Bus Tour Homes



Energy Efficient Homes

Taurikura Lodge - McQueens Valley

Home owner : Wayne Harris - Daw 

Technical specifications

The Taurikura Lodge  has implemented a range of demand side and supply side measures.

  • 2 x 2.4 kilowatt (kW) grid-connected Sky stream wind turbines
  • 2 x heat pump water heaters
  • 1 x split heat pump with a single outdoor
  • Compressor unit powering 6 indoor wall units
  • 122 x energy efficient 11 watt (W) down lights
  • An efficient wood fire in the living room, with a heat transfer system for the family’s

             three bedrooms – maximum draw from the heat transfer system is 180 W

  • A ‘high tech’ efficient open fire in the guest lounge, with built-in draft control
  • Double glazing on every window in the house
  • Bottled gas is used for cooking
  • All appliances are ENERGY STAR ®  rated
  • Passive solar swimming pool heating

See Case Study for more in depth details.



Owners  Name:  Barbara Nicholas

Rattletrack Road

Our house is designed around

  • solar passive heating - facing north,
  • lots of sun capture,
  • lots of internal concrete to capture the heat...
  • Double glazing;
  • solid fuel heating so our carbon foot print is also low (wood grown on site).
  • Quite simple technology in many ways with the gains through 'design'- -rather than sophisticated high tech devices.
  • solar water heating,
  • two storied so less external wall/volume compared with single story....
  • NK windows –tilt and turn  PCu window systems


Owners Name: Tom Brownrigg

Davidsons Road

Our properties main energy efficient feature is the geothermal water heating system,
 the "Avenir EnergieDHW Module" installed by Next Energy from Christchurch.

This system takes heat from the ground via 90 meter of captors buried 600mm in the ground (under our lawn)
-it converts the heat from the ground via the DWH heat pump to supply all our hot water needs.

The published  efficiency rating of the unit is 3.2-1 which equates to an average family water heating bill for a month of $100 using a traditional electric cylinder reduced to  $31.

Other features used in our renovations/extension is

  • the 'Farho" electric radiator central heating system.

We have integrated this system with our log burner to fully central heat the house in the winter months.

The house is 260m2 of living space and it cost us around $220 per month to run the system.

The Farho system uses oil filled aluminium radiators which are all fully programmable to 6 time zones per day, 7 day week to optimize the heating requirements.
As these radiators run of the  existing electrical circuits within the home retro fitting them is a relatively easy process.


Rammed Earth Home  

Homeowner:  Bruce Wilson

509 West Melton Road

Firstly I wanted to say that our house is an earth house because I wanted an earth house, not because it is the most energy efficient way to build.
One of the features of an earth house is the huge thermal mass as compared to a conventional timber framed house, this helps create a much more consistent interior temperature.
The earth walls also regulate humidity.
The house is designed with passive solar heating in mind, most of the glazing is on the north side, with full height window and a solid earth floor to absorb the solar energy.
The veranda  serves 2 purposes, 1 to protect the earth walls from rain and 2, to keep the midsummer sun out but allow the winter sun in.

There is hydronic (water pipe) under floor heating as this can be heated from a wood heater, which is a carbon neutral form of energy. Or from a heat pump - which is well suited to a under floor  hydronic system as the COP is slightly higher than a conventional wall mounted system.

To keep the initial construction costs down, we are not including solar water heating immediately, but are allowing for it to be added in the future. A wetback will be used too, as this seems complementary to solar, one works in the winter and the other in summer.

The amount of insulation in the floor and ceiling will be dictated by what we can afford!, The new building act rules (H1) mean we need minimum of R3.6 in the ceiling and 1.3 in the floor.
For some pics on the construction process have a look at http://pouredearthhome.blogspot.com/      

The earth mix was

  • 9 buckets of clay earth,    ---- 5 buckets of sand,  -------  1 1/2 buckets of cement

Solar Panel Installation  

Owners name: John and Bev  Patchett

28 James Hight Drive

A two year old home with limited gardens and no lawn.

Large concrete courtyard

BUILT AS A SPEC HOME and marketed as  ECO- FRIENDLY..... but what is eco friendly??

- builder was unable to sell property & current owners purchased as a normal home under fire-sale conditions.


  • Eco-plus water management system (currently not working)
  • Highpeak Solar water heating plus electric on smart meter and timer
  • Double glazing throughout with tinted glass, a large area of glass throughout.
  • Under floor heating (tiled areas only) Devirig 550 computerised control system.
  • Living area has bio-mass internal concrete wall - plus Enviro pellet fire
  • Passage on external wall - tiled with lots of glass
  • Bedroom area has one Fujitsu heat pump
  • 12volt 50w lighting system throughout

These owners presented a cluster of issues when buying an energy efficient home as they were novices  and found  multiple pitfalls when not experienced with or have a working knowledge of the eco friendly options included in the home...

 Luckily for John and Bev there were some on the tour that may be able to help them resolve their current issues.