Builders invited to EKOKIT accreditation courses in Christchurch

News /
15 May 2016

Ebode, New Zealand’s leading sustainable housing company, is holding two free half-day training workshops for Canterbury based tradespeople who are keen to rebuild in a more sustainable way after the earthquake.

The workshops, on Wednesday, 10 November, are aimed at teams of licensed builders, plumbers and electricians who usually work together, although individual tradespeople are also welcome.

The training is focused on EKOKIT, a range of cost-effective and flexible sustainable homes developed by ebode and its partner – Nelson-based Hybrid Homes – which are proving popular in the South Island and generated a lot of interest at the Canterbury Home Show held recently.

Niel de Jong, ebode Director of Design, says every EKOKIT features passive solar design which focuses on the occupants’ comfort and health, and energy and water efficiency. The major components of EKOKIT are prefabricated and delivered in a container, but EKOKIT is not a kitset – an online project management system and ongoing support is included, and EKOKIT homes must be built by a licensed building practitioner who has completed the EKOKIT training.

“The Canterbury earthquake has created an opportunity to rebuild a large number of homes in a more sustainable way, and we are offering this training in order to quickly build up a base of approved tradespeople who are ready to build EKOKIT homes. While there is normally a charge of $200 per person for the training, ebode is putting on these sessions for free in the Canterbury region in order to contribute to the rebuilding effort and promote sustainable redevelopment.

“With the large number of people having to entirely rebuild their homes, there is a danger that the focus will be on getting something up quickly, rather than improving how the house will perform in the future,” said Niel de Jong.

“By offering this training at no charge, we hope to provide an option to homeowners who are planning to rebuild that is both sustainable and can be done in a timely manner.”

“Sustainability is our fundamental underlying principle, and the course ensures the tradespeople working on EKOKIT homes have the required understanding of sustainable building, including construction practices and site waste minimisation,” said Niel de Jong.

He says EKOKIT designs are based on passive solar principles, are thermally and water efficient and incorporate safe, healthy building materials to a level which mostly exceed current New Zealand building standards.

“All of the materials in EKOKIT homes are sourced locally where possible, and have been chosen because they are considered safe to live with, produce and dispose of,” said Niel de Jong.

These include: naturally durable Douglas fir framing; insulation in walls and ceilings made from natural recycled wool; Weathertex cladding made from sustainably grown Australian hardwoods, with no glues, resins or formaldehydes used in the production process; Eco edge skirtings and architraves and EO board cabinetry, which emit less than 0.5mg/L of formaldehyde – much less than traditional MDF and similar to some natural timbers; and Coloursteel roofing, fascias and spoutings.

To reserve a place on one of the courses, which run from 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm on Wednesday 10 November, please call 0800 4 EKOKIT (0800 435 654). The venue and further details will be provided on registration.

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