PKF Carr & Stanton, Hastings, New Zealand
31 Oct 2016
Ian and Sharon Welch have run a successful building company that has made its name in constructing high quality architecturally designed homes and commercial properties across the region. Over recent years, their builds have been regular winners in the Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards, and they have built a steady stream of customers who want that extra attention to detail and high quality workmanship that they offer.
They have now taken a bold step and added a new dimension to their business with the addition of the eHaus building systems license – an eco alternative to house building especially designed to give families the best health, comfort and happiness at a fraction of the energy used by conventional homes.
“We saw the eHaus license as a great opportunity for us to offer Hawke’s Bay people an alternative type of housing which complements nicely with the architecturally designed type of houses that we also build” says Sharon. “As we learned more about the brand, we could see that the Hawke’s Bay climate lends itself really well to the passive style of house. This type of construction can also be used for other buildings - offices for example.”
“We see the potential growth in New Zealand for this type of housing due to the comfort levels offered and the overall reduction in energy costs. We are very excited to be involved with the growth of eHaus as the concept is still relatively new to the New Zealand construction industry.”
Building the first Hawke’s Bay home using the eHaus system, Ian’s team are concentrating on creating a home that consumes 75–90 percent less heating energy while providing healthier and more comfortable living spaces for their clients, and are doing this without adding any heating to the new home.
“With the use of excellent design, quality materials and a building system that creates a passive home, we believe that our clients will be able to enjoy a consistent 20-25 degree temperature year round with the added benefits of removing draughts, limiting heat loss, improving air quality and lower relative humidity levels”, says Ian. “Many New Zealand homes perform poorly in terms of energy efficiency or even being healthy places to live, and this is reflected in higher levels or respiratory illnesses, so we want to use modern technology and systems to reverse that trend.”
The eHaus home that they are building will cost a little more than mainstream houses cost, but the greater efficiency results in a very fast payback period just on the energy front. That doesn’t even consider the value of the health benefits that homeowners will enjoy.
“The local response has been great. We have had an open home at the eHaus house we are currently building and were pleasantly surprised by the number of people that came through. The people that we have been speaking with appear to have a good understanding of passive housing. There has also been some pretty good TV coverage which has possibly also helped to generate interest in this approach to building” says Ian.
This November there will be at least 10 eHaus homeowners in New Zealand opening their homes to the public in conjunction with the International Passivhaus Open Days which is an annual event that happens all over the world. If you are looking to build and are keen to explore the options around eco-homes, give Ian Welch a call on 06 877 2338 to find out more.
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