Nine new Jalcon Homes in Beachlands are setting the standard for more environmentally-friendly building solutions – and it’s all thanks to the vision of a local veteran builder.
Beachlands resident Lester Haycock partnered with Jalcon Homes to ensure the new homes were, for the most part, constructed from recyclable and sustainable materials.
Lester has been a presence in the building industry for over 40 years. After leaving school at 15 to pursue an apprenticeship he eventually became self-employed in the trade, and grew to become a successful owner-operator and innovator.
In 1987 he pioneered the (now Carters owned) Future-Proof Building concept. Lester said he was inspired to do things differently for future generations of homeowners. He understood that the way Kiwis lived tomorrow would change the way houses were built.
According to Lester, from the nineties onwards, New Zealanders became increasingly aware that the “days of a family having a quarter-acre section and sole income provider were gone” and homes had to be built with the future in mind.
Lester’s latest passion incorporates his “game changing” idea of getting first home owners into houses made of recycled materials.
Resource responsibility, space management and energy efficiency, designs sympathetic with their surrounds, and most importantly sustainability, became Lester’s key ethos in building new houses in a way that he says looked after the planet.
Lester believes New Zealand is the most expensive country in the world for building materials, and cites plasterboard price and supply as an example of a lack of competition in an industry dominated by a duopoly and hamstrung by smaller operators being leant on by bigger merchants.
By using waste products destined for landfill from diverse producers, by-products such as fly ash and used crushed glass can be repurposed to make more durable concrete. Recycled car batteries and plastic Coke bottles converted to plastic pots can be used in lieu of polystyrene insulation and framing with less timber.
Partnering with Cameron Baker at Jalcon Homes, Lester’s vision has been realised in nine (so far) new builds in Beachlands. According to Lester the new homes deliver a “better, greener structure for new homeowners.”
New purchasers will also be eligible for a unique “high performer building award” says Lester. Along with the keys to their new castle, buyers of the new homes receive a plaque that certifies the property as made from repurposed by-products, something Lester says adds reseller value for today’s more conscious consumer.
Passionate about change, Lester says the concept is now influencing the building industry. “It’s gaining a lot of traction.” He gives an example of new builds in Drury coming in $150,000 under the typical budget for similar homes.
Now nearing his retirement years, Lester says he is “not finished” and is forever striving for ways to impart his knowledge and Kiwi number-8 wire thinking to create a greener and fairer way of building houses for generations to come.