Principal Investigators

Dr Kay Saville-Smith, CRESA
Anne Duncan, BRANZ
Professor Robyn Phipps, Massey University
Dr Bev James, Public Policy & Research
Sally Blackwell, BRANZ

Dr Kay Saville-Smith

Dr Kay Saville-Smith is a sociologist and director of the Centre for Research, Evaluation and Social Assessment (CRESA). Kay has undertaken extensive research into housing markets, housing demand, retirement villages, accessible housing, sustainable housing, the residential building industry and neighbourhood built environments. In addition to this current programme she has led a number of public good science-funded programmes or components, including: Finding the Best Fit, Housing, Downsizing and Older People in a changing Society, a three year research programme assessing the practicalities of downsizing and the conditions which determine successful transitions; Resilient Communities, Doing Better in Bad Times – a two-year programme aimed at helping older people and their communities to be more resilient during adverse natural events and recover better after them; Good Homes – a five-year programme on older people’s repairs and maintenance needs in the context of ageing in place; the Sustainable Neighbourhoods Stream for BEACON Consortium; and the social science component of the Building Energy End-use Study (BEES) undertaken by BRANZ. She is also a trustee for the Marlborough Sustainable Housing Trust.

Anne Duncan

Anne is a Team Leader, Industry Performance and Social Research, at BRANZ, which focuses primarily on delivering research in the areas of economics and sustainability in the building and construction industry. She has an MA (Hons) in Sociology from Massey University. Prior to working for BRANZ, Anne has worked in a variety of management, research and evaluation, and policy roles in central government.

Professor Robyn Phipps

Robyn is the Professor in Construction, School of Built Environment, at Massey University. She has worked in architectural practices, designing residential, commercial and industrial projects, ranging from police stations to hospitals. Robyn moved to Massey University to fulfil a passion for research on healthy and sustainable buildings. She has been an active member of the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand and been chair or deputy chair of the special interest group for Indoor Air Quality. She is a Fellow of RICS, Director of the New Zealand Green Building Council (Research), a member of the International Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate and IRHACE. She is a Co-Director of the Healthy Housing Research Group which won the Prime Ministers Science Team Prize in 2014. Robyn is also a Principle Investigator with the Sustainable Cities Research consortium and member of NERI National Energy Research Institute.

Dr Bev James

Bev is the principal of Public Policy & Research. She has wide-ranging experience in policy analysis and management, social research, and evaluation, with over 30 years’ experience as a social researcher and policy advisor working with housing; ageing in place; community resilience; and resource management. She is a researcher in two of New Zealand’s National Science Challenges: Ageing Well and Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities. Housing-related research includes downsizing; older people’s repairs and maintenance practices; residential movement; housing affordability; housing needs of people with disabilities and monitoring retirement village legislation. Bev gained her DPhil from the University of Waikato. Prior to undertaking contracting work 16 years ago, Bev was Branch Manager, Social Policy in the Ministry of Maori Development. She has also worked for the Department of Conservation and Wellington Regional Council, and was a senior lecturer at Massey University.

Sally Blackwell

Sally is an independent contractor working at BRANZ. She has worked as an independent consultant in the area of home performance and behaviour change on a number of projects that aim to bridge the gap between research, policy and practice to improve the performance of New Zealand homes. Prior to working with BRANZ, she has worked with not-for-profit community organisations, research institutions and practitioners to inform and develop projects to create positive changes to the performance of New Zealand’s existing homes. Sally holds an MA with Distinction in Environmental Studies from Victoria University, where her research involved “Household energy behaviour change”.