The design-and-build industry is not a natural front runner in the sustainability stakes. The extraction and manufacturing of building materials leaves an awkward carbon footprint on the planet as does the transport of the end products to the site. There’s no getting away from the fact that a new home inevitably occupies more space on the Earth.
Making Box™ as eco-friendly as it can be is one of our company tenets. Just as much careful consideration is given to the way we design and build our modernist-style houses as to the way we run the office. We aim to be as sustainable as we can.
Box™ is Carbon Zero certified which means we understand the impact our business has on the planet and we’re managing change to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. As members of the Sustainable Business Network, we share in the vision to make New Zealand a model sustainable nation.
Step one is a no-brainer. Using energy-efficient principles in the design of every Box™ eco house helps conserve our natural resources. Our architects make sure that each building is properly oriented on the site to enhance passive solar gain. A Box™ house often includes some type of thermal mass (such as concrete floors) to store and slowly release this free heat gain from the sun. You’ll seldom need to turn on the heat-pump in a Box™ house, since our architects design for plenty of natural cross ventilation. Then we insulate our homes beyond the requirements of the building code.
In terms of the green architecture, less is always more. A well-designed smaller Box™ home will not only be more inexpensive to build, but be cheaper to run. Yet the volume and proportions of the rooms will ensure it feels more spacious.
Our modular building system also means that every Box™ house uses several components that are standardised. Because the house is designed in increments of these material standards, it means fewer offcuts and a lot less waste to end up in landfills. By simplifying the design details, without compromising style, we make a bigger statement using fewer parts. Win for the homeowners. Win for the planet.
Loving the local is what we do at Box™. Where possible, we use materials that are sourced close to the build site so that transport costs and carbon emissions are kept to a minimum. We use lots of sustainably grown timber in our material palette because trees are an important carbon sink – they absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they produce.
Box™ homeowners often want to be more self-sufficient and we have the knowledge to advise on solar hot water systems, solar (PV) power, rainwater collection and grey-water recycling.
Homes that embrace eco principles not only do their bit for the planet, but often bring greater long-term satisfaction to their homeowners. Because Box™ designs are ‘loose fit’ they can readily adapt to the changing needs of your family. It’s one reason you’re likely to love your beautiful Box™ home for many years to come. Good architectural design is another. It sustains your everyday wellbeing.