An Evolving Story--Meet Jane and Chris

29 November 2016
Posted by: Evolution
Time to read: 2 min

Jane Shearer and Chris Nelson were turned onto Evolution by a friend, Graham Robinson, who had built one himself, achieving the first Homestar™6 rating in the Wakatipu.

Being world travelers and scientists, their expectations of a home's performance was high.  The bespoke Evolution home they built on a idyllic site in Gibbston Valley has hit every mark.  Jane and Chris put a very personal stamp on their eco-home through artistic details and designing the floor plan themselves.  The result is superb.

Q: What type of heating do you have?

Underfloor hydrothermal, powered by an air to water heat pump. This also heats our hot water cylinder cost effectively as heat pumps provide more than 1 unit of heat for every unit of electricity - up to 4 units of heat per unit of electricity if the temperature is above 7 degrees.

Q: How warm do you keep your house in winter?

We keep the house at 22 degrees throughout the entire house, all day. The only problem is when you go outside and realise you need to put a LOT more clothing on.

Q: How does it feel in the summer?

In summer the house is pleasantly cool - the carefully calculated northern eave keeps the northern sun out for the central 2 months which means we don’t get overheated. Plus all our door/windows mean that we can create lots of cross ventilation.

Q: What do you like most about your home?

It is warm and functional and beautiful - we love the well crafted ply finish which we oiled to have a whitewash finish. We also love our triple glazed windows, wood inside and aluminium outside.

Q: Why did you choose to build an Evolution?

Because we wanted a thermally efficient house , where we could heat it without effort/cost and live in it comfortably in summer. I had researched the Passive House standard and realised that using an air tight, differentially permeable membrane, like Intello, was the way to go to achieve that. We wanted a company with experience in building air tight houses so they would have already gone through the learning curve.

Q: Would you be willing to tell us what your average power bill was last winter?

Our highest power bill was $200 and we use electricity for everything - cooking, heating, water heating. Our average power bill was $160. And remember that is keeping the entire 196 square metre house at a comfortable living temperature 24 hours.

 JFK 6767 5 Medium2

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