"The coldest house in New Zealand"

When we first bought this house we knew we were in for a lot of work.

But we were ready for it. We started putting on a new roof, replacing windows, insulating, etc. We held workshops and open houses to educate members of our community about passive solar design and eco-renovation.

At one of our first open houses a woman said, “I’ve been in this house before. I baby sat here once. This is the coldest house in New Zealand.”

Despite her ringing endorsement, we persevered. We added windows to the north and removed them from the south walls. We insulated more. We are building pelmets and hanging thermal drapes. We are draft-proofing.

This week while I was promoting the Science of Sustainability at Wanganui Intermediate School I asked the students in each class if they had turned on the heat in their homes yet this autumn. Nearly all students (and teachers) raised their hands. I smiled and said, “We have not had to turn on our heat yet, because the sun is heating our house.”

Peace and passive solar success, Estwing

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