Science, Data in Builder’s Toolbelt for Smart Homes

9 September, 2020

Tall Poppy is known for doing things a little differently, which is why we’re excited to be working with a Tauranga Builder who is building warmer, smarter homes for Kiwis.

A Bay of Plenty Building Company is leading the charge in bringing a new generation of homes to the Bay; ‘passive homes’ are houses where science and data are just as important as the nails and timber in the finished product.

A new way of building in New Zealand, these homes dramatically reduce power bills (to as little as only $20 a month) while also providing a healthier home. This technology is being used around the world to build schools, hospitals and even skyscrapers.

Passive House Builders is based in Tauranga and led by Omokoroa-local Ricki Helagi. With almost 14 years in the industry and completing projects from Auckland to the Bay of Plenty; Ricki Helagi switched to passive homes because of the fantastic benefits they offer - such as a consistent temperature, ventilation, maximum insulation, and quietness.

Interest in more energy-efficient homes is growing.  As part of the Building for Climate Change Programme, The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will be working with the building sector to look at ways of reducing emissions from buildings during construction and operation.    

Rachel Millard, Owner of Tall Poppy Omokoroa, says 1000 new sections available in Omokoroa provide opportunities for people interested in building to consider a passive home.

They are a game-changer and are suitable for all types of people, from families through to retirees. I’m excited to have it in the Bay of Plenty.

“We’re really excited about the innovation passive homes offer, I don’t think many people are aware of the alternatives on offer when it comes to building a house, and the long-term benefits - from dramatically reduced power bills to healthier living environments,” says Rachel Millard.

A warm and comfortable temperature all year

Ricki Helagi says before the first hole is dug, passive homes are designed to maintain an internal temperature between 21 and 23 degrees all year round - relying on heat created from cooking, body heat, appliances used in the home, and sunlight.

“When we’re designing a passive home, we include elements like local climate, size of the home, heating, cooling, lighting and other energy used in the home. This data is put into the Passive House Planning Programme which analyses all this data, determining final spec and design,” says Ricki Helagi.

 The Passive Home Difference

Passive House Builders want to share with the Bay of Plenty the difference between a standard new home and a passive new home.

“As well as using specialised cross-laminated timber, all the materials used to build it are good for you – for example, we use insulation created from timber offcuts, which won’t shrink and will stand the test of time.

“All of these elements reduce power bills to a fraction of what people currently pay. One passive homeowner has gone paying $200 a month, to $20 a month to heat their entire home. From the day they move in, people can enjoy health and comfort, warmth, and improved air quality,” says Ricki Helagi.

Keen to learn more? Contact Rachel Millard to discuss options for sections and passive homes in the Bay of Plenty.

Find out more about passive homes at www.passivehomebuilders.co.nz.