We choose Custom Kit/Eco Span barns as their specialty is timber/portal barns. The timber used is pine from regenerating forests and has many eco advantages over tin. It is painted utilising Resene Cool Colour technology which assists to reflect the heat. The pergolas are made from locally milled Macrocapa which is un treated.
We have positioned the buildings in such a way to allow natural light (sun) to provide heating during winter and also to provide a large north facing roof for solar. Majority of joinery is double glazed. We also encourage staff to open windows during summer and create cool air flow.
The café/shop has extensive bi fold doors and louvres to control airflow. Better airflow = less air con & heat pump use = less power.
Powered by the Sun
On the north facing side of the roof is a large hybrid solar panel system supplied by Vector. This feeds power into a large lithium battery box which then provides power to all buildings.
Since commissioning in February this year we are VERY pleased to report we have saved 80 % on past power bills compared to past concrete bunker in East Tamaki.
Over 90 % of bulbs used are either LED or energy efficient bulbs. We also specified a large amount of natural skylights in warehouse where by no powered lights are required to be turned on during the day.
Septic Worm Farm
One of our most unique sustainable features on the property is an award winning septic worm system called Biolytix. This is a very smart, energy-wise design that works with nature not against it. At the rear of the building we have three special “BioPod” chambers which are “ecosystems in a tank". They simply use worms and other organisms to efficiently convert household & cafe sewage into garden water. This is transferred to plants throughout the property via an underground irrigation net work. The system uses 90 % less energy than other aerated septics, no harmful chemicals and is odourless.
Water (Rain Harvesting)
All our water is from rain which falls on the roofs and then flows underground to our 3 x 30,000 litre tanks. These have been placed under trees in the shade to keep fresh & cool. The water is then treated to remove any possible harmful bacteria with UV light and filter system. (Any surplus water goes into the pond for irrigation).
Majority of all food scraps generated by café will be placed in our special compost bins which are also active worm farms that process this waste into rich nutrients. These are put on all our herb gardens which is why they do so well!
Hanging Wall Gardens
We wish to show those from urban concrete spaces with limited area that it is possible to grow your greens at home with these great wall gardens. Ours is in fact partially irrigated by surplus water from our energy efficient heat pump on the other side of the wall.
We have used “Eco Fleece” to insulate in the house, café, offices. This is a special natural wool with exceptional thermal properties.
All card board boxes are flattened and placed in recycle bin out side. All unwanted paper is shredded in our DIY shredder in the warehouse and used to protect fragile goods being sent out. All glass and plastic bottles are placed in recycle bins.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Over 80 % of appliances have an energy saving switch off mode which are activated.
Bee Friendly Plants
We are of course a very bee friendly company, without them we would not be here! We have extensively planted bee friendly flowering New Zealand native trees around the property including Kowhai, Pohutukawa, Karo and also lots of Lavender & Manuka which is great for our bees and the distillery where we extract botanical oils.
Seaweed Irrigation System
All our “edible” herb and vege gardens are irrigated from a natural spring which go via large tanks filled with nutrient rich seaweed we have collected from local beaches. The results are amazing!
Kids…..Trees for Bees
To help our bee population & the environment we encourage kids to plant a Manuka seed at the “potting table” outside and put their name on the ice block stick . These will be planted 12 months later either here or in surrounding reserves. This might just be their first green step!
Coastal Clean Up
Once a year we are arranging a fun day for anyone to come and assist all our team to collect rubbish in surrounding estuary’s & harbours. Can be by foot, surfboard, kayak, stand up paddle board. Keep an eye on our website for details.
Biolytix - BIO PODS
This award winning septic system is smart, energy-wise and works with nature not against it. The proven result - The BioPod - is an “ecosystem in a tank".
It uses worms and other organisms to efficiently convert household & cafe waste water into garden irrigation water which is transferred to plants throughout the property.
It doesn't smell or rely on chlorine dosing. Uses 90 % less energy than conventional systems. Is very quiet as it does not require large aerating pumps. Less maintenance. Requires no chemicals to process.
Allows us to utilise & irrigate plants with impressive results …even the locals are asking what we feed our plants and trees!
VECTOR HYBRID SOLAR SYSTEM
With such a large north facing roof we decided there was a great opportunity to install a state of the art solar system. Vector helped us out.
The power generated is transferred to a large cabinet inside where it is stored in large efficient lithium batteries. The business then draws power from the batteries. Should the battery level reach a set low point the “mains” power then provides. On the other hand if our batteries are 100 % full, any additional power gets transferred back to the main grid for which you receive a credit = makes us happy!
Vector actually monitor the system via the internet and at any time we can also see what power we are generating daily via our i-phone.
Since we switched to solar in February we have saved 80 % on power.
SEAWEED IRRIGATION SYSTEM
Many years ago we created a unique body care range called Seascape. Early on we came to understand and appreciate the benefits of Seaweed extract on our skin. It was through this early research and from collecting seaweed from Pakiri beach nearby we gained respect for how it can assist to fertilise our garden and seen wonderful results.
Today we collect storm washed seaweed from this beach and hang it on our no 8 wire fence. We wash the sand off with fresh spring water & rain and then leave to dry in the sun until hard and crisp.
It is then broken up and fed into a small garden chipper to become granules.
After this it is placed in 40 gallon drums filled with spring water for a period of 2 months and stirred occasionally.
Once this cycle is complete we connect drum via a hose to our irrigation system which feeds our raised herb gardens and many other botanicals being grown at Matakana Botanicals.