Home Style Green - Sustainable Design and Building

An article about a couple of energy efficient homes in New Zealand caught my attention recently. I decided to look up the owners of one and Ron was very generous with his time. I was also grateful to be able to record our conversation so I could share the learning and successes with you. 

If you'd like advice or recommendations on your future home, please get in touch. I'd love to help. 

Link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/features/lifestyle/going-green/9978533/Green-home-design-has-it-all

Get your plans reviewed:


Direct download: 68_Sustainable_Home_Success_Story.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm +12

Nudura is a brand of Insulated Concrete Forms, which as CEO Murray Snider describes, is like giant Lego blocks. When the polystyrene pieces are slotted together and then concrete poured into the central cavity, creating airtight walls, the resulting comfort and thermal performance is impressive. 

Murray was recently visiting New Zealand from his home in Canada and I took the opportunity to find out more about ICF and Nudura. 

For more, visit 


To get in touch with Nudura directly here in New Zealand, contact Chevy Chisholm 

email: chevy.chisholm@me.com

phone: 021 766 117

Direct download: 67_Nudura_Insulated_Concrete_Forms.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37pm +12

Sustainability Options is an 'altruistic business'. Find out how they contribute 85% of their profit back to the community, provide free home assessments that save households between 10% and 30% on their power bills, and their recent campaign to help one family in need. 

Direct download: 66_Sustainability_Options_with_Phil_Gregg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:52am +12

In this weeks show, I discuss the evidence that there is monetary value in getting a rating for your home. 


  • http://www.usgbc.org/sites/default/files/ValueofGreenHomeLabelsStudy_July2012.pdf
  • http://www.nathers.gov.au/about/publications/pubs/eer-house-price-act.pdf
  • http://besthome.org.nz/showhome.html
  • http://www.homestar.org.nz/newsroom/value-and-affordability-homestar

Related Episode:

Home Style Green Episode 21: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/21-upcoming-events-red-tape/id513213105?i=134294625&mt=2

Direct download: 65_The_Value_of_Rating_Your_Home.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:08pm +12

What comes to mind when you hear the term ‘cohousing’. For many, there many be some negative connotations. The reality though is that there are so many advantages to sharing some things with your neighbours, while still maintaining a strong sense of privacy and your own space. 

Robin Allison trained as an architect in order to help create a more sustainable future. She ended up initiating what was to be become Earthsong Eco-Neigbourhood. 

To connect with Robin, go to: http://robinallison.co.nz/

Be sure to check out: http://www.earthsong.org.nz/

Book Recommendation: Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World http://amzn.to/1hB3xtL

Related sites:

House Planning Help Episode 28, How Co-Housing Helps Build a Community: http://www.houseplanninghelp.com/hph028-how-cohousing-helps-build-a-community-with-mark-westcombe-from-lancaster-cohousing/

Gilo Holtzman of Synthesis Studio: http://synthesisstudio.org/about/


Direct download: 64_The_Benefits_of_Cohousing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28pm +12

What other form of heating provides a coefficient of performance, around 5 - 7? That’s the promise, and the reality of ground source heat pump technology.

This week I spoke to Senior Hydrogeologist at Geoscience Consulting NZ, Huw Williams about this amazing technology. We discuss if it’s suitable for houses in New Zealand and why Huw is so interested in ground source heat pumps as a sustainable technology. 


Direct download: 63_Ground_Source_Heat_Pumps_with_Huw_Williams.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12pm +12

The key characteristics that Jo and Shay were after when they designed and built the Zero Energy House were:

  1. Comfort and Health
  2. Affordability - of building AND operating
  3. Inspiration 

We also discuss some of the specific features that have made it possible to bring these characteristics to life. 

For more, check out http://zeroenergyhouse.co.nz/

Direct download: 62_Zero_Energy_House.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:01pm +12

Ben Adam-Smith discusses EcoBuild 2014, what makes an energy efficient house, constraints versus compromise, new versus retrofit, why houses don't use energy, and population growth. 

Also, find out why Ben hasn't had a bath for a year!


  • http://www.houseplanninghelp.com/
  • https://www.thesnippetapp.com/web/writers/benadam-smith
  • http://www.ecobuild.co.uk/
Direct download: 61_EcoBuild__Update_from_Ben_Adam-Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37pm +12

Louisa Chase is the Project Manager for EcoFest 2014. The festival runs from March 15th through to April 13th and has everything from films, to gardening and composting seminars, eco-house tours and even a sustainable fashion show. 

We discuss why Kaipatiki exists, the difference one person can make, and ‘Nana Technologies’. 

For more, be sure to check out http://kaipatiki.org.nz/ecofest/ and http://www.ecomatters.org.nz/what-s-on/ecowest-festival-2014/

Thanks to DOC for the dawn chorus on this week’s show. To listen to this, and other native New Zealand birds, go to:



Also mentioned this week:

  • Zero Energy House (coming up): http://zeroenergyhouse.co.nz/
  • Ecobuild: http://www.ecobuild.co.uk/ 
Direct download: 60_Ecofest_with_Louisa_Chase.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34pm +12

Adrian Feasey is a solar consultant, so he knows a thing or two about energy efficiency. Why then would he purchase a 1960s, weatherboard house with no insulation and begin a renovation project to try and make it warm, comfortable and cost effective? 

Adrian is showcasing his house as part of an eco-house tour in the upcoming Kaipatiki Ecofest. 

Ecofest Website:


Ecofest House Tour:


Adrian Feasey on LinkedIn


Adrian’s Book Recommendation:


The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience, http://amzn.to/1pwJvIo

Direct download: 59_Starting_a_Home_Renovation_with_Adrian_Feasey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:35am +12