A brand new ‘green’ home for $300,000? It’s possible – but it won’t be palatial.
Builder James Clarke was too busy to build his own home, but was shocked at the standard of the one built for him – despite the fact it met New Zealand’s Building Code.
The Queenstown home, built in 2007, was far from warm and dry, and Clarke found his newborn son was repeatedly becoming ill.
“He was coughing every night. My personality dictates that I won’t accept that. So I set out to change the way we build.”
Clarke has just completed his own build in Orepuki, Southland; a three-bedroom 70sqm home.
“My own house in deepest, darkest Southland, with next stop Stewart Island, sits perfectly in that environment,” he says.
“The weather pattern is volatile, four seasons in one day. Sun one minute, pouring with rain the next.”
He says it is warm and dry, despite there being no active heating: “No mould, no condensation.”
He says yes, it is smaller than most new builds in New Zealand – Statistics NZ puts the average size of all homes consented at 155sqm in 2021.
But Clarke says it’s big enough with one master bedroom, one single and a bunkroom, and New Zealanders should be prioritising warm, dry healthy homes over larger homes.