Could tiny housing take the upper hand in Lower Hutt?

pexels-photo-268362

Proposed zoning changes in Lower Hutt present a giant opportunity for tiny housing.

The changes include allowing “minor dwellings” such as tiny houses to serve as infill housing on existing sites.

Lower Hutt’s growth over the last two years has resulted in an unprecedented demand for housing.

Mayor Ray Wallace has acknowledged a particular demand in Lower Hutt’s for one and two bedroom homes.

EKGO’s fast-build model can deliver this market.

With a ten-week build time, EKGO I-Pod tiny houses offer an immediate solution to Lower Hutt’s housing shortage.

Built at EKGO’s Manawatu factory and delivered to you ready to move in.

EKGO’s I-Pod’s save you the hassle of resource consent and the inconvenience of living next door to a building site.

Placing an EKGO I-Pod on your existing property invites extra income as a rental property.

Alternately, rent land in Lower Hutt and live in your brand new EKGO I-Pod.

EKGO’s I-Pod’s take up a sliver of land (7.2m by 3m) – much less space required than traditional infill housing also included in the proposal.

Traditional infill solutions proposed include terraced housing and three-story houses. Many Lower Hutt residents have expressed concern at these “eyesores” and “sun-blockers.”

The tiny nature of EKGO’s I-Pods means they will not obstruct sun or views – in fact, their design fits right into landscape.

Looking forward: the numbers

EKGO provides modular and pre-fabricated tiny housing solutions throughout New Zealand.

New Zealand’s current housing crisis is multi-faceted with wide-reaching effects:

  • Housing demand for outweighs supply.
  • New Zealand’s building industry has not caught up – a shortfall of 9000 new homes were consented in the year ending July 2017.
  • Foreign speculators snapping up existing New Zealand properties adds to demand – of course they want a slice of paradise.

But with one third of New Zealanders renting and 40,000 New Zealanders homeless (approximately 1% of the population), emphasis must shift to providing homes for New Zealanders.

EKGO I-Pod tiny houses are high-end, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly.pod_V4.2
Measuring 3.1m x 7.2m, EKGO I-Pods slot into a variety of landscapes, providing high quality options for urban locations.

Tiny house villages are popping up around the world.

New Zealanders are getting excited about potential tiny house communities, and more recently, Christchurch’s vision to create a Red Zone Tiny House Village.

EKGO I-Pods have great potential as social housing.

A major election issue, the Labour Government has promised $100 million to Housing New Zealand to build new houses for New Zealanders in the next year.

The average house build price is currently $350,000. With $100 million, a normal building company could build around 285 homes.

EKGO I-Pods start at $79,000. With $100 million, EKGO could build over 1200 new tiny homes – over four times as many! With government funds EKGO can save $30 million or make 3000 free houses.

The EKGO factory is currently equipped to build 20 I-Pods simultaneously with a 10 week build time. Producing on a large-scale would shorten build times and drop build costs by up to 30%, producing over 1800 new tiny homes.

Tiny homes provide a great opportunity for many New Zealanders:

  • 57% of households are made up of one or two people (2013 Census).
  • 70% of new housing demand calls for 1-2 bedroom places
  • Yet 70% of new homes have 4+ bedrooms (it’s easier to tack extra rooms onto a house already being built than it is to build two new houses)
  • EKGO’s I-Pods are two bedrooms – perfect for 57% of New Zealand’s households.

Not only do EKGO’s I-Pods offer a viable solution to New Zealand’s immediate housing shortage, they also align with New Zealand’s vision of a clean green landscape.

Panel finalI-Pods are built onsite at the EKGO factory in Manawatu and then transported to your desired location, reducing the environmental impact a traditional build would have.

Council consent guaranteed within 6 weeks for under $7,000. From Kaitaia to Bluff, councils nationwide are changing the rules to allow more tiny housing.

EKGO I-Pods offer off-the-grid options, such as solar panels, compostable waste management, and rainwater harvesting, invite New Zealanders to further reduce their environmental impact.

