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Property and Business Details for “Westcoast Eco Lifestyle and Income”
This article is an extended description of the property and business listing called "Westcoast Eco Lifestyle and Income". To view the general property listing click here.
The property includes one eco-dwelling at 153sqm, 1 workshop and storage shed at 36sqm, a roofed outdoor work area at 28sqm, 1 double garage at 42sqm, and another small storage shed of approx 5 sqm.
Nestled by the sunny north facing forest edge stands the eco-house and homestead hub. There you find the main dwelling, connected directly to a roofed outdoor work area and a utility workshop and storage room.
The dwelling is a highly efficient, modern and artful eco-home that has been designed and built with the core values of environmental friendliness, health, self-sufficiency, user-friendliness, and comfort.
View photos of this house here
Watch this short video to get a real feel for the place:
Eco House Features
- The house is fully powered by a professionally installed off-grid solar power system: 12 x 205Watt panels, a 3 day battery bank capacity, plus a super-efficient and sound-dampened back-up generator. All equipment was brand new at the beginning of 2011 (new generator as of June 2013). Top of the range computer-controlled 4.5kW inverter and solar panel controller. On-going technical support is available from the original supplier/installer. The solar power system is capable of running all appliances that you would be used to in a mains-powered house, e.g. washing machine, dishwasher, fridges, freezer, computers, power tools, and so on.
- The house and shed were built with untreated Douglas Fir timber wherever permitted. It is built very solidly; that means wall studs situated every 400mm instead of every 600mm, exterior walls have 4 rows of dwangs instead of the standard two rows, the roof is secured down to the concrete foundation via steel hurricane ties, the plywood house exterior has been nailed entirely in a bracing pattern, giving the house an extraordinary bracing strength far exceeding council regulations, and twice the standard amount of roof screws have been used to secure the Coloursteel roof sheets.
- Hot water is supplied through a Solar Hot Water system (also professionally installed), as well as a wetback wood fire, with an additional option of an electric heating element within the hot water cylinder, which can be used when excess energy is being generated. Large capacity 300 litre, fully stainless steel hot water cylinder (no corrosion problems with stainless steel).
- A radiant wood fire serves as the heat source of the house. The thermal mass of the mudbrick walls and concrete floor give off stored heat throughout the night and make for cosy living even on cold mornings.
• 2 x 23000 litre concrete rain water tanks catch rainwater from the non-toxic powder-coated colour steel roof. The concrete water tanks ensure no plastic leaching into the water and naturally raise the PH of the normally more acidic rainwater. These tanks provide enough water storage for approx. 3 months drought. Furthermore all rainwater harvesting pipes of the house are made from food-grade high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Unlike standard PVC pipes that are known to be toxic, especially the solvent glue joins, HDPE pipes are welded together without any solvents, so water quality is further preserved. All internal plumping pipes are made from Greenpeace-approved Fusiotherm pipes that are guaranteed to not leach any substances into the water and have the lowest embodied energy.
• For additional water purity and ease of maintenance, all house downpipes are fitted with a leaf guard and mosquito net, ensuring that no detritus enters the stormwater pipes and mosquitos can’t lay eggs in the tanks. A large ‘first flush diverter’ is installed underground, which empties the storm water pipes after rain has stopped, ensuring that no stale water enters into the concrete water tanks. A floating outtake is installed inside the water tank, which means that the water that is being sucked in by the pump is taken from the cleanest area of the tank, i.e. about one foot under the water surface. This means that none of the fine build-ups in the bottom of the tank get sucked in. The water pump is fully stainless steel, again maintaining the best water quality possible. Finally, 2 large whole-house filters and 1 under-bench filter remove any last microscopic particles from the water supply.
• The passive solar design of the house, including feature mudbrick walls that act as heat sinks, along side double-glazing and good insulation ensure that the house is very comfortable throughout all seasons. The mudbricks walls were hand-crafted and painted by us.
There are 5 hand-made mosaics (also done by ourselves) inserted into the floor and bathrooms that add beauty and interest to the house.
• Only natural Biopaints have been used to paint internal walls, doors and skirtings.
• A completely non-toxic exposed concrete floor, sealed with 100% natural tung-nut oil, serves as an additional heat sink and ensures that the indoor air quality is free from off-gassing toxins. (One of the first things you notice when entering the house is the absence of synthetic/plastic/solvent odours, so common these days in modern buildings)
• A large, beautiful and very user-friendly custom-made kitchen, with natural solid pine benchtops and shelving, makes cooking and kitchen jobs easy and comfortable.
• Two modern and odourless composting toilets are installed in the house, instead of traditional water-flushing toilets. These composting toilets have a low-energy extraction fan, which avoids smell in the room (they are in fact far less smelly than flushing toilets after ‘number twos’).
• An ecological earthworm-based waste water system (Autoflow).
• The house design consists of a large central open plan living space approx. 56sqm that contains kitchen, living and dining space. Two very large bedrooms (each 28sqm) adjoin the central living space, which serve not only as bedrooms but also as private seating/living/work areas; these rooms are large enough to accommodate a sofa seating area and work desk along side the normal bedroom features. If need be, these large bedrooms could be renovated into two smaller rooms.
• Both bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms. One of the bedrooms also leads on to another small office or child bedroom.
• A well-organised laundry, storage room and entry room are located on the south facing side of the house.
• The tall 2.7m high ceilings throughout the whole house create a lovely spaciousness compared to standard 2.4m ceiling homes.
• Large north-facing sliding glass doors in living space and bedrooms.
Other property features
• Extra double garage
• An established vegetable garden, enough to grow for the whole family and sell excesses.
• A landscaped herb garden and 4 year old home orchard with apples, pears, plums, and citrus.
• Ornamental garden beds around the house
• A large chicken run and house, capable of easily housing 12 chickens.
• 3 worm farms
• Lots of wood storage to get you through the winter with properly dried wood.
• A hazelnut orchard of approx. 100 trees, starting to get to the age of bearing nuts (Close to 7 years)
• Lots of beautiful wild native bush, with some great specimens of Rimu, Beech and Kahikatea.
If you are wondering about income opportunities while contemplating buying this property, you may be interested in the option of buying the property in conjunction with our established local organic health food business. We will offer a discounted price for people interested in buying both, property and business, together.
We opened Ko Minaya Wholefoods as the first organic retail store on the West Coast in May 2011, which has been our source of income ever since.
Ko Minaya Wholefoods provides a very comprehensive range of organic foodstuffs (fresh produce, dry goods, refridgerated and frozen goods), high quality organic bodycare products, eco-household products, health supplements, natural remedies, and Fair-Trade Gifts. The shop also exclusively supplies the local area with the No.1 natural pet food brands called Orijen and Acana (refer to www.orijen.co.nz ).
The shop is located on Westport’s main business street opposite New World Supermarket. It services customers from Westport and the wider surrounding area, from Karamea in the North to Punakaiki in the South, as well as mail order customers throughout the rest of the West Coast and Reefton. The business has been steadily growing throughout the last 4 and a half years. This is a commercially successful and resilient organic business. Accounts are available to view for seriously interested parties.
As newcomers to the area, running this business has also provided us with the opportunity to integrate with the community and meet many local people, which is an additional benefit for anybody thinking of buying this Lifestyle opportunity from outside the area.
See also our website: