaken during earthquake repairs. Beacon then worked with insurers (IAG and Southern Response) and project management offices (Hawkins and Arrow International) to recruit homeowners and to integrate upgrades with earthquake repair schedules.

  • Build Back Smarter project

Case study: New Category of Home project

Beacon member New Zealand Steel had an idea for a new category of home: one which combined the benefits of off-site construction with high performance.  Beacon facilitated the collaboration that developed this concept into a building system, tested it, and trialled it in real homes. 

Working with New Zealand Steel, Resene, InsulPro, Frametek-RFS and Fletcher Aluminium, Beacon managed the off-site and on-site construction of two demonstration homes (HIVE High Performance House and the Hobsonville duplex) and the monitoring and assessment of the performance of each home.

  • New Category of Home project