In New Zealand 85% of energy in 2016 was generated from renewable sources, which is great news for the environment and great news for New Zealanders as a whole *. The MBIE report on New Zealand's energy use, which can be viewed here, also highlighted an interesting trend in usage. In 2016 residential electricity demand decreased by 2.6% over the year as a result of warmer than normal temperatures in autumn and winter.
What this highlights is that warmer people use less electricity and fuel. Having a warm home isn't something that every Kiwi gets to enjoy. As Stuff found out earlier in 2017 homes in New Zealand are not always well insulated. And even though the government has set targets to ensure rental homes receive decent levels of insulation many government grants do not cover owner occupiers, or houses where the occupants are not low income households.
Building a new home offers a great opportunity to invest in a home that is warm and uses the sun's natural heat to keep your energy costs down. MBIE's website handily explains the insulation requirements of homes built in certain parts of New Zealand, the insulation required to meet code is given as an R value. When you select your insulation (such as these Earthwool ceiling batts) it's important your R rating is adequate to meet code.
Meeting or exceeding the building code requirements is a great start towards having a warm home that requires lower energy consumption while still being healthy.
Genius First Light use wool 180mm R4.0 Terralana roof insulation, which is above the building code requirements giving you a warmer home. The wool used by Terralana is 100% recyclable and is predominantly sourced from carpet manufacturers, and it's made in New Zealand.
Keeping the heat trapped in the building reduces the need to add additional heating sources, and using the sun'd natural warmth to get your house up to temperature can also help you great an eco friendly home.
Positioning your house to capture the sun (without compromising on the views) is something your Genus First Light specialist will help with but the specialist materials used are also key to optimal performance. The glass used in your Genius First Light home is double glazed, thermally broken, low E coated and Argon filled.
What does all that mean?
Thermally broken concerns the window frame itself as many New Zealand homes (9/10) use aluminum frames due to several benefits. Sadly aluminum is not a great material for insulation and can mean the frame itself is to blame for energy loss. thermally broken means the frames have a source of insulation built into them to reduce heat loss through the metal.
Low E coated means its low-emissivity. When used on double glazing with Low-E coatings on the inside the heat loss from a room through the windows can be reduced by 20%-30%.
Argon filled refers to the void between the two panes of glass that makes up double glazing. Instead of air filling this space argon gas is used, which provides an additional level of insulation. As an example argon-filled double glazing can reduce heat loss by 3%-9% more than air-filled double glazing.
Each Genius First light home goes above and beyond with the specifications to create a sustainable, environmentally friendly home that's warm and reduces energy consumption.