Investing in EKGO is investing in the environment, local business, and New Zealand’s future.

Protect New Zealanders. Protect New Zealand.

With EKGO and government support you can rent-to-own your own tiny home faster than you ever dreamed. Find out more here.

 

Steel in the spotlight: 3 reasons we build with steel

Steel – an iron alloy – has been used for thousands of years.

Traditionally associated with industrial buildings, structural steel is becoming increasingly popular in residential construction.

Steel cladding is the obvious choice for EKGO I-Pod tiny houses for three reasons:

  1. It’s strong

Steel takes its name from the Proto-Germanic stakhla meaning “that which stands firm.”

Unlike wood and other organic materials, steel is fire resistant and will not split, rot, or break.

Able to endure high winds, heavy rain and snow, and seismic activity, EKGO’s steel cladding is equipped to withstand New Zealand’s extreme weather.

While plasterboard wears away, steel cladding remains strong, easy to clean, and intact over time with little maintenance.

  1. It’s cheap

As well as saving on maintenance costs, building with steel saves on construction. 

Featuring a high strength-to-weight ratio, steel is both strong and light, aligning with EKGO’s philosophy of staying lightly.

Building with steel cuts down construction time and labour costs.

Its durability requires minimal maintenance, saving repairs and stress further down the track.

  1. It’s environmentally friendly

Steel and iron are the world’s most recycled materials.

  • 80 million tons of steel are recycled each year.
  • 42% of crude steel produced is recycled material.
  • 85% of construction steel is recovered from demolition.

Since any grade of steel can be recycled into top quality new steel, it can be repeatedly recycled as it does not diminish in quality when melted down.

However, there is an environmental impact associated with recycling steel, so it is important to prioritise reusing steel when possible.

EKGO sources its steel from New Zealand companies such as COLORSTEEL who have had an ongoing commitment to the environment for over 40 years.

 

EKGO I-Pods: Protecting you, protecting the environment.

EKGO I Pod Tiny Homes

Traditionally, a trip to the bach meant a break from technology –

Today’s the day! After packing up the family station wagon you’re finally off to the bach. Normally it takes four cassettes to get there but this time it’s five, since you had to go back for your sister’s togs.

cottage

Sighting the bach’s familiar green weatherboarding means the holiday has officially begun! You throw open the stuffy station wagon’s door and sprint towards the water. As soon as you’re underwater you forget the car stereo ate your mum’s tape before your tape’s turn and you’ve been listening to ABBA on repeat for two hours – you’re home.

The next day you change from PJs to togs. You don’t notice the sound of rain on the roof. Obviously, you go swimming in the rain, but you can’t dry off by sunbathing on the deck so you end up shivering inside. A shower won’t help since your sister used up the hot water (you didn’t want to shower this holiday anyway).

You spend the afternoon playing Monopoly with the family. As you’re about to win, your sister tips the board over. Secretly relieved, your parents go off to make dinner. You stare at the box television in the corner. You wanted to bring the VCR but your parents promised it wouldn’t rain…

EKGO’s I-Pods gives the traditional bach a tiny house technology makeover to provide the modern holiday experience. Since you won’t (or can’t!) leave your smartphone at home, make the most of your holiday with EKGO’s I-Pod Dashboard app.

Features include:

Metrics

EKGO’s off-the-grid technology makes use of all weather conditions.

The dashboard allows you to check solar and wind power collected and rainwater harvested.

Never worry about having a cold shower again!

Entertainment

Plug into your Netflix or Spotify account and listen on a Bluetooth speaker system.

Spend your days lounging on the deck listening to music and marvelling at the local scenery.

Weathermaster’s umbrellas and awnings encourage use of your outside spaces, rain or shine.

With over 50 years’ experience in blinds and awnings, kiwi-owned Weathermaster has you covered.

In the Area

Find out about local historical sights, nature walks, and upcoming events.

I-Pods are portable – if you’re sick of staying seaside, relocate to the river or forest and explore new flora and fauna.

Security

Protect your investment!

EKGO’s I-Pods come equipped with motion detectors to alert you of any suspicious activity.

