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Home > Example Homes > Eco friendly house - Otago Coast

Eco friendly house - Otago Coast

Home Details

Building area
340 m2 m2
Year built
0 bedroom(s), 0 bathroom(s)

This home is located on the Otago coast. It has a floor area of 340 m², was built between 2002 and 2003, cost approximately $350,000, and is occupied by two adults and children. The whole house was built using materials that have as low embedded energy as possible and very good insulation. This off-grid home comprises strawbale construction, double glazing, Solar Combi System, wood fired central heating, exposed thermal mass, energy-efficient appliances, and utilisation of wind energy. The design of all the systems is such that it flows into the occupants lives without any big changes. In other words the house has intrinsic energy saving features. The house also has an energy management system - a small computer with sensors wired throughout the home which tells the occupants in a very simple way how much they use and where the energy comes from (e.g. solar, wind), also facts on water temperature and amount of water in the tank. The energy management system takes the guesswork out of systems and makes it easy and manageable.

Appliances especially fridge (GRAM, Denmark) and freezer (Bosch Okomatic, Germany) which are very energy efficient. The technology cost was $500, and we estimate the resulting value in energy savings would be $100 per year (includes dishwasher, fridge, freezer, washer/dryer - equivalent electricity). To further reduce electricity consumption, hot water (heated by wood and sun) is piped to the dishwasher and the washing machine. The machines always have quite large electrical elements to heat the water.

Wind energy and solar (photovoltaic) panels - wind generator 1 kW on a 13 metre high mast. This technology cost was $28,000 (which includes inverter, battery, turbine, PV, i.e. it is the cost for a complete off-grid system for a reasonably sized home). The occupants estimate the resulting annual energy savings to be $1,000 per year.

Comments by the Homeowner:
"A strawbale house that we visited had a great atmosphere plus convincing technology to keep the water out. The focus on straw quality needs to be paramount. We implemented this technology as it was romantic, exciting, new and the benefits suited us and our ideas very well. The house has a solidity about it and a lovely atmosphere inside.

The double glazing had sound insulating properties and offered reduced noise level.

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