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Home > Example Homes > Waitakere City - Environmentally Friendly House

Waitakere City - Environmentally Friendly House

Home Details

Land Area
3500 m2 m2
Building area
240 m2 m2
Year built
3 bedroom(s), 2 bathroom(s)

1. Passive Solar Design
The single-storey house follows the contours of the land as well as the sun path. All living spaces are aligned from east to west and have sun exposure for passive solar gains in winter. In order to control the summer heat eaves and shading elements have been placed above windows in computer-generated and controlled dimensions. The southern side of the house contains minor spaces such as large pantry, laundry, WC, entry and passage way. They serve as a temperature buffer between southern exposure and the northerly living spaces. All living spaces have concrete floors exposed to the autumn and winter midday sun storing the heat in order to release it at night.

2. Further space heating
There is a closed fireplace in the lounge with a high energy efficiency rating to top up the space heating requirements on cold winter days. Heat gathered in the main living areas can be transferred into the minor spaces by way of sliding doors.

3. Water
Roof water is collected in a concrete water tank and used for household and garden. Filters clean the water.

4. Wastewater
Wastewater is being collected in a composting system which uses worms for the biological break-up of solids and filters the liquids before they drain into a dispersal field covered with plants.

5. Water heating
A solar water heating panel heats the household water. With the sun's power being reduced in winter the solar heating of the water is complemented by a 'wetback' system which has a water pipe running through the back of the heater in the lounge heating the water as it passes through.

6. Insulation
Roof and wall insulation is above Building Code requirements in order to reduce heating requirements. Windows along the (cold) southern wall have double glazing.

7. Timber construction
Plantation grown timbers (pine for construction, macrocarpa for interior, cedar for weatherboard, eucalyptus saligna for decks) have been used as sustainable alternatives to indigenous or rainforest timbers.

8. Indoor climate
A healthy indoor climate has been achieved by various means:
toxin-free or low-toxic building materials minimise the amount of toxic gases released into the interior space,
ventilation devices and breathable walls help to exchange indoor air on a regular basis,
carpet-free floorings are easy to clean, thus reducing the build-up of dust mites which are responsible for allergies and asthma,
Good insulation and double glazing along the (cold) southerly wall prevent moisture build-up through condensation and thus remove breeding grounds for mould, fungus and mildew growth,
Main electric cables are placed away from bedrooms and rest areas in order to reduce electro-magnetic radiation.

This house was designed by:

Johann Bernhardt
Dipl Ing (Arch), PhD (Urban Des)
Cert. Building Biology and Ecology
Colleague NZIA
ph/fax 09 – 376 6767

Eco Features

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