Low Energy Healthy Living


Airtight eHaus a success

The first eHaus, a brand new concept for NZ, that has as its focus low-energy, sustainable design and healthy living was launched in Wanganui on Friday 4th March 2011.

The eHaus recently passed an airtightness test that confirms that this is the most air tight house in New Zealand. Airtightness testing is a controlled test using the Minneapolis Blower Door. The house is subjected to test pressuring and depressurising at 50 Pascal’s. You might well ask what’s the big deal... or why is this so important? Simply put air tightness prevents all the heat energy generated in the home from escaping.

To give you an idea of the typical performance of NZ homes, government testing has established that a brand new ordinary house will leak 8 to 16 times more than an eHaus and an old villa 32 to 40 times more.

The biggest surprise from many people that move from overseas is just how cold the houses are in winter even though the winters in many areas are in comparison quite mild, there is also a tendency for the same houses to overheat in the summer months.

Condensation and damp issues that lead to mould and mildew are common place which is not surprising when many homes have bedrooms that are 20 degrees colder than the living area! No wonder the prevalence of asthma is so high.

A Passivhaus maintains an even temperature throughout the house so you can live in the whole house all year round. The eHaus has temperature humidity monitoring in 6 locations that will confirm that we are on the right track! Every 30 minutes a reading is recorded so we will build up a picture of how the house performs with real data. Our target is to maintain an inside temperature between 20 and 26 degrees year round whilst using the minimum amount of energy.

Energy efficiency is the best way to reduce our impact on the environment. A PassivHaus in Europe uses just over one tenth of the energy when compared to an ordinary house and our aim is to experience the same savings in NZ. There are so many factors that fit together in order for this to be achieved and Baden and I have recently passed the international PassivHaus exams that enables us to use all of the German knowledge built up over the last 30 years to produce these incredible savings. We are the first building company in NZ to achieve this and we are looking forward to working with Architects and designers as the demand grows.

Secondly, an eHaus is built to last. The purchase of a house is for most families the biggest single investment they are likely to make. So it makes sense to buy something that will stand the test of time. Careful design, the choice of quality materials and no shortcuts is synonymous with an eHaus. With Baden Brown Builders good reputation which has grown through the years it’s that attention to detail and care that ultimately makes all the difference.

Right from the beginning the primary purpose of the home has been to provide a good shelter from the elements for our families. Although NZ started well using all that was available at the time which is testament to the many 100 year plus houses still lived in today, recent history has not been so positive. We have lagged behind developments and as long as the house looks great and is as big as possible, the performance and living experience comes much further down the list.

For further information and to view the eHaus Show Home, opening hours are Saturday and Sundays 1pm to 4pm or by appointment.

contact details:

Jon Iliffe 06 348 7764

021 465 112