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Property developer warms to home insulation package

Queenstown property developer warms to Government’s home insulation package

A Government initiative pushing for greater heat insulation measures in residential dwellings is being replicated by a private property developer in Queenstown.

The Government’s Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme launched in 2009 has
gone on to see 235,000 qualifying homes and occupants receive free ceiling and underfloor insulation. The programme has been administered by the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority.

Energy Minister Simon Bridges said the scheme was now being continued longer than originally planned, and was expected to encompass an additional 46,000 existing homes over the next three years.

Queenstown-based property developer David Reid Homes Queenstown Ltd said that while the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart initiative had considerable merits, it only applied to older style homes occupied by low income families.

Company director Fraser Mackenzie said the building firm had subsequently initiated its own version of the scheme, and was including a range of insulation and energy efficiency measures on its latest residential projects at the covenant-controlled Coneburn Ridge residential enclave at Jack’s Point.

“The simplest of the insulation measures is the construction of terraced and semi-detached residences – enabling the centrally-shared wall to be protected from the elements and in effect drawing heat from the neighbouring living space,” he said.

“All units have also been precisely angled to minimise the afternoon shading of adjoining properties, and we have minimised the number of south-facing windows to cut down on internal heat loss. Thermostats and timers come as standard, to ensure efficient power consumption from the likes of towel rails and heating systems.”

The first stage of the Coneburn Ridge settlement of 15 homes being sold off plan features a mix of six terraced and eight semi-detached residences, with one stand-alone dwelling.

The development is being sold through Bayleys Queenstown, with salesperson Stephanie McMeeken expecting construction of the first of the new Jack’s Point homes to be completed by early next year.

“One of the key selling points, aside from the sheer location of Jack’s Point, is the design and construction aesthetics of the dwellings in respect to energy efficiency and insulation,” she said. “All are north-facing, contain warmth-generating solar heating systems, water-conserving appliances, double glazing, and high-spec’ insulation,” she said.

“By being north-facing, the units maximise the heating potential of the sun, which has higher temperatures between 1pm and 4pm than it does at any time in the morning.”

Ms McMeeken said the cost of the insulation and energy efficiency measures had been factored into the new-build price of the Coneburn Ridge dwellings. This, combined with the lifestyle location of the properties overlooking both the Jacks Point Golf Course and Lake Wakatipu, would see the new subdivision stand apart from the joint Government/Queenstown Lakes District Council Housing Accord currently being mooted to deliver affordable housing to the region.

With 143 square metre townhouses starting from $760,000, the 167 square metre duplex units having price tags upwards of $815,000 and the standalone 228 square metre home on the market for $850,000, Ms McMeeken said the dwellings were targeted at buyers who were already well established on the property ladder.

She said that in addition to localising the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart initiative, the modern style, landscaping and design of the Coneburn Ridge dwellings had also taken into account researched consumer trends for home design.

“A 2013 joint survey by property data website and home energy efficiency measuring service Homestar found a move away from older villa-style character dwellings toward new-build units,” she said.

The research of 5000 respondents noted that the number of people wanting new-build homes had increased to almost 10 percent - up from 7.6 percent in 2012. Nationally, 65 percent of respondents said that making their home more energy efficient and sustainable was a priority.

“That data and sentiment underpins the rationale and direction for the development of Coneburn Ridge, and the decision to build mid-to-high end dwellings,” Ms McMeeken said.


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