May 14, 2019

Three things you didn’t know about eco-homes in NZ


Greenhaven Homes is a leading New Zealand supplier of modular eco-homes, providing flexibility in design and materials options, without compromising on the warmth, safety, or health of a home. While we love what we do on a daily basis, we know not everyone feels the same about modular homes.

Are they healthy? Are they safe? Aren’t they just assembled from a box? We listen to every concern and question about the service we provide, and today we’re going to look at three things you might not know about eco-homes in New Zealand.

Modular eco-homes aren’t kitset homes

Often, people look at modular homes and kitset homes as the same product. Although there are similarities in off-site construction and reduced cost, modular homes differ from kitset homes in a number of important ways.

Modular eco-homes are built to spec, where the process around off-site construction is set in place, but the distinguishing elements of each build are still unique and undetermined. This means that, when choosing your modular home, you have more input in how everything comes together, as opposed to picking from a small collection of off-the-rack designs.

Modular eco-homes are also designed specifically for our climate and eco-friendly nature. While both types of structures are similarly put together, kitset homes aren’t often designed with a purpose beyond just being a building. Modular eco-homes, on the other hand, are built with the intention of living in them for many years to come; ultimately, kitset builds create a house, while modular eco builds create a home.

Modular homes are designed and built to use less energy

Many individuals and families look to modular homes as a way to save money, but just as common is the desire to reduce energy use and live a greener lifestyle. Modular homes tackle both of these concerns – the former by limited materials waste and planning construction effectively, and the latter by addressing energy efficiency in the design phase.

Modular eco-homes are constructed using materials that protect your home from the damp and wet of winter, are easier and quicker to heat, and retain warmth through quality insulation. While using less energy is great, it’s the design considerations that double the effectiveness of eco-friendly decisions – windows and spaces are designed to receive optimal natural light, and this passive heating keeps a home warm for much of the day and into the evening.

Modular homes are seeing wider acceptance in New Zealand

If modular homes are so wonderful, why aren’t we seeing them everywhere throughout New Zealand? Firstly, there’s the issue of kitset homes diluting the market and being lumped in with modular eco-homes, but perhaps the most important factor is a lack of support for the idea that is finally gaining traction with the government and banks alike.

Prefab homes were often tossed around last year as a potential solution to low Kiwibuild numbers, but the lack of transparency around materials and construction quality cast doubt on the idea before it took off. In 2019, we’ve finally seen more encouragement for the industry, with New Zealand banks, Westpac and ANZ, both getting behind modular eco-homes with new initiatives.

Westpac recently announced its dedicated prefab home mortgage to help Kiwis find the money to build their own home, while ANZ is doing its part to reduce mortgage rates if customers commit to a healthier home. The ANZ Healthy Home Loan Package is available to individuals who upgrade their home to gain a six-star Homestar rating, and will also help draw the line between quality modular homes and quick-and-easy kitset builds.

Greenhaven Homes: Quality, modular eco-homes in NZ

At Greenhaven Homes, our energy-efficient modular homes are built with premium, sustainable products, such as FSC-rated timbers, LED lighting, and low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. The quality and longevity of our homes is backed by the Halo 10 Year Residential Guarantee Insurance badge – exclusive to NZ Certified Builders Association (NZCB) members.

We’re a NZ-owned and operated business working across the Wellington, Horowhenua, Kapiti, Manawatu and Hawkes Bay areas, with a team strengthened by years of research and accumulated expertise in designing environmentally friendly, sustainable, energy-efficient housing.

To learn more about our modular eco-homes, view our plans online or contact Greenhaven Homes today to speak to one of the team. If you’d like to see a Greenhaven modular eco-home up close, feel free to visit our new show home, a three-bedroom living plan so you can see how you could be living the Greenhaven way.

Looking for a premium-quality, energy-efficient, architecturally designed transportable home?

Contact us to find out more about “Living the Greenhaven Way” 0800 777 175 or