Cristina and Graham Robinson outside their new home with Mick Moffatt from Rilean Construction. Cristina and Graham Robinson outside their new home with Mick Moffatt from Rilean Construction. CREDIT: Southern Public Relations

Latest sustainable home incorporates top energy efficiency designs

Wednesday 21 December 2011, 2:18PM
By Southern Public Relations


Locally designed and built sustainable homes are proving to be the lifestyle choice of the future in Queenstown.

Multi award-winning company Rilean Construction is well underway with construction of a luxury home in the heart of the district’s Wakatipu Basin, incorporating all the energy efficient, ‘healthy’ and cost-saving features of its Evolution Homes series of sustainable houses.

But while the Evolution series contains plans for homes ranging from ‘evolution executive’ aimed at the upper market, to mid-level homes and ‘evolution modular’ (short term accommodation), this latest building project is proof that evolution features can be incorporated into any home, even if initial designs have been drawn up.

New homeowner Graham Robinson and wife Cristina said they were “thrilled” to have Rilean on board because they felt happy and confident they would deliver on their ‘green’ promises and sustainable features.

“I started talking to Rilean because I was looking to find somebody with the confidence, maturity, experience, financial competency and viability for this project,” said Graham.

“I knew that we wanted good insulation and low energy costs, but it was only when we started talking to Rilean, and realised the extent of their knowledge and the fact they worked with independent green building consultant Paula Hugens, that we fully understood the benefits of thermal modelling.

The Robinson’s 4-bed, 300sqm house is expected to be completed by April 2012.

Rilean Construction senior Quantity Surveyor Mick Moffatt said the Robinson’s home incorporated all the Evolution features such as airtight walls and ceilings, 150mm stud walls, low toxicity products and solar panel hot water heating.

“It also has a ventilation system that uses a passive heat exchanger to warm up incoming filtered air together with l timber windows and doors to improve its thermal efficiency and airtightness. It incorporates a thermally insulated floor slab to mitigate heat loss through the floor base and edges.

“We’ve been happy to work with the Robinsons throughout the entire process, listening to what they wanted, taking all their requirements on board, and suggesting ways and means of achieving the outcomes they want. They’re very happy with how it’s all going and the potential for savings they’ll achieve in the home. They’re going to really notice the difference.”

Mr Robinson said he “liked creating” and was looking forward to moving into the completed home.

“The timing’s right too,” he said. “If we had attempted to do this even two years ago, there are materials that Evolution Homes are using that weren’t readily available here in New Zealand and we’d have been upset by not being able to use them.”

The Robinson home is the second to be built by Rilean Construction to an Evolution design. All designs are ‘future-proofed’ in anticipation of more stringent environmental building regulations.

Independent research shows that living in an Evolution home would reduce at least $900 off annual electricity bills and reduce CO2 emissions by 70%, compared to the same house with electric heating and the minimum insulation required.

For more information or details about Rilean Construction and its sustainable practice policies visit