Eco building is environmentally sustainable construction that minimizes environmental impact and creates healthier habitats. Eco building is catching on in NZ with 15% of houses having some eco aspect. It is a rapidly-evolving and exciting field of architectural design which carries some initial costs but saves in the long run.
Building a house is the single most damaging act against the environment that people do. Therefore it makes a lot of sense to reduce the initial and continuing contributions to global warming. The average house build will cause 80 tonnes of C02 emissions and produce another tonne per year. See house calculator.
The cost of building a naturally-heating and cooling house could be more expensive initially but will save 1/3 of your electricity bill. For an average NZ household that’s $700 per year / over the 50 year minimum life of the building, totaling $35,000; more if the cost of electricity rises. Investing in solar water heating ($6-9K) would cut the electricity bill by another third. Investing $10-15k for solar panels, the bills or battery maintenance would only cost 10 -20% of a conventional house. 12 or so years payback – this reduces to approximately 18 months if you have an electric car and are able to replace fuel costs with the electricity you produce. The economics of solar work out well.