Compound Group – Healthy home living

“Using this system to help plan your building is very beneficial in setting strong future performance that will last for the rest of that building’s life.”

Josh and Drew Atkins

Drawing on respective careers in building and QS, Josh and Drew Atkins launched their healthy homes’ business Compound in 2017 to set a high standard in sustainable, energy efficient home building in the Queenstown market.

Driven by frustration over low standards in the existing building code, Compound has aimed much higher and today has a trusted reputation as a local leader in energy-efficient building. Compound is actively demonstrating what can be achieved by incorporating Passive House principles that deliver performance well above code while also considering budget. A Licensed Building Practitioner, Compound is also a trade-certified Passive House builder and a member of the Passive House Institute of New Zealand.

“The Passive House approach is a tried-and-true method designed in Germany – it’s all about harnessing the sun’s energy in winter and stopping that energy to prevent over-heating in summer,” explains Josh.

“The goal is to achieve a really healthy, comfortable home that performs exceptionally well on temperature, air quality and low energy costs.

“Using this system to help plan your building is very beneficial in setting strong future performance that will last for the rest of that building’s life.”

Compound is showcasing how this works in practice on a new two-storey home project called Moonlight Tui Compound, nestled in the spectacular surrounds of Arthurs Point. A YouTube video series has been created to document each phase of construction and capture all the elements that go into creating a beautiful, comfortable, healthy, energy-efficient home. Passive House principles of thermal bridge free construction, air tightness, high performance windows and insulation, and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery are all at play here, demonstrated with meticulous care.

“We’re doing this to inspire and educate people on how these principles can be applied to your home by working with a certified Passive House builder right from the start of your project.”

At the time of writing, two episodes had been posted online on CAD modelling and building the insulated thermal bridge free foundation through to the airtight whole-build envelope and ventilated roof cavity/roofing. Other episodes will cover high-performance windows and insulation, airtightness, mechanical ventilation and final completion.

“We plan to open it by online appointment this winter. Our offices will be here too. People will be able to walk around, get a feel for its exceptional comfort and learn about all its design aspects.”

While Moonlight Tui Compound does not quite meet all the standards needed to be certified as a full Passive House, this low energy home performs five times better on energy efficiency than a standard built-to-code home and maintains an even, healthy indoor temperature year-round.

Josh observes that it takes a mind shift to prioritise comfort and healthy living over other more obvious built features. Yet there can be a high price to pay when these essential elements are neglected, in terms of higher power bills, and risks of dampness, mould and discomfort.

“Homes like Moonlight will keep their value over time – the incomparable level of comfort is a big factor in that.”

As well as building new homes, Compound works with homeowners seeking to renovate existing homes to achieve a higher level of comfort and a healthier home.

© Waterford Press Ltd 2022

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