Category Archives: Central North Island

Clean Energy Centre explores possibility of off-grid housing community

  

 

 

Taupo could be in for a new eco-sustainable housing community, reshaping the way houses receive heat, electricity, water, and use wastewater.

The New Zealand Clean Energy Centre (NZCEC) is currently investigating whether or not this would be feasible.

The community would use geothermal or biomass heat to heat homes; generate electricity from solar and wind sources; and reuse wastewater by drip-irrigating it to energy crops to provide future fuel for the community.

NZCEC said out of 75 people surveyed over the last two days, 33 had been in favour of the idea.

“The New Zealand public has demonstrated a keen interest in adapting their lifestyles to live in ways that are friendlier to the environment. They want to do their part to help maintain NZ’s 100% Pure, clean green image, they want to find ways of reducing their energy bills, and they want to increase their control over energy supply security,” says chief executive Rob McEwen.

He says the project would benefit  Taupo’s economy, enticing domestic and international migrants, especially Silicon Valley entrepreneurs looking to make New Zealand their home.

McEwen believes the pitch to these potential residents would go something like this:

“Taupo generates 75 times more clean energy than we consume (and thanks to geothermal, that ratio is growing). We have magnificent natural beauty (think of Taupo as the Tahoe of NZ), we have world class fibre optic internet, we have ample water, we are central to 75 percent of NZ’s population, we are home to the NZ Clean Energy Centre and oh, by the way … Taupo is developing a comprehensive off grid sustainable lifestyle community.”

 He says the next steps are to further quantify interest, then develop the concept to include drawings of the proposed community, a 3D animated walkthrough, and costings.

One way to make it feasible would be to use  semi-rural land on the outskirts of town so that homeowners’ investment in the land would be lower.

“Another way is to negotiate reduced development contributions with council. Unlike a typical subdivision where council needs to put in a lot of infrastructure such as water, waste water, power reticulation and phone connections, none of those services would be required in an off-grid community,” says McEwen.

>>> Clean Energy Centre explores possibility of off-grid housing community :: Idealog 

Country Conversion

  

When Matthew and Rebecca Taggat found a picturesque rural section in Raglan with a view to the Coast, it was love at first sight. The only problem was that they were not quite ready to build their “dream home”. The spot where they ultimately plan on building faces out to the nine acres of native bush that is part of their section, but for the interim, they decided a renovation was in order. A TotalSpan shed already on the site piqued their interest, and the renovation that ensued is testament to their creative vision from the beginning. At the time they embarked uponthe renovation, Rebecca was pregnant with
youngest daughter Ruby (now 10 months) and Milla was not yet one year old. Perhaps that was what spurred builder Daniel Klinkenberg of Urban Residential Developments Ltd into gear! From start to finish, Daniel took only three months to complete the transformation, and finished on the exact day he had specified in the contract. “We were
so impressed,” says Rebecca. “On the morning he finished, Daniel had cleaners in the house,and when he passed us the keys that afternoon, everything was perfect.”The revamped shed is still classified as an auxiliary building, to comply with local council regulations, and with that classification came some restrictions. The living area could be
no more than 70 square metres, plus three bedrooms and an office for Matthew. “There are some very clever design features,” says Rebecca. “For instance the roller door is still in place, kept high up and out of the way, but glass sliders in the same position really open the house up.” One thing that has changed drastically behind the scenes of the dwelling is the level of insulation. It had to be warm and healthy for the family of four, and the insulation instantly made the home more energy efficient. Rebecca and Matthew were pleased that Daniel put in “as much insulation as possible,” as well as double glazing
throughout. Another important part of the renovation was a new roof. The original was termed as a “shedding roof”, and the Taggarts wanted the safety of a residential grade alternative. To transform the shed into a home, extensive measures were taken, particularly across the front of the façade. “The whole face of the shed changed, but we stuck with iron on the other sides.” Cedar cladding softens the exterior, and Kwila decking helped to create an outdoor room. This is where the Taggart family spend most of their time in summer, in the sun and looking out toward the native bush.The interior is very light and
open, and belies the actual dimensionsof the home. A mainly white colour selection keeps each room spacious, as does the high pitch of the ceilings. Resene colour Alabaster is the shade throughout the house, with the ceilings in Resene Rice Cake. A soft Tasmanian Oak
floor also adds warmth, while keeping the feel light and airy.

MATERIALS

BEFORE & AFTER The former shed was once part of a large paddock in
which cows roamed, before it received
a comprehensive make-over to transform it into a family home.
FURNITURE Found on Trade Me, this feature chair adds a contemporary
feel with its modern patterned fabric.
KITCHEN HERB BOX In order to comply with local council regulations, a
recess had to be in place between the windowsill and the kitchen
bench. The result was a living herb garden, which fills the recess
perfectly.
FIRE With its radiant design the Metro H.T series wood burner is great
for heating open plan spaces. Finished
in metallic black high temperature paint, with a cooktop surface, this
fire is a great all rounder.

DIRECTORY

BUILDER
Urban Residential Developments Ltd
0275 397 005
www.urbanrd.co.nz
BATHROOMWARE
Michel Caesar www.michelcesar.co.nz
KITCHEN
Plain & Fancy Kitchens and Cabinets
07 847 4563
FIREPLACE
Metro Fires www.metrofires.co.nz
FLOOR BOARDS
Cedar Corp
0800 423 327
www.cedarcorp.co.nz
TILING
Brett Bateman Tiling
0800 4 47688

Homestyle, August/September, pg 52-56

 

New Zealand Climate Data for Building Simulation

  

The New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has developed a Home Energy Rating Scheme (HERS) for New Zealand households based on software simulation of energy loss and demand. The software requires hourly data to represent the differentclimates zones around New Zealand, especially for larger population centres. These climate data consist of hourly records for an artificial year created from twelve representative months.

Please note: The data is publicly-funded data provided by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA) and no person or entity may charge for its supply or use. While NIWA has exercised reasonable care and skill in the preparation and collation of the data files, the data is supplied on an ‘as is’ basis, without warranty of any kind. NIWA accepts no liability for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages, loss, damage or cost arising from and relating to, any use of the data and/or the information associated with it. Full terms and conditions governing the use of the data can be found at: http://edenz.niwa.co.nz/about/terms.

Liley, J Ben, Hisako Shiona, James Sturman, David S Wratt. 2008. Typical Meteorological Years for the New Zealand Home Energy R ating Scheme. Prepared for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. NIWA Client Report: LAU2008-01-JBL. NIWA, Omakau, New Zealand.

Files for New Zealand are available in EPW format directly from the DOE site below:
Click on the blue marker to download the efw weather file direct from the DOE Energy Plus web site.


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Files in the TM2 format – for TRNSYS, TRANSOL, etc, have been converted from the EPW files using  CCWorldWeatherGen without performing any climate projections. NZL_TMY_WeatherFiles_TM2