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

Three Sooke firefighters sent to Interior

Three local firefighters answer the call to help to fight wildfires. Sooke… Continue reading

Metchosin construction site closed for police investigation

Closure believed to be linked to something found at DND site

LETTERS: Shots at my cat concerning

He is my pal, friend and buddy, so when someone shoots him… Continue reading

T’sou-ke Nation project nearing completion

Rick Stiebel Sooke News Mirror The end of the long wait for… Continue reading

New 84-unit seniors housing in Saanich constructed to Built Green standards

Mount Doug Manor an example of Built Green on a big scale

Happy birthday Boler: An anniversary gathering of the cutest campers in Winnipeg

Hundreds of the unique trailers in Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba invention

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Woodpecker goes out with a bang, starts grassfire in B.C.

Untimely death of woodpecker causes power outage in Cawston

Communities on evacuation alert in many areas of B.C. as wildfires flare

Warning was issued for 583-square-kilometre blaze that has charred Fraser Lake to Fort St. James

Kelowna’s crying judge refuses to pull herself from case

Judge Monica McParland won’t pull herself off of case.

Complaint coming about cattle prod use at B.C. rodeo

Fair reps investigate after Vancouver Humane Society pics show shocking device at bullriding event

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Publication ban lifted on details about Fredericton shooting that killed 4

Judge lifts publication ban on court documents related to the Fredericton shooting

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Most Read