We were lucky enough to chat with Nest Homes founder Jock Davey about his unique, healthy home building business. Nest Homes came about from a conversation with his children about their frustrations as first home buyers struggling to get on the property ladder. Jock wanted to provide architectural, simple, affordable and healthy homes for first home buyers like his kids. His business hopes to create a lifestyle for like minded, bright, young individuals through building beautiful, long lasting & healthy homes that are an investment in the future of our children, and the planet. And with a few clients on Rangitahi, we were keen to get to know Nest and their ethos a little better.
Jock and his family have built an amazing business, this is probably one of our favourite interviews to date!
What is a Nest Home?
A Nest Home is the result of 35 years of frustration with building materials and systems, forcing the use of better simpler systems and materials, it’s design focused with a desire to provide something architectural (cool) yet still being affordable. A Nest Home is the combination of all of the above to create a healthy toxin free high performance home that is architectural, affordable and simple.
What distinguishes you from other design and build companies?
We have a desire to provide some cool & different design ideas. Our main difference is all of our homes are totally health based. We are probably on our own in the area of total toxin free house health and overall house performance. At Nest Homes we ask the house to perform. Nest Homes is a family company, talking to us you’re talking to the designers, builders, sales and admin all in house and if we employ a contract builder you can bet they need to be as passionate as we are with what and how we build.
How important do you think it is to live in a healthy sustainable home?
We owe it to ourselves and our families to provide the healthiest living environment we possibly can. After 35 years in the building industry it is no accident we now only build with this select material pallet and system. We will not be going back to how we used to do things.
Can you tell us a bit more about the sustainable & eco friendly features of your homes?
Where practical we only use sustainable materials that contain no nasty chemicals, no arsenics, no chromiums, no silicas and almost zero formaldehyde’s. Almost all of the materials we do use are biodegradable, toxin free and natural. Our sites do not have big skip bins for construction waste to landfill. We recycle and reuse as much as we can. We average around $150 in land fill fees and are always working to get this lower. Most of this waste is packaging from others. Almost all of our materials can be ground up and spread on your garden. We don’t want you to have a clothes dryer in the home because of moisture and we discourage you from having waste disposals in the kitchen, rather a scrap-bin for the compost. The homes can all be solar aided and grey water can feed your gardens.
What is the average size and cost of a Nest Home, are they customisable?
Our most popular Nest is 111m2 but we go down to 10m2 (no consent required) to 21m2 pods, 65m2 minor dwellings and on upwards to 300m2. We work within Nest parameters using pre engineering that allows cost and wastage of materials to be kept to a minimum. Average m2 costs start at $2400m2. All the homes are customisable to a point.
We understand you have a couple of clients building on Rangitahi, can you tell us anything about these homes you’re designing and building? Are you excited to get these underway?
Yes we are lucky enough to be working with some very cool clients on their Nests in Rangitahi. Each Nest is very cool and different and personal to them and their families. The design work has been done on all three and all of them are with the Draughting team in various stages. The first one is ready to go to council as soon as able and the other two are ready for the Rangitahi design committee to view. I can’t really show you plans or pictures yet as things are still personal with the different clients but I can say this: one is two level and the upper level cantilevers out towards the sea, the second flows down its sloping site like seperate tumbling blocks and the third sits back on its site and gives passers by no view or idea of what lays behind. The garage and house and its connection all blend into one. We are super excited to bring these plans and houses to life, each one has its own stunning views.
What is it you like about the Rangitahi Project and what do you like about the sites you’re designing for? Are they sloped or flat and with views?
We have really enjoyed working with Sam and Sophie right from the start. It has been super easy, they are both so helpful and passionate about the Rangitahi Project, it’s infectious. We are totally behind the ethos, principles and ideas around the project. All the Rangitahi sites are a bit different so house design needs to respect that. We love how it gives each place its own identity. All the sites we are working with are sloping to reasonably steep but all have great views.
What advice would you give anyone considering a sustainable or eco friendly home?
Simple, do it. Make sure it is actually a healthy and sustainable home (not just featuring a five star fridge). Ask the questions: waste to landfill policy? How do they treat material off-cuts? Evidence of air quality (remember you’ll breath this all day every day). Ask the company how many air changes take place in the home per hour? Is the house capable of featuring the asthma foundations blue butterfly sensitive choice tick for clean air? List all the natural sustainable and biodegradable products the home features and why, then compare them to all others. Ask if the house itself can take care of naturally occurring moisture in the home (not the bathrooms/laundry’s) without the need for mechanical intervention and never ending power consumption.
Lastly ask yourselves if it can achieve all of this and is affordable then why not be healthy, sustainable and environmentally friendly. This life is no dress rehearsal, we need to give ourselves, our families and the planet the best that we can.
~ Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jock if you like the sound of having a Nest Home, we can’t wait to see them in the flesh on Rangitahi! You can get in touch here, or send him an email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep up to date with their projects and find them on instagram here.