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Evolution Series

The future of building: Queenstown firm Rilean Construction is evolving to meet the Christchurch demand for energy efficient homes

When the Queenstown market leaders of energy efficient homes ‘Evolution’ (a division of Rilean Construction) wanted to expand to Christchurch, potential clients were keen and kept asking “is there one we can see?” There are 50 such homes, but they are all in Queenstown, so Rilean Construction Canterbury Manager/Director Trevor Meikle decided to build Canterbury the piece-de-resistance of energy efficient homes.

Evolution Series

“A standard build has a Homestar rating of 2-3 and Evolution delivers a minimum of 6 stars,” Trevor says.
This Christchurch beauty blew that number out of the park, coming out as a 7-8. The energy efficiency starts right from the base with a MAXRaft fully insulated slab. “This is the future of building – no power bills,” Trevor says.
“Twenty solar panels with battery backup means we are set. The 10,000 litre tank collects rainwater, which is pumped back to toilets, the washing machine, the tub and external taps. The home has LED lighting and Wels rated tapware that reduces water flow from a standard 18L a min down to 6L,” he continues.
“The bath is made from 30 percent recycled materials which also keeps the bath water hot for 30 percent longer. The decking is recycled plastic composite, there are fruit trees on the property and a vege garden to keep the fridge full.”
Nothing has been overlooked, even the undercover washing line means it can be used in all weather so, no excuses.
The home is double insulated. After the first layer Proclima Intello Airtight is wrapped (including taping to seal the floor and windows), then the exterior walls have another 45×45 batten and another layer of horizonal insulation where the wires and pipes are blanketed. The wall insulation is R4.2 and the ceilings are R5.2, well above building standard.

Evolution Series

A key factor in energy efficiency is the air tightness. “The ‘Fairview’ windows and doors suite was used on ‘The Block’ and got very high results for the airtightness test. This is why we picked Canterbury Aluminium to provide the windows. “The airtightness test for this home was incredible at 0.74 air changes per hour at n50. Canterbury Aluminium is exceptional at what it does,” Trevor says.
The windows are thermally broken (a layer of plastic between) so exterior cold cannot transfer indoors. The home is mechanically ventilated with the ‘Rolls Royce’ of home ventilation systems: a Moisture Master Home Heat Recovery system.
The technology to manage such a smart-home is Econnecx: a system run from your phone or computer. “Everything is managed, measured and programmable,” Trevor explains. “When you leave, it checks everything is off (except things like fridges), so power is not wasted. It allows you to control your security system, lights, heating or access gates and garage doors and turn appliances on or off whenever you choose. You can even unlock your front door for visitors if you are not there.”
With a background of 30+ years in construction and project management, Trevor loves all the metrics and teaching clients about their smart homes.
Established more than 20 years ago, Rilean Construction has won numerous Master Builder awards, a coveted Trade & Construction Queenstown Chamber of Commerce award and received Queenstown’s first six-star Homestar rating for an Evolution home.
Number 15 Dove Grove, Westmorland will open as a showhome on April 10, with viewing available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4pm. Visit evolutionseries.co.nz.

PurePods

A luxuriously small footprint: PurePods are doing some ridiculously awesome things with building space

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,” Churchill once said, and Canterbury’s pioneering company, PurePods, is leading from the front to ensure we are in the best possible shape.

PurePods

Humans’ stress response reduces just moments after entering a green space, and the term ‘biophilia’ is defined as the inherent human inclination to affiliate with nature. Glass eco-cabins PurePods are the essence of biophilic design, incorporating natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature and views and other experiences of the natural world into a minimalist luxury cabin.
A sojourn in a PurePod is a unique, lifestyle experience. Stephanie Hassall, CEO of PurePods says the twin goals of the company are to have the smallest ecological footprint possible, while providing luxury and 360-degree views.
Privacy is key: each PurePod is located on private land, with fabulous views well away from all human activities. The experience starts as soon as you pull off the main road and leave the world behind. From your carpark, it is a 10 to 30-minute walk (depending on which PurePod you have chosen) with your overnight bag, through an indigenous nature trail. Once there, native planting is visible under you, the sky above you and the views through three walls.
There are five individual PurePods located in secluded and beautiful parts of Canterbury, and they are looking for new locations. Stephanie says the first PurePod was built on site with most materials carried in on foot. Over the last 18 months they have developed a more prefabricated system. “It’s like a giant Meccano set, with as small an environmental footprint as possible.”
The buildings are PurePods’ trademarked and patented design, including the in-floor heating system set into the all-glass floor. Of course, PurePods use the expertise of local craftsmen, and from the beginning Coombes Sheet Metal and Fabrication has supported Purepods’ innovative designs by constructing components for the water and heating systems, and weather-proofing panelling, enabling it to perform in an exposed and remote natural environment.
The newest PurePod is at Pōhue, located high above Port Levy, where the view is rolling tussocks, down to the bay and out to the Pacific Ocean. Rock Formations (named by the original WWII Veteran owner’s Greek bride), known to climbers as The Acropolis and The Monument, are in front of and behind you.

PurePods

Choosing which PurePod to book online is the most taxing part of the experience. The PurePods are identical, but each setting is unique: mountain, sea, bush, winery, and the seasons bring further variation: snow views, or golden grasses? You can book the next available PurePod, or a specific one, or why not PurePod-hop and try them all!

Project Partners

  1. Pure Pods Accommodation
    Ph: 021-685-022
    Web: www.purepods.com
  2. Coombes Sheetmetal & Fabrication
    Ph: 03 348 6023
    Web: www.coombes.co.nz