“Tesla of Eco-Villages” being built in Europe

An Off-Grid Community Producing its Own Food, Water and Electricity

The world’s first off-grid village, capable of producing its own energy, water and food, is set to be erected in Almere, the Netherlands, as early as this summer. ReGen Villages, in partnership with Danish architecture firm Effekt, will help address a number of the world’s pressing issues; the rising population, climate change and limited resources.

By 2050, nearly 10 billion people will live on Earth. As a result, regenerative housing and community development that can provide clean water, healthy food sources, waste removal and scarce arable land will be needed, in order to sustain the human population.

“We’re really looking at a global scale,” says ReGen CEO, James Ehrlich, referring to it as the ‘Tesla of eco-villages’.

Living Sustainably

The off-grid villages will feature a number of greenhouses that would allow residents to grow food and recycle waste. Some of the greenhouses will feature high-tech vertical farms and indoor vegetable gardens. A number of outdoor seasonal gardens will also be integrated into the village.

Greenhouses for growing food and recycling wasteA number of greenhouses allow residents to grow food and recycle waste.

Resident waste will be recycled and used to feed livestock and soldier flies – a sustainable source of food for the fish – while the fish waste will be used to fertilize an aquaculture system, which in turn feeds the indoor garden plants. Finally, livestock waste will fertilize the outdoor seasonal gardens. Ehrlich says:

We are redefining residential real-estate development by creating these regenerative neighbourhoods, looking at first these greenfield pieces of farmland where we can produce more organic food, more clean water, more clean energy, and mitigate more waste than if we just left that land to grow organic food or do permaculture there.

Read the Full Article here

Designed for life: re-inventing apartment living – the Nightingale Model

On Radio NZ 9 May 2017

Nightingale Housing was formed by a group of leading Australian architects to build quality apartments with shared facilities – at prices that don’t cost the earth. Could the model work in New Zealand?

Read another article on our site about Nightingale here

Listen to Radio NZ interview here  

The Commons, a precursor to the Nightingale apartment projects, is built and occupied. It showed the Melbourne financial model works

Visit some Christchurch Superhomes

Have you dreamt of living in a warm home that doesn’t cost you a cent for electricity?

During May you will be able to get an idea of what it would be like to live in such a home when the owners of 10 of Christchurch’s greenest houses throw their doors open to the public.

The homes, which incorporate features such as solar powered central heating, grey water recycling and fibre glass windows, are being showcased as part of a free Exemplar Homes Tour organised by the Superhome Movement, in partnership with the Christchurch City Council.

“Many people building or renovating want to build to a higher design and performance standard than legally required because they want warm, energy efficient homes but often they’re uncertain about what products are out there or where to start,’’ says Tony Moore, the Council’s Principal Sustainability Advisor.

“The aim of the Exemplar Homes Tour is to allow people to see first-hand how sustainable, energy efficient design can be incorporated into a build without compromising on style or costing too much. At each home people will be able to speak to the designers or builders and get ideas for how they could create their own superhome,’’ Mr Moore said.

Homes featured in the free self-guided tour include:

  • A luxurious high performance home in Riccarton that was built in only three days using off-site and Passive House building methods.
  • An ultra-low energy beachside home in New Brighton that has heat recovery ventilation, grey water recycling, fibre glass windows and an insulated heated floor.
  • A Sumner home that has zero power bills, rain water collection, passive solar design and energy efficient appliances, walls, windows and foundations.
  • A central city townhouse that has an innovative low-impact foundation system and showcases all aspects of modern, sustainable energy efficient design.

People can tour the homes every weekend in May between 11am and 4pm.
See a map of the homes here

VIVA AGM Monday 27 June

Viva Networking meeting and short AGM
Focus on Building Costs

5.30-7.30  Monday 27 June 2016
Pegasus Arms,14 Oxford Terrace
(hospital end) Access off Tuam St or Oxford Tce (map)
RSVP to Jane Quigley (

Housing Affordability

Our huge building costs are making housing unaffordable to many New Zealanders. Over the next few months we will explore why this is and the alternatives.                                  

Park HomesAt our AGM we will have an informal discussion on ParkHomes, (www.ParkHomes.co.nz), with creator Paul Hennessey. Paul has designed an innovative way to deal with TC3 land creating a warm, well insulated, compact home that does not cost the earth

Bring your $20 VIva Subscription   (or click here to pay online)

For your reference:

The Viva! Project
Our vision: “Creating Vibrant Urban Villages, Innovative and Inspiring Examples of Sustainable Design and Connected Community”


Exemplar Homes Self Guided tour in May

11 CHURCH SQUARESeven of Christchurch’s most innovative & sustainable homes will be opened to the public in May to show you leading edge building options.

The FREE Exemplar Homes Tour will allow people to see inside a selection of homes built to showcase sustainable and affordable design.

  • 11 Church Square, Addington
  • 9 Church Square, Addington
  • 94 Hills Rd, Edgeware
  • 94 Westminster St, St Albans
  • 24 Fovant Street, Russley
  • 508 Manchester Street
  • 67 Te Rito St, Prestons

Tour runs every weekend in May.
No need to register;
visit in any order you like
11am – 4pm Saturdays and Sundays 7 – 29 May


We want people to experience these homes for themselves, see the technologies at work and help them to understand that it is possible to build better quality homes at little or no additional cost,” said Christchurch City Council Principal Advisor – Sustainability Tony Moore.  “If people are thinking about building new homes we want them to be making informed choices and building healthy, sustainable homes. A visit to these seven exemplar homes will help inspire them