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NOW Home – future of housing opens in city soon

NOW Home – the future of housing opens in city soon

At first glance the NOW Home doesn’t look like anything out of the ordinary…and that’s exactly how it’s meant to look, even if it is very different “under the skin”.

This ordinary-looking house is designed to show how much warmer, healthier and cheaper-to-run a house can be, using the best concepts, products and materials affordably available right now.

The $180,000 research home at Olympic Park in New Lynn will be officially opened on Friday 12 August, by the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Helen Clark, before a gathering of environmentalists, builders, architects, and representatives from local and central government, tertiary institutes and business.

The NOW Home will be open to the public in a once only opportunity before it is tenanted, over the weekend of 20 and 21 of August. From 10am until 4pm each day there will be displays and experts on site The adjacent Sustainable Living Centre will also be open.

“Waitakere Council and its partners in this New Zealand-leading project, hope this home will become a benchmark for “best practice” home construction throughout New Zealand,” says Deputy Mayor Carolynne Stone.

Councillor Stone says The Now Home has been designed to make the most of the sun’s natural heating in the winter. It has high levels of insulation throughout, double glazed windows, a concrete floor to store and radiate heat, and many other subtle features.

This results in a house that should have little need for any additional heating or cooling to maintain a pleasant indoor temperature throughout the entire house, all year round.

The difference between the NOW Home and other eco-housing projects, is that it aims to balance affordability and social and environmental aims. The end result is a pilot for delivering attractive ways to make New Zealand homes more sustainable.

The home will be tenanted and the occupants monitored for health and general well being, and the materials used will be subjected to tests for durability. Energy and water consumption will be regularly checked.

The project is a joint venture between the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and a consortium known as Beacon Pathway Ltd comprising Waitakere City Council, Fletcher Building, Scion (formerly Forest Research) and the Building Research Association (BRANZ), the Now Home is a ground-breaking research project leading the way towards a new six-year, $12 million research project for the rest of the country.


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