The Living House

Some months ago, Equus Industries was approached by Rochelle Payne (referred to us by Phil smith of CASA architects) who wanted to discuss waterproofing, tanking, insulated and green roof options for her, and husband Joel’s, new house at Beachlands in East Auckland.

Rochelle is project managing the build, known as “The Living House”, and is hoping it will become the first Living Building Challenge certified residential building in New Zealand. The Living House is targeting a 10 Homestar-Built Rating, as well as Passive House certification, ultimately gaining the Living Building Challenge Certification.

All this entails stringent and demanding criteria. Building materials and products need to be Red List compliant and be free of chemicals and other harmful substances, recycled and salvaged materials need to be used, it needs to be energy efficient and the list goes on…..

As Equus Industries has been involved in a Living Challenge project, the now well known Te Wharehou O Tuhoe project, Rochelle thought we would be the right people to talk to.

Having specified a tanking system (using the De Boer Debobase 3.5 Special membrane) with waterstops, and an insulated green roof (for a roof garden) we at Equus Industries then had to ensure that all the products specified were Red List compliant. As a result, manufacturer statements were sought from our overseas suppliers De Boer (bitumen membranes) and Schomburg (waterstops and crystalline waterproofing), so that Rochelle could be sure the products being used to tank her basement would allow her to achieve the requirements of a Living Challenge build.

After a rocky start and a wet basement hole, things began to happen and one of Equus’ certified applicators (CCR Waterproofing Ltd) got to work tanking the underslab and the pile caps before the concrete pour. See photos below.

To date, the block walls of the basement structure are up and the below-slab tanking is now being joined onto the retaining wall membrane – ultimately achieving a complete waterproof envelope. The warm and green roof components will he happening at a later stage, with the Equus Duotherm system chosen as the preferred option……