When we arrived in New Zealand, we asked people we met what is the main challenge that New Zealand faces in terms of sustainability. The answer was all the same: housing insulation. Houses are cold in winter, hot in summer. The cost of electricity is very high to maintain good temperature conditions. We wanted to understand why and to know more about eco friendly solutions, so we decided to meet an expert: Nick Marer, founder of The little pig building company.
Nick started The little pig building company in 1992. He started to build a house of one of his friend. Nick had a commercial background in building industry. Developing his skills in eco-building (timber home, straw bale construction...), he decided to set up his own business: The little pig building company (TLP)! We had the chance to visit his own eco-friendly home with an amazing view on the vineyards. With his experience and expertise, Nick helps people to achieve their building project while respecting the environment.
The situation in New Zealand is more complex that it seems. If you follow our journey for several months, you know that we travelled in developing countries of South East Asia. Due to hot weather and low income, most of houses are in sub-standard condition. New Zealand is a developed country, however, we were surprised to heard that most of people finds it difficult to buy a proper house. Nick explains that the first - and main - problem is affordability, it is expensive. Many people don’t stay in the same place for more than 10 years, this is one of the reasons why they don’t invest in their house. Building an environmentally friendly home means invest in materials that are more expensive. The positive effect is the energy efficiency of the housing. With a long term vision, it is cheaper to build an eco-home than a traditional one thanks to the energy savings.
How big does you house really need to be? Don’t go over the top because a well insulated moderate space will be very cost efficient to heat, keep warm and be confortable.
Drawing on its experience, we asked Nick THE question: what would be your best advice for someone who want to build an eco-house? His answer was a question: « How big does you house really need to be? Don’t go over the top because a well insulated moderate space will be very cost efficient to heat, keep warm and be confortable ». According to Nick, it is essential to think about the way you want to live and insulation is one of the key of success. The aesthetic considerations will come after.
Of course, if you want to build a house in South Island of New Zealand, we advice you to contact Nick !