One man's mission to make all homes in Hamilton healthy
Ian Mayes spends his days visiting Hamiltonians to give them advice on how to make their home dryer, warmer and more energy efficient.
As a local expert on building performance Ian Mayes has been providing valuable advice during in-home consultations for the past 11 years as the Council's Eco Design Advisor.
Realising how the work he does makes a difference to improving people's lives and health was a real light bulb moment for Ian.
"It's so rewarding leaving a consultation and the client says they've learnt something and have taken away points they can actually do. I'm so lucky to get to work with a diverse range of people in the community. That's what gets me out of bed in the morning."
Ian's job is a mixture of advice for retrofitting older homes and new builds, and presentations to groups including the District Health Board.
Ian started his career as a builder and designer in London after wanting to explore the world and leaving New Zealand when he was 18 years old.
"I was working in London where the temperatures are much lower, but their buildings are built to stand up to it. Even though Hamilton has a fairly mild climate, there are many buildings which could be improved, bringing homeowners financial and health benefits.
"The average power bill in New Zealand is around $300, I can most likely save you money on that cost by improving the way your home works for you – and it doesn't have to cost a fortune.
If I can save you even a little bit off that bill, you'll be saving that money every month."
If you talk to Ian for just two minutes, you'll see how knowledgeable and passionate he is about healthy homes.
"Having a well-performing home should work for you all year around, it's just more noticeable in winter when temperatures drop and too many homes are relying on cheap to buy but expensive to run portable heaters, and fans when it's hot, that don't cut the mustard.
"Unfortunately the 'she'll be right' kiwi mentality is meaning there are so many people putting up with cold, damp homes when they don't have to. I understand the challenge that comes with budgets and a key part of my job is to give advice which is affordable and save you money in the short and long term."
Hamilton is only one of eight Councils in New Zealand to offer a free Eco Design service who collectively are involved in the national Energy Wise programme.
Ian has one message for Hamiltonians: "I'm here to help. Let's make warm, dry homes the new normal!"
Interested to know more about Ian? Read his profile below from the November 2017 edition of City News.