NZ Builders won an innovation award from a Colorado Tilt-Up awards presentation for their project involving the panel design that combines the Canadian and New Zealand building styles. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

VIDEO: Innovating healthier homes

NZ Builders bring commercial concept into residential realm to improve energy efficiency and health

Damon Gray, founder of NZ Builders, is bringing a commercial concept into the residential realm by improving the energy efficiency and finessing architectural design.

Gray started his building career constructing homes in New Zealand using the concrete tilt-up method, which involves pouring concrete panels and then lifting them into place like building blocks to create the house. After coming to North America in his early 20s and seeing how wood-frame houses were built up here, he began his innovative journey of combining the two styles to get the best possible building method.

During Gray’s years of building in North America, there were things in the residential building sector that concerned him. After many, many renovations and seeing devastating scenarios of families living in mouldy houses that were only 20 years old, he knew he wanted to create a better system.

He started NZ Builders in 2004 and was an early pioneer in BC of using Concrete Insulated Panels (CIP).

“It’s not as though it is out of the norm. It’s done in commercial building a lot,” said Gray. “We have just brought it into the residential sector and made it architecturally pleasing and energy-efficient.”

The energy-efficiency of a home is important but if it is not done properly, it can lead to an unhealthy home.

In a traditional wood frame home, there are typically 14 layers to the home construction. You need quality craftsmanship on all of those layers in order to have a healthy, long-lasting system.

With concrete the system is simplified down to three layers: concrete, insulation, and another layer of concrete. CIP eliminates a lot of problems due to its simplicity.

NZ Builders won an innovation award from a Colorado Tilt-Up awards presentation for their project involving the panel design that combines the Canadian and New Zealand building styles.

“In New Zealand, they don’t think about heating or anything. Electricity is so expensive they just don’t have heating,” said Gray. He took on the challenge of working with the tilt-up design from New Zealand and adapting the building method to one that would be effective in Canada.

Concrete becomes air tight and with the insulation layer it is highly energy-efficient.

“Most people don’t care about energy efficiency, but if you want a healthy home that’s going to last a long long time, I would suggest that’s the path you take,” said Gray.

This current project on Beach Drive started the design process in November 2016. Digging started in August and the expected completion date is in 2019.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Florence, a common fixture on the building site is a favourite with clients and locals. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

NZ Builders won an innovation award from a Colorado Tilt-Up awards presentation for their project involving the panel design that combines the Canadian and New Zealand building styles. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Four-sailing wait at BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal

Full vessels create long waits on Friday afternoon

A year in tent city: Timeline of Camp Namegans

Since September 2017, Victoria’s homeless camp has set up in more than 20 locations

Tent city campers prepare to leave Uplands Park

Vehicle access remains restricted at Cattle Point

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Most Read