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Chat about green living, green homes and other eco topics.

Ecobob Cafe Last post Posts
The Ecobob Cafe is for people interested in eco living to socialise and to share ideas and information. 7641 Posts

Building design, construction and renovations Last post Posts
This forum is for topics relating to eco friendly building design, construction and renovations. 4876 Posts

Real estate and property development Last post Posts
Topics in this forum relate to sustainable real estate and sustainable property development.
8 Mar 14 8:18 AM
260 Posts

World Environment Day Last post Posts
This forum is for discussions on World Environment Day. What are you, or your organisation, doing for World Environment Day? Do you know of any activities happening around the country for World Environment Day? 81 Posts

Latest Forum Posts

Author Post

1 posts
Posted Today, 11:45 AM
15% off Little Crackers for Eco Bob members

1 posts
Posted Yesterday, 11:43 AM
Hi - my partner and have only just started looking into building an eco friendly sustainable house in Ashburton for under 300k including the land.

My partner is a builder, and his brother is an electrician plus their tradie mates do give us a good stepping stone.

At this stage we are looking at a fire as our main source of heating with a wetback system, solar panels, bamboo flooring, ply walls and ceiling. We are trying to keep the house small-ish at 160m2 (give or take), 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, open plan living, attached double garage and a big outdoor living area.

Our big splurge will be solar panels and thermally broken windows.

Does anyone have any suggestions on keeping our prices down and what kind of systems or products we should put in place to keep it a warm, eco friendly home.

I would personally love a passive home scheme but wonder how affordable that would be?

11 posts
Posted Yesterday, 7:55 AM
I remember seeing a guide on the net somewhere about how to make an inline EU3 filter from a rubbish bin for ducted ventilation.

Anyone remember this too? got a copy, or a link to it - I can't find it.


1 posts
Posted 15 Apr 14 10:07 AM
Does it make a difference if water supply is via bore/submersible pump? My h/w cylinder had to be replaced recently and the new, highly insulated one, which I heat via wetback/Kent woodburner in winter, results in excess amounts of boiling hot water - more than I can use - which is proving an unexpected problem because I have to keep the fire very tightly controlled or damp it down completely when the cylinder starts boiling. I would like to warm two small bedrooms with radiators if possible... Will the existing pump do the job of pumping water to the radiator(s)?

28 posts
Posted 14 Apr 14 7:45 PM
Strongly suggest when moving the heated air push / suck it down the house from the warm area to the cooler areas. Don't move that warm air through the duct ... move the cooler air through the duct to the warm area.

65 posts
Posted 14 Apr 14 4:44 PM
Architectural windows.....with a environmental function. They all open at the lower portion only, strategically allowing cooler air to enter the house.

65 posts
Posted 14 Apr 14 4:40 PM
Extent of precast concrete, yes the central bay is going to form a fire place- if you’re wondering what it is.

65 posts
Posted 14 Apr 14 4:37 PM
Construction nearing the finish line for Coatesville House, Rodney, Auckland (the saw tooth house!)

It’s always exciting to see a project coming together….so much work and energy goes into making this happen with the intent of trying to achieve something above average. I think with all good projects, there’s a special chemistry needed to make these things happen, especially between the clients and design team in realising and executing the design…….good builders are also a key cornerstone. To be honest though, it’s always a battle with these guys……
So these are current images of the project. ....just got to push it over the finish line and it will have habitable passive solar house for a family of four.

Current view is of the north elevation showing the full extent of the saw tooth roofs and clerestory windows. This concept endeavours to maximise low angled winter sun, right up until the very latest part of the day followed by each roof plane functioning as a natural ventilator during summer(stack effect).

1 posts
Posted 13 Apr 14 7:53 PM
Hi has anyone fitted a PPV like we have (Sayer) and then also fitted a heat transfer system? We have a wood burner in our lounge and I would like to get that heat into the bedrooms at the other end of the house. Any tips?

1 posts
Posted 13 Apr 14 7:27 AM
New to the forum, but it seems there are a lot of companies and individuals claiming that they can sell their products in Canada. I looked on the Intertek site and only found MagWall LLC, which I assume is MagWall Inc in Canada. Am I missing something or are they the only company that can sell their product in Canada?

2 posts
Posted 12 Apr 14 9:07 AM
Hi Dys,

Thanks for the advice. Having read up a bit more on Ecoply, I think it will work well on my weatherboard house. Cheers.

13 posts
Posted 10 Apr 14 5:22 PM
Go to Carters and asked for the tape they use for the ecoply ridgid air barrier.
I would also recommend to use the ecoply ridgid air barrier or similar instead of building wrap, it strengthens the building and it it more airtight and a better barrier against vermin.
Building wrap or paper is weak and nothing really compared to plywood

304 posts
Posted 10 Apr 14 12:09 AM
Another year, another round of power price rises. Kiwis are signing up for solar power in significant numbers and taking the power back.

2 posts
Posted 8 Apr 14 8:50 PM

I hope someone can give me some advice on how to seal around the window and the building paper lining?

