September 2018

And in happier and more exciting news at the start of September our new electric car arrived! Yay us..... it was a bit of sunshine on an otherwise rainy day at the start  of September. And boy is it fantastic to drive. We will never look back now........our petrol days are long behind us! (except for Joel's trucks for rammed earth work purposes!)

We also practiced our zero waste skills a little bit more.  Here are two things that we  in September one day that helped us achieve that goal.

1) We purchased our new vege garden seedlings from Awapuni Nurseries for the sole reason that they get sent wrapped in newspapers rather than in plastic pots! The newspaper went straight to the compost.

2) We reused our unasked for and unwanted Abodo Wood packaging as weed mat under the gravel that will be eventually a paved area outside the one bedroom apartment. While this packaging is recyclable it still consumes energy to transport it and recycle it.


So much better to reuse it on our site instead. We've also done the same with PlaceMakers wrapping and Autex Industries insulation bags. It is not the fault of these suppliers that they sent us packaging we didn't want as we didn't tell them that we were a zero waste site and didn't want any packaging with our products. Suppliers are not mind readers so if you want to reduce your construction waste you need to talk to them ahead of time and tell them you just want the raw products without packaging. Most will be super happy to help you put as it also saves them time and cost. It is one of things where everyone is a winner. We love those!

We' got some helpers in to help install our amazing HYNE Glulam Beams from NZ Wood products.

Not quite the Living House, but Living House adjacent. In terms of other things we like trying things out before we do them on the Living House this is the new biopholic sensory pathway that we have created at the House of Payne (in front of the Living House). It was inspired by the local kindy (Coastal Kids) and while it isn't quite finished yet, we think it is coming along nicely..... Lots of colours, shapes and textures. The glass is sea glass from local beaches, as are the shells and rocks. The sand and gravel is from the rammed earth walls as the timber is from the formwork.

Many months ago we answered a post on the Zero waste in NZ group about these LAMINEX samples that were being deleted by Laminex and heading for the bin from one retail store in NZ. We said don't bin them we will take them and do something with them. A couple of months ago we sorted them into their different colours and this weekend we started the process of doing something with them. With some help from Cavendish Carpets who answered a phone call from a damsel in distress by providing some scrap vinyl flooring, we have converted these tiles samples that were heading to landfill into wall tiles that  we put up on a basement wall as a homage to zero waste and the Living building challenge.

Then we managed to get enough of the HYNE timber beams in place, as well as the reinforcing steel to allow the concrete to be poured for the bond beam  of the one bedroom apartment. Progress finally!

At the same time that all of this was going on on site we were also getting our existing house (The House of Payne) painted by Fisher Painting Services using the incredible Graphenstone paints. The amazing blue texture in the below photo is called Stuki and you have to feel it to believe it. It is super smooth and is finished with beeswax and then polished!

All of the hard work on the building site was going on so we were ready to open the Living House building site (as well as the House of Payne) as a part of the Superhome Movement Auckland Tour Open Day (which was on Saturday September 29th). What an amazing day that was. We think around 150 - 200 people came through our existing house and the building site so they could learn about zero waste living and green building. An incredible turn out!

Next up for us is to get the final walls (East elevation) of the one bedroom apartment completed so we can get the roof on, windows in and then move into it in the early new year! Watch this space!

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