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Ophir Comes In From The Cold

17th August 2012

Ophir Comes In From The Cold

Ophir, New Zealand, August 17th, 2012 - Despite rivalry between Ophir and Ranfurly regarding New Zealand’s coldest town, German giant Knauf Insulation chose the Central Otago settlement of Ophir when they decided to insulate the homes of a resilient community.

Knauf is on the cusp of completing a 12 month project to insulate every single home and most commercial buildings in Ophir from the pub to the church, warming up the lives of the 50 residents of the small town and the thousands of rail trail visitors that pass through every year.

“Knauf is a family owned company that prides itself on community values and being a responsible corporate citizen. We believed this was a useful way to demonstrate our commitment to improving energy efficiency in New Zealand and help some very hardy South Islanders become more comfortable in their homes,” said Stuart Dunbar, General Manager of Knauf Insulation AU/NZ.

The historic mining town was full of quaint, old, energy inefficient homes and insulating them all was no small feat. The final house is to be completed in August marking the end of this lengthy project.

In 1995, Ophir, two hours outside of Dunedin, recorded New Zealand’s coldest temperature of -21.5 degrees Celsius. Residents remember livestock freezing to the ground and prising frozen hens from their perches.

“We would have to cart buckets of water to the toilet to be able to flush because all of the pipes were frozen,” recalls Jack Allen, an Ophir local.

Despite a worldwide presence, Knauf is new to New Zealand and recognised the opportunity to assist the community by bringing the coldest town in from the icy South Island temperatures with its high performance EarthWool insulation.

Knauf’s EarthWool insulation is a higher quality product that is safer and more environmentally friendlier than other traditional glasswool products on the market. And, what’s more, it is an energy saving product that has been used in some of the world’s coldest climates in Europe, North America and Russia.

With construction costs in New Zealand on the rise, EarthWool is more cost effective for builders, installers and homeowners. It can be ordered online or installed through Eco Insulation or Right House. For more information visit

Notes to the Editor:
1. EarthWool is a high performance glasswool insulation product and is not a wool based product
2. For more information about the legal case currently in the High Court, please visit
3. Comment from Ophir residents can be organised through Eleven PR
4. To watch a video of the Ophir project visit:

About Knauf Insulation:
Knauf Insulation is part of the Knauf Group of Companies, a family owned global building material business with annual revenue in excess of $US7 billion. As one of the world's leading insulation manufacturers, they are active in more than 50 countries and have over 30 manufacturing sites producing glasswool, rock mineral wool, extruded polystyrene (XPS) expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polyethylene (XPE) and reflective foil insulation. With over 5,000 employees, they are global specialists in insulation manufacture, research and development and providers of advanced energy efficiency solutions for buildings for any country and climate.

The Knauf Insulation business arm in New Zealand supplies a wide range of high performance glasswool products (branded Earthwool™) and also reflective foil insulation products. State of the art proprietary technology enables the company to manufacture insulation of the highest quality, which sets new benchmarks in New Zealand for ease of handling, sustainability, health and safety.


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