The Numaguchi Eco Home was constructed from an Evolution pre-design, Manuka. Built in Shotover Country, Queenstown, the home packs an impressive range of energy efficient features that keep the home cosy even on the coldest winter days. The family wanted a warm house that wouldn't cost the Earth to heat and the end result does just that. In addition the home has a functional layout for a family and we love the bright pops of colour in the interior design.
Gen (47), Annabelle (45), Ella (14) and Miles (11) and one goldfish (2.5?)
Gen is a clinical psychologist and Annabelle works in marketing at Evolution (a division of Rilean Construction).
We wanted an easy and affordable to heat house. We wanted to go green without going into the red.
It is 176m2, with 3 bedrooms, 2 living areas, 2 bathrooms and a double garage.
Our home has a complete thermal envelope which consists of Maxraft fully insulated concrete subfloor, Proclima’s Intello Vapour check barrier on internal side of exterior walls and Solitex on external, and increased insulation - R5.2 in ceilings and R 4.2 in exterior walls.
It’s in Shotover Country and it’s north facing. We didn’t have much choice since there wasn’t much available, but we now realize how lucky we are. Good size and location. Our son switched to Shotover Primary and loves walking to school and we feel close to most areas in Queenstown. Nothing is more than a fifteen min drive (if no traffic). Also, lovely accessibility to the river and walks nearby.
We purchased it from the previous owner and liked its north-facing aspect.
We chose a pre-design from the Evolution website drawn up by Michael Wells. We had visited a house with similar floor plan and loved its clever design, which maximizes space and keeps an energy-efficient ratio of perimeter to internal area. By choosing a pre-design and simply tweaking it to our needs, we also saved a lot of time and money in the build process.
I’ve been pursuing an Cert in Interior Décor from SIT (Annabelle). I’ve always loved interior design, particularly with bold colours. I like clean lines and my husband, who is Japanese, likes minimalism and the two work well together.
When I heard about Evolution (which was by visiting the house mentioned above, their first build in Lake Hayes Estate) I was thrilled at the idea that a builder in the Wakatipu was putting an emphasis on healthy, warm, energy-efficient homes. I approached the company about working for them out of their Show Home when I met with the Contracts Manager to discuss our house plans, and fate had it that there was an opening. This is a passion for me because I love NZ but was dismayed at the often cold, damp interiors of homes during the winter months.
Our home was completed in April 2016 and it took six months from ground-breaking.
- 900L rainharvesting tank
- evacuated tube solar hot water heater
- thermally-broken aluminium joinery with argon filled double glazed windows
- three-point locking for exterior doors
- solid polycore door with drop down seal between house and attached garage
- LED lights
- MAXraft slab and Proclima weathertight and airtight products
For project management, Evolution appointed one of Rilean’s builders, Mark Owen, who is experienced in using the energy-efficient materials and methods.
I was very nervous about the whole project as it was the first time I’d built, so we definitely kept an eye on things. Also I wanted to learn more about the process. We were very happy though once we realized that our project manager was on our team as he was obviously keeping an eye on things for us and often alerted us to better alternatives or potential issues that we wouldn’t have noticed. We really trusted him and that made an enormous difference.
Again, we were lucky. The geo tech reports came back good and ready to build and Evolution’s expertise shined through. We have received amazing results with the Blower Door Test (1.47ach) and are super pleased. Anytime we asked about tweaking something, the answer was yes it can be done and Mark and Lisa (Contracts Manager) always found solutions that worked within our budget and desires.
Its warmth!!! I love looking at snowy Coronet Peak and feeling so comfortably warm inside. We keep the thermostat on at its lowest temp and the house is a constant ambient temperature throughout.
Yes, please build properly. If you have to make choices, prioritize the thermal efficiency. There are so many great cost effective ways to decorate your home that you can make sacrifices there and upgrade later, but don’t skimp on a good thermal envelope and structure.
If you want to read more, I kept a blog about the build. www.buildinganevolution.com
· Building Company / Builder: Evolution, a subdivision of Rilean
· Electrician: Laser Electrical
· Plumber: Adam Plumbing
· Painter: Dion Boland Painting and Decorating
· Gibstopper: Angle Interior
· Heating: Laser Electrical
· Flooring: Flooring Xtra and Haro
· Kitchen: Placemakers
· Window & Door Joinery: Vista Lite
· Garage Door: Dominator
· Roofing: Extreme Roofing
· Cladding: Rilean/Jame Hardie
· Landscaping: Wére doing it ourselves - xeriscaping in the front with natives, edible in the back and no grass.
Photos by Michaela Cox