Sustainable focus reflects Toby’s passion

Sustainable focus reflects Toby’s passion

Craft Homes has always incorporated sustainable building techniques into homes, however it was just recently that company owner Toby Tilsley decided to make this a major focus due to customer interest and a personal passion for this type of building.
Toby is a New Zealand qualified Licensed Building Practitioner with over 10 years experience in the Auckland building industry.
He has a background in specialised renovation including dig outs and house lifting and works closely with clients to deliver their dream home.
He says that the first step when building with Craft Homes – a new home or renovation project – is for a client to fill out a questionnaire so he can see their requirements, ideas and budget.
From this he can suggest affordable features to make the home more sustainable, in particular, orientation and position on site to capture sun.
Other choices such as flow restricted bathroom and kitchenware and energy efficient lights can make a big difference to the cost of the home over time and don’t cost much more than other options. Using sustainable environmentally friendly products when possible is another aspect.
Of course some clients choose to build an incredibly sustainable home such as a project in Ruakaka designed by Solarei, a New Zealand company, which specialises in environmental sustainable house design.
The home has long eaves to offer protection from the Northland sunshine, window settings placed precisely to capture sunlight and ample outdoor living.

Sustainable focus reflects Toby’s passion
The Ruakaka home has long eaves to offer protection from the Northland sunshine, window settings placed precisely to capture sunlight and ample outdoor living.

Floors offer solid mass and capture the heat from the sun maximised by a glass wall on the north-eastern side of the home.
The warm air generated is then distributed around the home by a clever ventilation system. The home has two 30,000 litre tanks to collect rainwater from the roof that is then used in the home.
A natural flow septic system houses worms, which decompose the waste, which is then dispersed on an area of natural planting in the garden. The home is on target to achieve a Homestar seven or eight rating.
Toby says that being a Homestar practitioner and assessor streamlines the process for his clients and means he can ensure the homes comply with requirements.
But Toby says the biggest factor in a successful sustainable build is communication, “We pride ourselves on maintaining good communication with our clients from transparent pricing systems through to thorough project time-lines. We need to understand the client’s needs first. Everything else comes from that.”
Toby is a big fan of sustainable homes after living in one himself and noticing the health benefits.
“I have asthma and my wife suffers from eczema. We haven’t had these issues since making our own home more healthy, energy efficient and warm,” he says.
This has increased his passion for educating people about the benefits of sustainable health homes and Craft Homes, which is a member of NZ Certified Builders, aims to be at the forefront of the movement, which for Toby also includes how people live in the home. “It’s a paradigm shift and is not just about teaching people about sustainable building.
“It’s also thinking about what we do every day and establishing environmental practices in how we live in our homes.”
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