I'm about to replace the weatherboards on one side of my house and will take the opportunity to add insulation and line the wall with building paper. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get advice on how or what to use to seal around the fitted windows and the building paper. There is a lot of info when installing a new window but not for one that is already in place.


5 posts
Posted 7 Apr 14 7:05 PM
Hi Penny, I think from memory (I'm away from home currently) the box will take pieces of wood up to 17 inches long. I am pleased with the heat output, though it is less than the Jotul we had (about 15kW vs 22kW). You will get more heat without the wetback attached. I'm sure it uses less wood, though it prefers the wood cut a bit smaller than other burners. We have pine, eucalyptus and wattle trees in the back paddock that we burn after drying for 1-2 years. Main thing is to burn the driest wood first and you'll get the most heat output.

2 posts
Posted 7 Apr 14 6:19 PM
Hi Richard thank you for your reply. Unfortunately because the cylinder isn't set up for a wet back and it's only 2 years old it isn't really worth putting in the wetback. Are you pleased with the heat it puts out and do you think it uses less wood than a conventional wood burner? My husband is rather skeptical of the size of the fire box. What sort of wood do you use on it? We would mainly be using pine. Thanks again

5 posts
Posted 7 Apr 14 3:59 PM
Yes I think it's worth it. However if I could do it again I would have set the fireplace a bit higher with the optional log storage underneath.

I have noticed the steel lip at the bottom of the door has warped over the 3-4 years I have been using this fireplace, and it has blocked off one of the air inlets. I will take that up with the installer.

Also, the installer (Watermart in Masterton) forgot to put a regulator on the hot water cylinder when the wetback was attached, resulting in near boiling water coming from the taps, and putting cracks in the (new) bathroom sink and wrecking the kitchen tap.

2 posts
Posted 7 Apr 14 3:00 PM
Hi I am also looking at the Pyroclassic as an option for a 2 year old house. One of the things that attract me is the fact it uses less wood and it isn't a huge bulky thing to look at. I would really love to hear from people who have one who could share their truthful opinions on them. Thanks very much.

1 posts
Posted 5 Apr 14 11:37 AM
My husband and I are wanting to meet vegans or vegetarians who are interested in either just renting a house together but more so renting (to begin with) and some organic land together. We would like to grow organic vegetables/produce semi commercially with others.
So we are both looking for vegetarians to live with and a house and land to grow organic produce on.
I am a horticulturist with a landscape business and have leased land before successfully. Anyone interested or has any ideas please contact me at
Thanks :)

460 posts
Posted 4 Apr 14 7:57 AM
Hello "Southernvegan',

A ‘’whaling’ is another name for a horizontal batten, much the same as a girt – ‘firing’ means fixing a packer to the poles to correct if they are not true to plane or alignment.

If you do not intend the structure to be a residence as defined by your Local Authority then you do not have to strictly meet the code NZS3604, and you can line out with plywood fixed at centers different and in excess of 600mm.

The only downside is that any future sale might be affected as a LIM report could highlight the structure as a non-habitable. If you do not view this as important and the result gives you a cheaper method of improving your comfort level then proceed as ’case’ suggests.


38 posts
Posted 3 Apr 14 10:57 PM
The problem with plugin smart lights is that you cant turn them on with your phone if the wall light switch is off. And its alot easier to turn off a light switch on your way out the door then unlocking your phone and opening an app.

The smarts needs to be at the switch where the power is always on. There are few companies that do this for nz voltage but start at around $100

I have had remote lighting in my house for around 10 years and i only use the remote about 10 times a year if im lucky.

1 posts
Posted 3 Apr 14 1:36 PM
Hi there,

I have followed ECOBOB for a long time now, and now I am seeing a product around that I would like your take on.

They are these new Wifi Controlled LED Lights bulbs, that do your normal home lighting as well as colours and even have disco modes etc in them. The most well known of them is Philips HUE but these are really really expensive.

This is a video I found on youtube of a New Zealand company doing them
<a href="">Wifi Lights Video</a>

Probably still a bit expensive for my liking, but I do like all of the features and the fact that they are actually sold here in nz, and fit our fitting, and do Android and iPhone (vs. only iPhone with philips HUE)

With the prices of LEDs coming down is it a product that you are likely to see everywhere soon?

The real selling point for this product, in my opinion, is that there is no wiring or anything like that required to get them going. You literally put the bulb in, download an app, and then start controlling your lights over the internet and doing your disco (or mood lighting if the situation calls for it...)

Is it just me or does this really look like where home lighting is heading?

I would love to get your views on whether or not these would be suitible for lighting in the home and/or business, and what (if any) limitations it might have.

67 posts
Posted 3 Apr 14 5:24 AM
hi southernvegas,
the girts were at 900 centres. the battens were 70 by 35 finger jointed ceiling batten. I used continuous rolls of batts so the centres didn't matter.

3 posts
Posted 2 Apr 14 10:01 PM
Hi case,
Interesting! Were your girts at 600 spacings? What size were the battens you used for the ply?

3 posts
Posted 2 Apr 14 10:00 PM
Hi Rex,
What do you mean by 'whaling' and 'firing' the ply?
Has DPC and permits. Just want to make it a warm base, it will eventually be a studio

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