A Glendowie family has found a novel way to cut their power bill - by building what's believed to be the most energy efficient house in the country.
Philip Ivanier and his family are the first people in New Zealand to have completed building a house using the very high ‘passivehaus’ performance standards.
Developed in Germany in the 1980’s, it focuses on energy efficiency as well as comfort and health. The house is expected to be certified shortly.
“After the first week of living in our new house we used hardly any energy from the grid,” Ivanier said.
“We urge others to incorporate these healthier and more energy efficient building standards and elements into their new builds."
Auckland Council is using the project as a case study which they hope to incorporate into the Auckland Design Manual.
"We are pleased to see people like Philip and his family who want to push the boundaries and build energy efficient homes. It is one of the ways we can help realise one of our key goals in the Auckland Plan, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," council eco-design advisor Eion Scott said.
There are over 30,000 Passive House buildings worldwide which include special insulation, high performance windows and a membrane that stops draughts.
“Having studied, and been involved in, many other energy efficiency projects around the country I am confident that this is, by far, the most efficient to date," Paula Hugens, a Certified Passive House Designer said.
"We recently completed a blower door test on the house and it was also easily the most airtight building in New Zealand documented to date.”
Ivanier moved here from Canada eight years ago and started building his house in January with materials mainly imported from Europe.
"They're incredibly healthy to live in. They're incredibly insulated. We should be able to heat and cool it for around $20 a month, there will be solar panels on the roof and we should be able to put some power back to the grid. There will be no mould or mildew. For children, for anyone with allergies, it's great," he said in January.
Ivanier set up a website about his build and blogged about his progress.
For advice on eco building or to arrange a free visit from an Eco Design Advisor, visit www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/ecodesign or www.ecodesignadvisor.org.nz (national) or freephone 0508 326337 (0508 ECODESIGN).
- © Fairfax NZ News
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