Business South January 2024

110 | Basham Building BUILDING 10-star rated home a first Boutique Nelson building company Basham Building has now built Nelson’s very first Certified Passive House. T T Kelly Deeks Aiming to build the warmest, healthiest, and least energy consuming homes in the world, boutique Nelson building company Basham Building has now built Nelson’s very first Certified Passive House and 10-Star Homestar rated home. Lenny Basham has built homes in three continents and it was while renovating a ski chalet in the French Alps that he was introduced to the Passive House concept. “It was a while ago, so it was a primitive Passive House, but it was practically space age compared to what we were doing in New Zealand,” he says. “No one here was taking about airtightness or condensation and it just got me thinking – if people can build warm and comfortable homes in America, Great Britain, and Europe, why can’t we build them in New Zealand as well?” Finding out more was a journey in itself. No one locally had any idea what Passive House standards were, and the concept was foreign to the majority of people. Lenny was determined to start building the ultimate in comfort, looks, and energy performance, so he started going to Passive House conferences, meeting inspiring industry leaders, and eventually receiving German qualifications as a Certified Passive House tradesman. “We can build a house that produces more energy than it consumes. It’s a no brainer.” Luckily in Nelson, with the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand, temperatures rarely drop to the levels experienced in the French Alps, or even Queenstown for that matter. The biggest issue in the Nelson region is keeping a home cool in the summer. Multi million dollar homes at Tāhunanui can be seen on summer days with their blinds closed to the view on one side and the windows open on the other, as the residents inside swelter thanks to inefficient window joinery solutions. “They’re living in multi million dollar homes yet no one has invested in good quality windows and doors. At Basham Building, we believe in doing it once and doing it right. We aim for the highest level of detail and workmanship while keeping the budget under control.” Lenny says the great thing about a Passive House is it can be built in the darkest, shadiest, coldest gully in New Zealand and because of the energy modelling that happens before it gets built, it will still perform at 21°C all year round. “It’s just applying a bit of science and adding quality components. Your energy bills will reduce more than what you’ve spent on extra insulation and better windows and doors and a ventilation system.” With the cost of turning a standard home into a Certified Passive House around the $80,000 mark, Lenny isn’t saying it’s a bargain, but it could be considered instead of that new ute or boat. “Some people spend $80,000 on their kitchen. Maybe instead of a $30,000 benchtop you get a $10,000 one instead, and you’re getting closer.” Basham Building’s new show home, due for completion this coming April, is a demonstration of Passive House on a budget, with extra insulation, high quality windows and doors, and a mechanical ventilation system. “I’m hoping it’s going to be a real driver for the local market. People in Nelson can come and see, feel, and hear how this house performs, and fully understand what it means to have a home built to the highest worldwide performance standard.” Certified Plumber for all your plumbing needs. Proudly supporting Basham Building 021 431 945