Now Home

The Rotorua NOW Home is the result of a collaboration between Beacon Pathway and Housing New Zealand Corporation. The home is now a part of the Corporation's housing portfolio reflecting their commitment to research into more sustainable and energy efficient homes. In 2006 Housing New Zealand invested about $80 million on improvements to its homes through it’s healthy housing, community renewal, energy efficiency, modernisation and
re-configuration programmes.

This conventional looking, family home is far from ordinary. It's the result of extensive research and planning to achieve an attractive, comfortable and safe home.

The house design by architectural firm, APR Consultants, was in response to a clear budget and brief outlining research criteria that:

o is cost-effective to build
o is cheaper to run
o is healthier to live in
o uses fewer resources
o uses less energy and water
o effectively disposes storm water
o generates as little waste as possible.

The design features, products and materials chosen for the Rotorua NOW Home reflect a balance of criteria that considered environmental, social and economic aims. They were selected to make the best possible use of the site and to meet a careful budget.

Products were preferred if they had lower life cycle costs, could be recycled or were made from renewable materials. The Rotorua NOW Home has used Shadowclad primed wall cladding combined with Dimond Corrugate in COLORSTEEL® Endura™ prepainted steel for the roof and wall cladding.

COLORSTEEL® prepainted steel cladding was selected after assessing each product for its potential cost over its life time. Prepainted steel products over a Zincalume® substrate are durable and lightweight.

These products score well on the BRANZ Ltd Life Cycle Tool rating:

o very well for Lifetime Financial Costs
o medium well on life cycle embodied energy
o medium on recyclability.
The single-storey, three bedroom home of 141.2 m2 (including garage) was built to a budget. It features a butterfly roof line and the U-shaped footprint creates a large sheltered patio area. Attention has been given to room size, layout and indoor-outdoor flow to ensure a comfortable, flexible home catering for extended family.

With an insulated concrete slab floor, northern orientation and large north facing windows, the Rotorua NOW Home absorbs, retains and releases solar warmth. High levels of insulation and double glazing have been installed, meaning the NOW Homes will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer, with significantly less energy cost. A solar water heater, supplemented by electricity, provides hot water needs. Appropriate ventilation (passive, where possible) and high levels of insulation minimise moisture and dampness in the homes. The passive solar heating is supplemented by a low emission pellet fire. Care was taken to select and use products with low toxicity.

Rainwater is harvested to an underground tank for all non-drinking purposes. Limiting water flow and dual flush toilets further reduce water consumption.
Composting bins and dedicated under-sink containers encourage residents to recycle and re-use waste.

The home used low maintenance, durable materials and where possible, construction waste was re-used or recycled. 

The COLORSTEEL® Endura™ prepainted roofing system is designed to provide protection against corrosion in areas where moderate to severe environmental conditions are experienced and will exceed the service life of most traditional post painted systems. It carries a 15 year surface warranty and a durability warranty of 30 years. 

The Rotorua NOW Home is a live research project and its energy consumption, water consumption, moisture and temperature levels will be remotely monitored for two years.
The monitoring process is already underway in the first NOW Home in Waitakere, completed in September 2005. While it's been life as usual for the young family living in the home, Beacon has been busy behind the scenes, monitoring the performance of the home to evaluate the effectiveness of the design. 

On the basis of data collected so far in the project, compared to similar sized homes in Waitakere, the NOW Home uses:

o about 30% less energy
o about 25% less water

Beacon Pathway Ltd (established in  2004) is a collaborative research consortium working to find affordable ways to make New Zealand homes more resource efficient, cheaper to run, healthier to live in and environmentally friendly.

Beacon's object is to create economical homes that work well into the future. To achieve this Beacon are researching building technologies, construction industry practices, urban planning, policy and regulation and consumer attitudes.  

This information will be available to home-owners, the building industry, and those working toward improving the quality and sustainability of New Zealand's housing.
Beacon's shareholding partners are organisations with a considerable stake in the quality of the residential sector: New Zealand Steel, Fletcher Building, Building Research, Scion and Waitakere City Council.
Shareholder contributions are matched, dollar for dollar, by funding from the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology (FRST).

For more information about Beacon's NOW Homes visit

Client: Beacon Pathway Ltd,
Housing NZ Corporation.

Architect: APR Consultants,
Telephone: (07) 349 8333 

Main Contractor:
Warren Monk Builders, Rotorua.

Roofing and Cladding Manufacturer: Dimond.
Telephone: 0800 Dimond
0800 346 663
Profile: Dimond Corrugate in COLORSTEEL® Endura™ prepainted steel.
Colour: Grey Friars.

Craig Robertson Photography for Beacon Pathway Ltd.