New Zealand: Rolling out energy efficient homes

New Zealand: Rolling out energy efficient homes

eBuilders in Whanganui made an eHaus conference to talk about building efficient and healthy homes.

The conference discussed about on how to roll out “eHauses” on a larger scale.

Director Baden Brown and co-director Jon Iliffe started eHaus in Whanganui in 2009.

eHaus director Baden Brown said “it takes a paradigm shift in people’s thinking away from ‘How much can I buy now with what I’ve got’ versus ‘If I spend a little bit more today . . . my long-term costs are going to be less.”

The company focuses on designing and building energy efficient homes which can predict how the house can perform when it comes to energy usage.

“The house needed to be between 20-25 degrees Celsius throughout the entire year, and use “just a fraction” of the energy a normal home would use,” Mr Brown said.

The design took into account factors such as the climate data in the location of the house, whether it was sheltered or exposed, how high it was above sea level, whether it was shaded by other buildings, which direction it faced, and the size of the windows.

“Initial cost is more but long-term cost is significantly less than a standard home,” Mr. Brown added.

“The reason it hasn’t been done to date here is basically it’s new technology for New Zealand. It’s been in Europe for a number of years.

“You can actually model how it’s going to perform on paper and use that as a tool to improve its performance.”

The company have 10 licensees around the country who were all represented at the conference in the weekend.

The conference was used as a “motivational type occasion” and also to introduce new information to the licensees.

“It was great. Really, really good. We had 10 of our licensees here which is pretty brilliant from my perspective, and we had some good feedback from all concerned. They were very encouraged by the weekend.”

Keynote speaker Myles Fothergill, managing director at Q West, was “extremely inspirational” and shared his “life story” with those gathered.

“eHaus’ designs were to a “passive house standard”, which was an international building standard developed in Germany and now used in “probably 60 countries around the world” Mr Brown said.

He said some countries used the standard as their minimum building standard, but he didn’t see that happening in New Zealand any time soon.

“I would love to see that, but I don’t think it’s a reality. I can’t see it happening in the near future.”

At the conference they also discussed new projects coming up, such as eHaus buying a 20 section subdivision on London St which they plan to build eHauses on. Some of them will be designed for aged assisted living as well, which incorporates technology to assist elderly or disabled people to stay in their homes longer.

Mr Brown said they had put up signs for the subdivision in the weekend, “so it’s early days”.