Sustainable Homes winner features quality and innovation

Winning a national award for building a sustainable house for under $500,000 was 'in the grand plan', according to Alan Baddeley, owner and director of Future Homes NZ.

'The award gives me the kudos and credibility that I need to grow my business, including nationwide opportunities with territorial authorities,' he says.

Future Homes won the 'Sustainable Homes under $500,000 Award' sponsored by the Department of Building and Housing in the recent Registered Master Builders 2008 House of the Year and Commercial Project Awards, in association with PlaceMakers. They also won the Pink® Batts® Ultra® Energy Efficiency Award.

Last year was the first time the Department sponsored the award. As one of the 10 supporting sponsors, the Department sees this sponsorship as an opportunity to recognise and promote better quality buildings and standards across the sector.

The award-winning house (pictured) is located in Acacia Bay, Taupo. Innovation is clearly evident in the design, insulation and in the use of natural resources, and it was designed with the specific aim of capturing all-day sun.

However, while open plan living, solar/wetback hot water heating and quality building products all feature, it is the use of sunshine, rain water and biocycling waste products that make it truly sustainable.'I've been using the polystyrene wall system for about 10 years and have built 14 homes with the product. I've lived in three of those houses. There is a huge difference in their comfort level compared with conventionally constructed homes - I've experienced the difference when renting in between construction periods,' says Alan. 'We're not just talking the talk, we're walking the walk. These homes are easy to heat and cool. This combination of features and systems reflects considerably on the energy bills! Research and development is high on our priority list.'

What the judges said

'This was a fantastic project - the builder made a really conscious effort to achieve sustainability. The builder is very sustainability-focused, has thought every detail through and has weighed up lifetime costs for methods and materials.''The unique wall system - made of 200 mm polystyrene panels and reinforced concrete - was a real highlight. This innovative system achieves highly effective insulation and an R-value at least double the accepted standard in New Zealand.'

'The house ticks a lot of the boxes for sustainability. All waste water is collected and treated, then used for irrigation on the property. Solar panels are fitted, as well as tinted, double-glazed windows and under-floor heating. This home has a lovely interior, with skylights taking advantage of natural lighting, which creates an extremely inviting atmosphere.'

More information about Future Homes at Homes website.