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Turbo-charged eco-house goes on the market for sale

Tags: Canterbury Residential

One of New Zealand’s most energy efficient homes has been placed on the market for sale.

The home is located at Burke’s Pass, midway between the townships of Fairlie and Tekapo in the South Island, and is designed to be fully self-sufficient for its electrical supply – operating independent of the national grid.

Ten solar panels are installed close by, on the ridge behind the house – generating electricity stored in 24 state-of-the-art gel batteries. Further roof-mounted solar panels are filled with anti-freeze gel which travels through copper piping to provide for the home’s hot water requirements.

And when clouds block the sunlight, the batteries provide three days’ power, and for long winter storms there is a generator available.  Water heating is supported by a wood-burner in the lounge, which also provides for the central heating. Wood for stoking up the fire comes from sustainable regenerating plantings on the seven hectare property.

The energy-neutral three-bedroom home, named Taryn, is being marketed for sale by Bayleys Timaru – with offers being taken up until May 11. Bayleys Timaru salesperson Sue Morton said that in addition to the main homestead, a separate 4-bedroom cottage is also up for sale.

Ms Morton said potential purchasers had the option of buying either dwelling individually, or buying both together.

“Consumers will diligently check the fuel consumption of a vehicle when they’re on the car yard, or the energy efficiency rating of a washing machine when they’re in the department store looking to buy appliances. Taryn is simply the ultimate version, at the pinnacle of finding a cost-effective dwelling,” Ms Morton said.

“After years of being at the mercy of steady power price rises – not to mention living in an area that experience regular weather-related power outages – the owners were keen to build a home that was not only self-sufficient energy-wise, but that was also comfortable, warm and reliable.

“Taryn is also cost-neutral in another field. Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in a 30,000 litre tank before it is filtered through an ultraviolet treatment unit and pumped into the house. LED lighting is installed throughout the homes – including in the range hood above the stove and motion-sensitive external lighting at the rear of the home.


“Of course all windows are double glazed to keep the interior cool in summer and warm in winter. Radiators throughout the home ensure every room is warm and cozy, and the whole home is built to the latest standard demanded of a high-country home.

“With all the power-generating and energy-efficiency systems in place, the home saves at least $2500 annually in electricity and fuel costs.”

Ms Morton said the property is connected to the local efficient small sewage system.

The name Taryn has a widely varying range of translations. In the Irish-Gaelic tongue it means “rocky hill.” In Norse-Celtic, it means “thunder”. In Latin it means “of the earth”. In Greco-Roman, Taryn means ‘queen”. In Russian, the name means “frozen”. In old English, it means “tower”.  In Welsh, Taryn means “far to go”.  In Scandinavian it means “little princess”. While in Hebrew, the name means “wild goat”.

“With two adjoining properties, there is the potential for a new buyer to live in either and use the other as a commercial accommodation business with a ready-made environmentally-friendly marketing hook to it,” Ms Morton said. “Both homes have been used as tourist accommodation, with good success.  There is big demand for accommodation in this area, with Tekapo’s International Dark Sky Reserve attracting many overseas tourists, not to mention the skiing, fishing and boating on offer in the Canterbury high country.”

Additional building infrastructure on the property includes a three-bay covered equipment and machinery storage barn. In an unusual move, many appliances are included in the sale. The cottage is for sale complete as tourist rental accommodation - appliances, crockery, television, etc, right down to the facecloths. The off-grid house includes appliances that were purchased specific to the design - fridge/freezer, television, microwave and dishwasher.


For further information on Taryn eco-house, images of the dwelling, and technical specifications, contact Sue Morton. Phone 03 687 1227.

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