Carpentry students using green technology to build house in Otaki this year

Press Release – Wellington Institute of Technology
Wellington Institute of Technology carpentry students are set to gain some of the latest skills and knowledge in environmentally conscious building practices, when they begin work on a high rating energy efficient home in Otaki this year.

WelTec have formed a partnership with Little Greenie Building Education and the Otaki Clean Technology Centre in the Kāpiti Coast. Students on the National Certificate of Carpentry course in Otaki will complete a re-locatable Little Greenie-hybrid three-bedroom house, which will be sold at auction at the end of the course which starts in March.

The latest Little Greenie is also being supported by the Kapiti Coast District Council, and Mayor Jenny Rowan says she is delighted to be involved. “It will deliver a range of educational opportunities to promote better building techniques and ultimately increase employment and business growth in Kāpiti,” says Ms Rowan.

WelTec’s Head of Construction Neil McDonald says the Government has given WelTec additional funding for trade programmes. “This means more students will be able to study all facets of construction at WelTec like carpentry, plumbing and gas-fitting, painting, decorating, brick and blocklaying, tiling and paving.”

The original Little Greenie house, which only costs about $50 a year to heat, was completed in Golden Bay in 2009 and became New Zealand’s highest rated energy efficient home, scoring a nine out of 10 on the Home Energy Rating Scheme Scale (HERS). Its developer and builder, and a member of the Little Greenie Building Education, Lawrence McIntyre says he will be on-site to provide planning and support to students and staff at important times in the project.

“Good on WelTec for being the first polytechnic to take the initiative with this project,” says Mr McIntyre who explains that he developed the original Little Greenie after being inspired by overseas housing construction where new houses are built to be more passive in ways of energy demands.

Dr Finlay of CleanTech Trust says the project shows the level and quality of collaborations that are developing in the Clean Technology Park. “We are looking forward to seeing how the Trust can support both employment and educational opportunities, not to mention the commercial prospects that come from this and other such collaborations,” Dr Finlay says.

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