Featuring security cameras, you can investigate suspicious activity from the livestream on your dashboard, or simply check up on your I-Pod if you’re missing home.

pod_V4.2
EKGO I-Pod concept art.

To learn more about EKGO’s I-Pod features or to get a quote, contact Graham on 0275526335.

Kiwis are going off-grid to tackle climate change

Despite what science-deniers say, our climate is changing. The burning of fossil fuels as our primary source of energy since the Industrial Revolution, is rapidly accelerating this process:

  • Burning fossil fuels releases CO₂ into the atmosphere.
  • Excess CO₂ (and other greenhouse gases) trapped in our atmosphere absorbs the suns energy.
  • The increase in greenhouse gases is causing Earth’s temperature to rise.
  • Earth’s rising temperature creates natural hazards such as rising sea levels and unpredictable storms.

high-water-123203_1920.jpg

We, as individual consumers, must choose sustainable living. Instead of relying on fossil fuels, we must invest in renewable energy.

Many eco-conscious New Zealander’s are choosing to live off-the-grid to reduce their carbon footprint. But these eco-kiwis spend years building up their off-the-grid homes, and not all of us are equipped to take on such a project.

We developed EKGO Pods to make sustainable, off-the-grid living more accessible. Founder Graham Bloxham has driven down the cost of solar, leaving us closer than ever to affordable and renewable energy sources. Add-ons to EKGO tiny homes include solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and compostable toilets. With a delivery time of ten weeks from order, you are mere months away from beginning your new off-the-grid lifestyle.

Contact the EKGO team on 0275526335 to start your new life as an eco-kiwi.

Hacking the Housing Industry

New Zealand has the fastest growing housing prices in the developed world.

First-time buyers, property developers and those looking to expand their property set are creating housing demand that supply can’t match.

With New Zealand’s current population growth, housing competition is fiercer than ever. With a shortfall of 9000 new homes consented in the year ending July 2017, the building industry is stalling.

Almost 70% of new demand for housing calls for 1-2 bedroom housing. So why do 70% of new homes have 4 (or more) bedrooms? Larger houses yield larger profits, and it’s easier to tack extra bedrooms onto the house you’re building than it is to build two houses.

In major cities 1-2 bedroom options are usually cramped apartments targeted at students, or penthouse suites designed for the wealthy. High prices and low quality pushes buyers out to the suburbs to find a decent place to live, leading to longer commutes, increased congestion and larger living costs.

The New Zealand housing industry is an overgrown landscape.

EKGO is here to hack the system and forge a new path in accommodation.

We specialise in low-cost, high-end “tiny house” accommodation.

  • The nationwide median house price is $500,000. EKGO Pods start at $79,000.
  • 10 weeks from order to complete your EKGO Pod.
  • Factory built to order – you are no longer managing timely council permits, negotiating with contractors or competing for the finite supply of housing.
  • EKGO Pods are portable, feature two bedrooms, and at 3.1m by 7.2m they need only a sliver of land, giving you the freedom to set up base almost anywhere.

Although you can’t be certain of the future of the housing industry, you can be certain of your future housing. If you can hack a better way of life, join the EKGO movement.

What the Building Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know

If you’ve been living under a rock lately, hold onto it tightly, since it’s cheaper than buying a house in New Zealand. And forget about building your own home – the recent boom in the housing market means the once blooming building industry is now wilting. Tradies are in short supply and high demand, driving up labour costs and waiting times.

Then there’s the bureaucratic nightmare of paying resource fees and waiting for building consent. With fewer building consents issued lately, who knows how long it could take to get your project off the ground?

The building industry is broken. But from within the cracks emerges a seed of hope – portable tiny homes.

EKGO is a budding company committed to providing you with the ultimate in luxury “tiny house” accommodation. With an emphasis on reducing environmental impact, EKGO pods combine big experience with small living, tailored to you, at an affordable rate.

EKGO pods are built at our Manawatu factory and delivered to you – all within 10 weeks of making your initial deposit.

