There’s several viable options to consider when building your new energy efficient home but how do you know which will have the best outcome for you, and do you need to go new?!

Knock Down & Rebuild

A knock down & rebuild is generally more suited to New Zealand’s higher density areas and a great idea if you have healthy budget. If you just adore your location and can’t bare to move, this type of project can be perfect and not to mention pretty exciting.


You’ve now got an opportunity to redesign everything you don’t like about your current home and start afresh. You can build greener while adding in sustainable, energy efficient touches to save on running costs and live in warmer, drier and healthier surroundings! What’s not to like? You don’t have to move from your favourite scenery, or change local shopping centres, hairdressers or schools.

If you love your view nothing will change and you’ve got a brand spanking new home to dwell in. If you build with a home building company that gives you a fixed price you have more certainty for your budget. The largest  efficiency gain is that your home will be at, or over the building code with better insulation overall and a wiser choice of windows and foundation making your new home so much more comfortable.

Green Homes NZ incorporates perimeter edge insulation into slabs to substantially reduce heat loss

Had a zoning change? The Auckland Unitary Plan may usher in more opportunity for you with more site coverage and better resale returns down the line.  Our building experts in our Green homes NZ Auckland office can assist with your decision and help you to fully realise the potential of your section. The Unitary Plan gives you the freedom to utilise more  land and build even bigger.

By building new, you can make better use of your section without having to compromise on design and layout. Build around your needs whether it’s a disability or a growing family. Get that gourmet chef’s scullery, the walk in robe, a large alfresco area you always wanted or that private wing away from the kids!


If you’re building on the same site the world is now your oyster however you’ll need to  most likely arrange a year’s accommodation or perhaps even live on a caravan on the property which is the least desirable option, or perhaps that is at the Mother in law’s! Jokes aside most people will need to arrange a rental so just be prepared emotionally or financially to stomach any potential inconvenience while your build progresses.

Subdivide/Infill Project

Another option is to subdivide if you have the luxury of a large enough section in which to do so.

One of our Auckland clients have built on a subdivided section where 3 properties will be constructed


Subdividing is a great way to make use of underutilised land that may be just growing weeds. This is also another opportunity for you to downsize without changing your location. If done right it can give you an extra cash injection – sell the land, or build on it and use as a rental, or sell your existing home and move in to it a brand new healthier, warmer one!


Subdividing can be expensive depending  on the location of your property, subdivision size and council and engineering requirements. You’ll need to pay for resource consent planning, engineering design and construction, legal survey and council compliance. Aside from consultant fees put some funds away for council fees, Land Information New Zealand fees and Solicitor fees.

While the long-term benefits could more than negate this, subdividing will  most likely reduce the sale price of your existing home.


Eco homes are best built new however you can still renovate and alter layout to boost energy efficiency more. You’ll use less building materials renovating than building new, so it’s a green way to go – modernise an older home retaining your preferred location.


You can liven up your home on a small budget just tending to superficial matters to make your home a bit more contemporary and update your decor.  It’s often a good option if you’re not ready yet to build new or change locations. It’s not too inconvenient to totally revamp your home, it’s usually doable and quite bearable to live in if you work room by room. You don’t need to seek an alternate place to stay like you do with a Knock Down & Rebuild.


Most home renovators under-budget for the project at hand and you run the risk of opening a can of worms, layer by layer, leaky or creaky? Renos and reclads sometimes end up the same as building new and you often don’t reap the same rewards you get with a new home despite adding in all of the modern comforts. There is more financial risk, so do your due diligence to avoid any unforeseen issues like plumbing and wiring problems, weak foundations or even the possibility of asbestos to remove. Your existing structure can bring with it some limitations particularly for size and layout.

Blow your budget half way through the project and you’re a bit… well buggered, often with a half finished home which will annoy you daily!

House & Land package


It’s super easy to choose a home and site combo where all of the thinking and planning  has been done for you. You still have some creative freedom with the design if you really want to make some tweaks and you can personalise the home with your preferred decor and landscaping. House & Land packages are usually in great subdivisions and are superb value. If you build new you’ll also be surrounded by modern homes of a similar age. In subdivisions there are often plenty of amenities and areas for activity such as tennis, basketball, sports grounds with ample parks nearby. They’re often also well placed to shopping centres and other community services.


Some people feel House & Land packages can be a  bit ‘cookie cutter’ however a good builder will have a range of designs, rooflines and cladding options to choose from,  to customise your home even more. The trees and plants in subdivisions can take a while to mature but the  tidy, well kept look often outweighs that established semi-unkempt appearance.

Get professional advice

Building an eco house? Take into account the stage of the property buying cycle you are in, what you have to spend and what’s most important to you with your home and location.

Talk to the experts at Green Homes New Zealand first to weigh up your options for your particular needs, preferences, budget and location.

Our teams work in-house so there’s no obligation when you discuss your ideas with one of our architects. If you want to do an infill project in Auckland or a house and land package in the Coromandel, Taranaki, Canterbury or Queenstown we can help!