A vision of better living
A better way of living
Imagine if you lived in a home that was warm, dry and comfortable …
Imagine if it was not only affordable to buy, but affordable to run …
Imagine how much better your family and home life could be …
Joe and Hayley don’t need to imagine. They lived in Beacon’s first live research project, the Waitakere NOW Home®, for two years. Their verdict? “It’s the BEST home we ever lived in.”
A HomeSmart home
The Waitakere NOW Home® was designed and built to be sustainable:
- It performed better than similar sized houses in the area: warmer, drier, healthier.
- It used fewer resources: less electricity and gas, less water.
- It will last well into the future and be flexible for changing households.
- It cost the same as a similar house to buy but it costs a whole lot less to run.
- And in time, as buyers realise the benefits of sustainable homes, it will have great resale value.
Joe and Hayley’s experience
As Joe, Hayley and their two young boys went about their day-to-day lives, the performance of the house was monitored.
Right from the start, Joe and Hayley loved their NOW Home®. They had come from a cold, damp house where they needed dehumidifiers on 24/7 and which was hard to heat. What a change! Sun poured into the new house during the day, and at night, warmth radiated off the polished concrete floor. All the extra insulation and double glazing kept the warmth in. Joe and Hayley enjoyed the even heat through all the rooms – no cold back bedrooms. They only needed to get out a small fan heater for a couple of cold days in winter – the rest of the time they needed no extra heating.
A warm house is generally a dry house. Joe and Hayley didn’t unpack their dehumidifiers at all – there was no condensation and no mould. Their son’s asthma improved rapidly and they were delighted to find after three months that he had hardly needed his nebuliser at all.
Joe and Hayley loved the solar water heater which provided nearly half of the household’s hot water. They always had plenty of hot water, and even better, they could see the savings on their power bills. In water heating alone, they were saving approximately $367 per year.
In fact, with little space heating, their power bills dropped considerably. They were paying 45% less than in their previous home, and 33% less than other 4 person households in the area.
Water in the Auckland region is metered and can be a big cost to households. The good news for Joe and Hayley was that their rainwater tank provided 47%-52% of their water needs, and the low flow taps and shower heads, dual flush toilets and water efficient washing machine reduced their water use to half the average in surrounding Waitakere City.
An added advantage of the double glazing was the peace and quiet. Even though their house was near a busy road, the noise did not bother Joe and Hayley. They described themselves as the Pink Batts family from the advertisement who did not want to go outside.
Best of all for Joe and Hayley was the confidence and family happiness they noticed since moving into the NOW Home®. They started having friends around as the house was pleasant and spacious for entertaining. Joe commented that a good house positively contributes to strong family relationships. Their boys are healthier and more confident, and Hayley says they just don’t get the winter blues.
We can all enjoy these benefits
Beacon believes that all New Zealanders should enjoy the quality of life experienced by Joe and Hayley. We should all be living in warm and healthy homes, buffered from price rises by the affordable running costs, knowing that we are making efficient use of water and energy resources, and building positive confident families.
That’s what we call HomeSmart!
Next: Why our homes should be smarter ›