EKGO Pods do not compromise on luxury. You can mod your pod in a variety of different ways, ensuring your new home has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Add on solar panels, wireless internet, a rainwater harvest system, a hot tub, and/or a compostable toilet and your pod is equipped for luxurious and sustainable off-the-grid living.

Building a house usually means paying and waiting for resource consent. You accept a construction site is a part of your life for the foreseeable future (depending on your chosen building company’s waiting time). Not anymore! The portable nature of EKGO Pods means building consent is not required.

EKGO is committed to environmental and ecological sustainability. We cull costs by using recyclable and renewable resources.

Our tiny homes provide you with a fresh alternative to the snares of the building industry.

We invite you to live cheaper, cleaner, and greener in your very own EKGO Pod.

Call our EKGO team on 0275526335 to find out more about EKGO including facts, stats, and benefits of ownership.

What the heck-o is EKGO? A Q&A

Questions and answers with Graham Bloxham, CEO and founder of EKGO tells us a bit about the seed of inspiration, growing EKGO, and the perks of pod ownership.

What is EKGO?
EKGO is a budding company committed to providing you with the ultimate in luxury “tiny house” accommodation. With an emphasis on reducing environmental impact, EKGO pods combine big experience with small living, tailored to you, at an affordable rate. EKGO pods are portable and off-the-grid, making it easier than ever before to live remotely in New Zealand.

But don’t you own a cooking entertainment company?
I do! I began Social Cooking 7 years ago. Our cooking experience provides a dynamic opportunity for our guests to improve their cooking skills, and our group events such as the MasterChef challenge have earnt us a special place in the corporate team building world. With the success of Social Cooking, I began considering new ventures. There has been an avalanche of interest in sustainable, off-the-grid, eco-living, and now here we are.

969967_509116325809793_736999373_nMaster Chef Graham cooking up a storm in the Social Cooking Kitchen.

What inspired you to start EKGO?
I was in Northland. Tucked behind a dusty, unmaintained track flowed a stunning swimming hole backing onto a winery. The sun glistened off the waterfall cascading down the rocks. Only a handful of people knew about this place. This is my oasis, I remember thinking to myself “I wish I could live here.” And then I thought “why can’t I?” I envisioned a small pod building nestled into the landscape. I dreamt of unplugging from my crazy life and taking time to enjoy and explore the landscape. I knew I couldn’t be the only one with this dream, and so they EKGO seed was planted.

Where do EKGO pods come from?
We build EKGO pods at our factory in the Manawatu and then deliver them to their new home, ready for you to move in or start renting out.

So, you won’t be building on my land?
Nope! Once the EKGO seed was planted, I cultivated my vision with months of research. I contacted architects, designers, the council, building supply companies, and banks, only to be met with frustration. I asked one company for a quote for a pod and he never responded. One architect I spoke to told me building consent could cost between $7K to $30K, and that was without their fees. The development of our Manawatu factory gives us the freedom to grow our pods so you don’t have to worry about paying resource fees only to wait six months for consent. We take care of all of that for you, leaving you with a pod ready for your chosen landscape. The EKGO pod shopping experience is akin to buying a new car. Once you purchase it it’s yours to do whatever you want with.

What makes EKGO pods special?
EKGO pods are designed to exist within your chosen landscape. Since we build them at our Manawatu factory and deliver them to you, you don’t have to worry about the environmental impact of a construction site. EKGO pods are made of a low-cost, high-quality, eco-friendly material and with options for solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system making off-the-grid living more accessible than ever before.

Where to now?
Off the grid, of course! We’re looking at growing a community of people to live in and operate in the tiny house network. With orders coming in, our factory is working hard to build and deliver the first of our off-the-grid habitats, hoping to spread out to 500 EKGO pods over the next 3 years.

500?
500! You can tuck an EKGO pod away in your favourite hidden spot (the Northland swimming hole is taken). Or you could put it on the edge of a tourist hot spot, rent it out, and cash in on New Zealand’s blooming tourism industry. Or instead of building onto your house, you could plant a pod in your backyard and use it as extra housing. Your pod, your call.

