Business South October 2021

18 | DEVELOPMENT Ethos Homes Bushland Park - a unique community T T Kelly Deeks The Bushland Park development is sited on the rural fringe of Christchurch - between Port Hills Rural zone and CCC Parks and Reserves land. • Supply , fi x an d sto p o f plasterboard • Residentia l an d commercia l projects • Leve l 5 specialists • Bat t suppl y an d installation • Meta l ceilin g battens • Fre e quotes Proud to support Ethos Homes • Hiab hire • Hiab truck and trailer • Swinglift • Flat deck and trombone trailer transport services To book call: 0508 123 444 www.elevatet ranspor t T R A N S P O R T L O G I S T I C S T he future of living is coming to Christchurch: New Zealand’s first Passive House neighbourhood is now under construction in a beautiful rural location at Westmorland. Bushland Park is being developed by land - owner Ernst Frei in conjunction with specialist high-performance builder Ethos Homes, and there is nothing passive about their combined passion for this project. Ernst purchased the 18ha farm on Cash - mere Road in 1979 and set out planting the exposed property with many fast growing exotic trees. In 1982 he began converting the farm into a BioGro certified organic market garden, and the farm later became home to New Zealand’s first commercial organic poultry and free range egg producer. The farm now grazes sheep and cattle. For the past 20 years, Ernst has been re - placing exotic trees with extensive plantings of natives. This has inspired the name Bushland Park for this new community. “It’s not Mountain View Estate with not a mountain in sight,” Ernst says. “It’s not West - morland without a moor for miles. “I’ve been here for more than 40 years and I know I’ll eventually have to sell, everyone has to in the end. “I’ve planted tens of thousands of trees here and I didn’t want a developer to come in and tear it all down. I wanted to create a commu- nity with the best possible housing, and retain as much of this bush land as possible.” Ernst is more than happy to take care of the planting himself. He has also worked on the surrounds of the development, building a barbecue area, a playground, and a flying fox. He has installed stone paving and built park benches, a hopscotch, and a four square on the shared living road, as if he was doing it for his own family. But when it came to the housing, he wanted to call in the best he could find. He had heard Peter Bielski, owner of Ethos Homes, talk at a sustainable living event, and did his home - work before contacting Peter. “He called me saying ‘You don’t know me, but I know all about you’,” Peter says. “He told me about his vision and it totally resonated with our values.” So much so that Peter and his wife Amanda plan on living at Bushland Park with their four children. Peter learned his trade in Germany and feels the New Zealand Building Code is woe- fully inadequate. He started Ethos Homes to deliver an im- proved construction process and measurable thermal performance for his clients. Ethos Homes has already built five certified Passive House homes in Christchurch. Bush - land Park is unique in that all 11 homes are targeting Passive House Plus certification. “Getting certified is a guarantee for the owner that their house will perform to the ex - acting European standard for extreme energy efficiency,” Peter says. “The house will remain at a comfortable temperature all year round, using only tiny amounts of energy for heating and cooling. A certified Passive House also has amazing indoor air quality. It’s perfectly ventilated all the time, the air is fresh and filtered, and it’s beautifully quiet inside.” There are a range of section sizes from 386sqm to 539sqm, and four different house design typologies - the 144sqm, three-bed - room Rātā; the 153sqm, three-bedroom Kōwhai; the 180sqm, four-bedroom Tōtara, and the 206sqm, four or five-bedroom Kauri. All four designs have covered terraces and a large, multi-purpose loft. This was one of Ernst’s ideas, with usable attics being a feature of the Swiss homes he grew up in. For speed of construction and to minimise waste, Ethos Homes’ builders are prefabricat - ing panels in a large shed on site. With their experience and technical capability, it can take as little as 11 days to erect the walls, midfloor, and roof. As part of the serious environmental commitment underpinning this neighbour - hood, every home will have a 6.5kw array of solar panels on its roof, and there is an electric vehicle charger in every carport. Over the course of a year, each house is designed to generate as much energy as its occupants consume. Genuinely environmentally responsible products have been specified at every turn, such as local wool carpets, premium Terra Lana wool insulation, non-toxic durable timber cladding by Abodo, and top-quality paints from the Natural Paint Company. Even though Bushland Park is just nine km from the CBD, its rural character will always be preserved. It’s surrounded by land zoned rural and too steep to build on, Christchurch City Council reserves, and the Port Hills. Christchurch Adventure Park, Pioneer Stadi - um, Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub, and the ameni - ties of Halswell are all a short distance away. No native plants will be harmed during this development, and in fact Ernst has planted another 5000 natives in the 2021 planting season. “I’ve planted tens of thousands of trees here and I didn’t want a developer to come in and tear it all down. I wanted to create a community with the best possible housing, and retain as much of this bush land as possible.”