What makes Enviro Homes stand out from the rest? Each step of the way we have applied the key principles to creating an energy efficient, healthy and environmentally conscious home.
A well designed home will be warmer, healthier and more comfortable to live in. Good design will also be kinder to the environment, and help to reduce your power, water and gas bills
Optimum orientation is a key element to ensure a home stays warm and comfortable all year-round, maximising solar gain to heat and breezes and shade to cool.
Utilising the sun to its maximum effect is a cost effective, resourceful and environmentally friendly way to heat and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout your home.
Passive cooling keeps your home comfortable throughout warmer months without the excessive use of mechanical systems. Good design allows as much sun as possible in winter, yet shade in summer. Louvers and pergolas can be strategically placed to maximise sun or shade depending on the seasons.
Passive ventilation is achieved through the controlled use of windows, vents, louvres and other openings to let fresh air into and through your home. It helps remove moisture, airborne pollutants and maintain air quality in a home creating a comfortable, dry, healthy living environment. In summer, ventilation is necessary in keeping your house cool and in winter, it will let stale air out but keep warmth in.
Enviro Homes includes the option of Solar water heating to heat water for household use and underfloor heating. There are also options for heat efficient wood-burners or pellet fires that have Environmental Choice Approval.
Insulation is essential to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer Enviro Homes not only uses wall and ceiling insulation that exceeds the code requirements, but also incorporates under-slab and perimeter slab insulation
|New Zealand Building Code||Enviro Homes|
|Exterior Walls||R2.0 (South Island)||R 3.6|
|Interior Walls||No Standard||R2.5 (Optional upgrade)|
|Ceiling||R3.3 (South Island)||R5.8 (Dependent upon house design)|
Thermal mass is a key aspect of successful passive solar design and it can reduce total heating and cooling energy requirements by up to 25%. Thermal mass helps maintain comfortable temperatures inside your home all year round.
Enviro Homes use polished concrete floors (or tiles) and stone walls to achieve thermal mass. When the weather is cool, thermal mass will absorb heat during the day and radiate it out as the temperature drops in the afternoon or evening. In hot weather, thermal mass may act as a heat sink, lowering internal temperatures and reducing cooling loads.
Traditionally, when buildings have been designed and constructed, issues such as high energy costs and water restrictions were not in existence, and wastage was of little concern.
An Enviro Home specifies plumbing fittings, fixtures and appliances that include low flow shower heads, along with fittings that carry high star ratings from both the WELS (Water Efficiency Labeling Scheme) and Energy Star. Provisions have been made to include rainwater harvesting and grey water systems which will not only recycle but reduce water consumption.
All the exterior walls are increased from 95mm thick to 140mm (6" x 2" as opposed to 4" x 2"), allowing us to install extra insulation. This extra thickness also allows room for our standard perimeter concrete floor slab insulation.
We only use thermally broken double glazed aluminium joinery.
Your Enviro Home includes a solar ready hot water cylinder as a standard inclusion and solar panels can be added to heat the water for normal household usage as well as for under floor heating. There are also options for adding wet back systems to efficient wood burners or pellet fires that have Environmental Choice approval.
An efficient lighting plan has been developed specifically to work in harmony with the other features of Enviro Homes. It has been designed to minimise the up front cost and maximise the long-term benefits including lower running costs.
Water from showers, baths and the laundry, can be stored, recycled and used for irrigation of gardens and lawns.
We utilize products and finishes that are low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds), for example low or no VOC paints and carpets
Wherever possible we will avoid the use of arsenic treated timbers such as standard Pine. The standards in the New Zealand Building Code mean that in some instances it is not possible to avoid using these products in limited measure. Wherever possible we will use timbers with very low toxicity levels and timbers that are naturally durable such as Douglas Fir, Cedar and Eucalyptus.
We encourage the use of photo voltaic panels on our homes and the utilization of an 'import/export' or 'east/west' meter. Utilizing this option means you can generate as much electricity as you want by sizing the system to suit, whilst still retaining the back up option of what is available via the national grid.
Any excess power generated can be fed back into the grid and you can either have it accumulate there for use, via a credit arrangement, on days when you are not able to generate enough for yourselves, or connect to a power company that will buy your excess electricity off you.
There are also options enabling you to be completely independent from the grid by utilizing battery storage systems.
Approximately 12% of greenhouse gas emissions result from activities in the residential sector. In order to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from within this sector, house energy rating systems have been developed which evaluate the heating and cooling needs of different houses via computer simulation.
There are a few energy rating systems available in the market, but we utilize the services of EcoRate, a company that incorporates a star rating system based on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) which was established a few years back by the government.
Some rating systems take into account how far your home is located from main arterial routes, whether you have a worm farm etc....but we felt it was more important to objectively assess a homes energy rating based on how it actually performs in its own right which is why we use EcoRate.
These reports are available on a house by house basis. You can expect to pay around $1,000.00 for a report but the cost varies depending on the size of the home.
At Enviro Homes, we understand that by going the whole way we will be pricing our homes out of the financial reach of most people so have balanced our desires against what is affordable. In saying that, we can build our homes as sustainably as you require.
The standard specification for an Enviro Home includes Douglas Fir for all framing both internally and externally. We also use Douglas fir wherever possible in our roof framing structures, but this is not always possible due to engineering and Building Code requirements.
Our cladding systems also utilize sustainably grown products wherever possible such as Cedar weatherboards, stone, Weathertex Weathergroove sheeting or Shadowclad. There are a number of other options available as well.
All internal joinery can be solid timber if required but as mentioned earlier, this does increase the overall cost of the home. We allow a PC sum for all floor finishes, kitchen cabinetry and appliances to allow greater flexibility in these areas.