The litmus test of success — living in the home you built

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Building an award-winning sustainable home is one thing, but living in it is the litmus test of success.
Future Homes owner and Registered Master Builder Alan Baddeley has done both.

He won the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) Sustainable Homes under $500,000 category in the Registered Master Builders 2008 House of the Year, in association with PlaceMakers.

He has built 14 sustainable Future Homes in the central North Island, where temperatures can soar, or plunge, with equal ferocity.
Mr Baddeley lived in the 4-bedroom, award-winning house, in Taupo’s Acacia Bay, for four months before it was sold.

‘It was cool in the summer months and, as winter came on, it attained its ambient temperature of between 18° and 23°, within minutes of turning on the heating.”
Current owner Sue Pearce agrees.

“This is such a comfortable house to live in. I’m a painter and I particularly appreciate the clever use of skylights to flood the house with light. They’re double glazed so they let in the warmth when the sun is out but keep the cold air out when it’s not.”

Mr Baddeley says keeping the envelope of a house well insulated, making clever use of materials and passive heating sources such as the skylights, will minimse energy consumption and lead to a much healthier home.

According to DBH deputy chief executive for building quality Dave Kelly, this is exactly why the department is sponsoring the under $500,000 House of the Year category again this year.
“We want kiwis to have good information and examples of how they can build and renovate their homes in a way that’s good for them economically and environmentally, and Alan Baddeley’s home provides that,” he says.

Mr Baddeley installed a polystyrene panel and reinforced concrete wall system in the house. He also used under-floor insulation, double-glazed windows, solar/wetback hot water heating, a heat transfer system to redistribute warm air caught in peaked ceilings to cooler parts of the house, and skylights which take full advantage of passive heating sources.

Outside, he used cedar weatherboards — “because they’re a sustainable product and look great” — and the German-made Sto Plaster System. He also installed a bio-cycling sewage system to channel all grey and black water (sewage) into an electronically-timed, property-wide irrigation system.

Mr Baddeley, who is currently building his next show home in conjunction with the Taupo District Council, says the DBH’s sponsorship of this particular category of the House of the Year competition is particularly important.
“It shows that the department, as an authoritative sector leader, is committed to reducing the running costs of a home by modelling practical solutions, and that’s great,” he says.