Imagine a home that stays between 20 and 25 degrees all year round with little or no heating required. Imagine a home that consumes up to 90% less energy per year than a typical Kiwi home. Imagine a home where your family can thrive with no mould, condensation or allergens. Imagine no longer: the future of home building is here.
Our eHaus showhome is the pinnacle of modern, efficient home building technology. Built to the stringent international PassiveHaus standard, you’ll be amazed at how warm, quiet and comfortable it is. But don’t take our word for it, visit us today and experience eHaus for yourself.
7 Waipunahau Rd, Waikanae, at North end of Parata St.
Open Weekdays by appointment, Sundays 2-4pm
Next Sunday opening: January 27th 2018
Our PassiveHaus Journey
When we first investigated PassiveHaus, we found it hard to comprehend. How could a house perform as indicated, with little or no heating? How did it stay fresh, what was the building process, how was it different from building the sort of houses we had been building for many years?
Given this we then thought how we could explain PassiveHaus to our customers. Ultimately we came to the conclusion the best way to bring this about was to build one, hence we created, with eHaus, the first certified PassiveHaus in the Wellington region.
This is house-building Jim, but not as we know it! Actually the key difference is that it’s building, but with technology and science applied. It’s about calculation, not guesswork, understanding how the house would perform before we start building. Most of the real work is done in the design phase. We found it was no harder or more complex, but was about understanding the importance of the key elements of PassiveHaus, and knowing how to combine those elements to create the perfect living environment.
There were no short cuts. To create the required airtightness we had to work to higher tolerances than we ever had before. We found our tradesmen liked coming to work in the house as it was already warm before completion, with no heating. They shared their amazement at that element.
How did it compare to building the types of buildings we had previously worked on?
Every project is different. Every client and every build is individual. Building to PassiveHaus specification was about more attention to detail, understanding the technology, and bringing that into the overall project. Certainly working with eHaus was the key; we could talk to them as the PassiveHaus experts, and we could discuss aspects with their designer, to ensure we carried out the build appropriately.
This house is specified for 4.7 people to live in! We’ve never built a house for that number of people! However that is part of the science of building PassiveHaus: you create the right specification for the planned occupation.
Again every project is different. We found that building a PassiveHaus was lower cost than many projects we have worked on, but conversely more expensive than some. We learned that any increased building cost would be offset over a very reasonable time period, given the reduction in power consumption. However the real plus was the increased comfort and health factors which more than outweighed any additional cost.
We also discovered through the hundreds of people coming through in the first few weeks, that people wanted their homes to be built this way. They wanted warmth, comfort, damp-free and ultimately affordable luxury living.
What’s it like to live in and use?
With no one currently living in the show home, it’s difficult make a complete assessment. The coldest temperature we found was an icy morning in June, when the living room display indicated 18.6 degrees. Typically we expect a PassiveHaus to operate about 2-3 degrees warmer, when occupied as planned.
We had not realised the huge positive impact of people living in a home. If you create an airtight environment that keeps heat in, then naturally there is little need to produce heat. People are great heat generators, so when occupied the house is even warmer.
Living in a house with continually fresh air, the right humidity and a constantly appropriate temperature is a great place to be.
- it takes little or no additional time to build a PassiveHaus than a regular good quality build
- there are rigorous performance tests, including independent pressure tests to ensure airtightness is achieved during the build
- If we are building your home in winter, this could even accelerate the build, as interior painting can be done all day, every day, which we could not do on regular builds due to temperature restrictions
- Even though we do not build your garage to PassiveHaus standard, being connected to the house creates a greatly improves garage environment, meaning it can be comfortably used for a host of activities beyond car parking and storage.