Building towards passive housing plan
Julie and Ross Brown say the future is in passive homes.
The couple own Brown Construction Ltd, which holds the only eHaus licence in the region - eHaus is the leading New Zealand provider of passive house design and build service.
These homes consume 75 to 90 per cent less energy than conventional homes, but they cost 15 to 20 per cent more to build.
‘‘We are building houses that are not only going to serve the people we are building for, but also improve the housing stock in New Zealand by saving money and performing really well for a long time,’’ Julie said.
Brown Construction, a familyowned business, was established in 1997 and until a few years ago built only conventional homes.
‘‘We received the eHaus licence in 2014,’’ Julie said. ‘‘Things were quiet for a while, but everything is really gearing up now.
‘‘People are becoming more energy conscious and are a lot more prepared to think long-term when building.
‘‘It’s a social pressure as well, for better housing stock in New Zealand and the general awareness that New Zealand is actually a little bit behind what is happening overseas.’’
The company still builds con- vention homes and is yet to complete its first passive house, but has three under way.
‘‘Ongoing energy saving is the obvious benefit from passive homes, but another major is the indoor air quality – it’s so much better.’’
The indoor air temperature stays between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius year round.
That gives you a much dryer, healthier home, Julie said.
‘‘The house is airtight, a venti- lation system supplies fresh, filtered air into all living areas. In the Waikato, this is a huge thing for allergy sufferers, as it takes out any pollution and pollen from the air in the home.
‘‘Passive housing has given us an entirely new approach for our business and we are seeing really quickly we will be moving into doing only eHaus work.
‘‘It gives us a point of difference and something to offer customers that the average building company in the phone book doesn’t.’’
Waikato building company Brown Construction Limited are making a move towards passive housing. Owners Julie and Ross Brown believe the homes are a healthier, better quality and will save their customers money in the long run.