How much are they?
$89,000. For around the same price as a mid-quality car, you will get a fully pimped pod equipped with solar panels, water tanks to harvest rainwater, and a gas system attached to a high-quality shower, with delivery and installation included. It’s like a portable hotel room, waiting for you to move in and add your toys.

What do you mean by “pimped?”
Though EKGO pods start as a “blank canvas,” so to speak, you have the option to mod your pod. Add on solar, gas, a compostable toilet, water harvesting, or buy it blank and rent it out. My pod is going to have a designer Andrew Cassels barbecue and a portable cocktail bar that I can roll out onto the deck, all while listening to my kick ass Bluetooth sound system. If you can dream it we can do it. *

*Probably.

Can they be rented out?
Of course! EKGO pods are an excellent investment. Live in it, rent it out, or rent it out while you’re not using it! Ask me and I’ll send you a sheet detailing the amazing investment return potential!

1498998_10152020800866511_6768830136017668813_oGraham in his natural environment.

For questions of your own, contact Graham at gbloxham@gmail.com or on 0275526335.

cropped-ekgo-logo-white1.jpg

 

 

Peace in a Pod

As we move into the future it is more important than ever to invest in environmentally and economically sound ventures. With the ongoing costs associated with rent or rates, as well as power and water, it would almost be foolish not to invest in sustainable accommodation.

At EKGO we specialise in “tiny house” portable accommodation investments. Our units, known as pods, equip you to live off the grid in style, going as far as providing the opportunity to live in New Zealand’s most secluded spaces.

As an eco-conscious company, our pods are designed to harvest sun and water, featuring solar panels and a rainwater collection system. Imagine not being a slave to the utility companies, but instead beginning an independent lifestyle while reducing your carbon footprint.

EKGO pods begin life as a blank canvas, high quality tiny house. Unless you’re very lucky, whoever designed your house was probably not thinking about you, however our pods are fully customised to you. Available in two sizes – mini and micro – our pods provide everything you need and nothing you don’t. How about a deck for barbecuing and outdoor lounging? Or a garden plot enriched by your pod’s compostable toilet (ensuring nothing goes to waste)?

EKGO founder and CEO Graham Bloxham’s pod is going to have a wood fired spa, cocktail bar, home weather station and Bluetooth surround sound system, along with a portable solar backpack for exploring his pod’s surroundings.
Once we mod your pod, we deliver it you at its new home, almost anywhere in New Zealand. This saves you the hassle of organising building permits, dealing with a construction site, and minimises potential damage to your chosen location – we take care of the complete process.

Nelson

SOAK UP SOME ENERGY IN THE NELSON SUN.

EKGO pods suit a variety of needs, including:

  • Eco farm B&Bs – take advantage of this huge growing tourism market.
  • City crash pads – enjoy crazy high income each night from city travellers.
  • Infill housing – pop a pod in your back yard – for family, staff, or long-term

Unplug yourself from the stresses of the conventional city lifestyle, regardless of whether you decide to go off grid in your chosen city, soak up the sun on the coast, or relocate to one of New Zealand’s many picturesque farm locations.

Weathertop

Who knows? Maybe the hobbits would have had better luck at Weathertop if they’d had suitable accommodation.

Rest easy knowing that your pod is environmentally sound without compromising on style and luxury. EKGO believes in preserving our country for future generations to enjoy.
Invest in your future.

Paw print

Stay lightly – EKGO Pods. 


EKGO Pod stats and ROI

Pods costs: $79,000 + GST

Includes mod pod design, building, transport, installation.

Ready to take bookings. Allow 10 weeks from deposit.


3 Easy Ways to Own Your Own EKGO Pod

  1. Own outright and locate on your own land for family, staff or year-round rental.
  2. Best of both worlds ­– income, investment + a kick ass holiday stay. Share holidays. Share ownership. Split a pod between friends and enjoy income as well as 21 nights between your group.
  3. Tourism hot spot pod – buy and locate on the edge of a tourist hot spot, reap year-round income, with profits growing during peak season.