Green Living

5 rules for eco-friendly homes

Article by Homes to Love

With ANZ, Homes to Love is exploring the ways we live now, under the theme of ‘Eco-Friendly’ – and how this trend allows us to live and build today


5 rules for eco-friendly homes

Defining an eco house can be like nailing jelly to the wall – thanks to changes in the building code most new houses in New Zealand are higher performing, with double glazing, good insulation and clean heating. But many architects and home owners are going further, building houses that deliberately reduce their impact on the environment, as seen in the Herbsts’ GoGo bach.

The GoGo bach designed by architects Lance and Nicola Herbst uses repurposed materials, sourced locally. For example, the stone for the back wall came from a local quarry on Waiheke.

  1. Disrupt your surroundings as little as possible. Build on a spot where you don’t have to cut down trees or dig a big hole – and do you really need all that concrete in your driveway?
  2. The smaller the house, the smaller the impact – a tighter footprint uses fewer resources to build and costs less to run.
  3. Be careful with materials. Repurpose whatever you can and use local materials where possible. In the case of the GoGo bach, the owners bought secondhand portacabins and had them delivered to the site, while the stone for the back wall came from a local quarry on Waiheke.
  4. Get off the grid. Solar power is becoming ever-more affordable.
  5. Research. Analyse the life-cycle impact of a product – green roofs and walls, for instance, require a lot of water and maintenance over many years.

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