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Concept house slashes the power bill

A modern family home built to European performance standards of health and energy efficiency could save the average Kiwi up to 60 percent on their power bill.

Incepted in Germany in the late 20th century, the ‘Passive House’ concept has gained traction worldwide as sustainability and environmental consciousness have become the cornerstone of modern building practices.

“Homes built to passive house standards achieve a high level of energy efficiency, primarily reducing the need for traditional heating and cooling systems through build science design and fabrication choices,” says Bayleys Palmerston North salesperson Sheryn Botherway, who is marketing a concept house for sale at 67 Ruapehu Drive in Fitzherbert, northeast Palmerston North.

Government environmental impact campaign ‘Gen Less’ says homes incorporating passive house design principals can require significantly less energy to heat than a standard house, utilising a mix of superior insulation, airtight construction, heat recovery, and thermal bridge-free design.

“While gaining popularity in recent years as Kiwis become more energy conscious amid rising power bills and climate change, the cost of building a new energy-efficient home equates to around $2,300 per square metre, making the value proposition for an existing home extremely attractive,” Mrs Botherway says.

In 2019, the vendors of the four bedroom home on Ruapehu Drive commissioned leading concept builder eHaus Whanganui to implement their eHaus Pacific product. This involved the creation of a modern, energy-efficient home using advanced building science design and the latest innovative technologies.

The result is a superb residence with a commanding street presence and a level of comfort that is truly remarkable.

Set on a 616sq m (more or less) site, with meticulous easy-care landscaping and a flush of natives with resident Tui, the home is designed to operate between 20-25 degrees year-round.

“It was built to maintain a minimum temperature of 20 degrees, using only 50kW per sq m for an entire year. Comparatively, a typical Kiwi home requires more than double that – 120kW per sq m,” Mrs Botherway says.

“As an eHaus Pacific, the home has received energy modelling and proudly displays the eHaus badge, validating its performance against international efficiency standards.

“Air filtration ensures 98 percent of pollutants are removed from the air, regionally-matched insulation and thermal-broken joinery prevent heat-loss, and engineered double-glazed windows eliminate condensation, draughts and mould.

“These features deliver a more energy-efficient, comfortable and healthier living environment, which will appeal to all New Zealanders but particularly those of retiring age and families with young children.”

The Bayleys salesperson says convenience and sustainability go hand-in-hand with the home, which features a guest suite and bathroom, double car garage and laundry downstairs.

“The kitchen, dining, and living areas are located to the rear of the house, with two full-sized decks, including a timber terraced patio gaining a spectacular northeastern vantage point.

“This is an idyllic spot to entertain, with all-day sun and a stunning elevated view over the Fitzherbert bushland and Manawatu River to central Palmerston North City.

“The house is light-filled and airy, with a timeless Scandinavian aesthetic, polished concrete flooring and a lovely wooden staircase leading to three carpeted bedrooms upstairs.

“Our sellers have loved living here, particularly during a booming period for the region, which has attracted new investment, regional prosperity and a growing population. So, we think it will ideally suit a new owner seeking a change of lifestyle – whether that be downsizing or trading up – into something easy-care, future-proofed and comfortable.”

Click here for more information on the listing.

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