Sustainable Building

Creating homes that not only look good but also do good.

Green building, eco homes, healthy homes… whatever you choose to call it, sustainable building is how we can take care of our environment, our families and our future.

Mike Kingan Builders shares the same philosophy as the many designers, builders and homeowners who are part of a tidal wave of change. By choosing to embrace new technology and clever design we are helping create homes that are smarter, healthier and cheaper to run. We share your eco vision, but we also bring practical knowledge and years of sustainable building experience to the project.

We’re taking responsibility for the impact our buildings have on the planet. We’d love you to join us. Learn more about our sustainable building capabilities.

  • Sustainable Building
  • Living Building Challenge Certification
  • The Headwaters Project
  • Recycling and Upcycling
  • Techniques for Sustainable Building


Do you know which building materials and products are the very worst for your health? Today’s modern building techniques commonly use chemicals, solvents and gases that create a dangerous cocktail within your indoor living space, often taking its toll on the health of our kids. As a certified Living Building Challenge practitioner, Mike Kingan keeps these so-called red list products out of your home.

Over the last ten years, Mike has worked on a range of sustainable projects from small buildings and energy-efficient homes to world-class Net Zero projects. With a genuine passion for sustainability, Mike keeps up to date with innovations so you don’t have to compromise on comfort or aesthetic.

Here in the south of the South Island, we’re at the mercy of an extreme climate. Years of experience building homes throughout Otago has given us a solid understanding of how to build homes that rely less on natural resources for heating and cooling. This is good news for anyone who wants to avoid hefty bills throughout the chilly southern winters. The benefits of investing in a sustainable build will continue to pay off throughout the home’s lifecycle.

We are proud to have worked on a diverse range of sustainable projects, including architecturally designed homes, green buildings and small living projects. See our sustainable building projects here.

Living Building Challenge Certification

In 2014, Mike became certified under the Living Building Challenge Program. Regarded as the world’s most stringent green building tool, the Living Building Challenge (LBC) is a certification program aimed at building professionals and the public looking to create built environments that allow us to live on this planet sustainably. The program was run by Jerome Partington senior associate from leading sustainable architecture firm, Jasmax.

The Headwaters Project

The Headwaters Project is the kind of project that really excites us. Located in Glenorchy, the project consists of a campground and general store built to the highest level of green design philosophy. Upon completion, the project will achieve Net Zero certification and will be an outstanding example of a building that works in harmony with nature. Mike and his team are in tune with the goals of The Headwater Project and share the belief that a large-scale commercial project doesn’t have to damage the environment during or after the build process.

To achieve its Net Zero Energy certification, the site must generate as much energy as it uses over the course of a year and will do this through the use of photovoltaic solar panels. The result will be a project that treads lightly, inspires healthy living and saves costs.

To his delight, Mike has been let loose at The Headwaters Project and has created display cabinets and one-off pieces at Mrs Woolly’s General Store.  He has also worked on glamping tents, kids playground and outdoor furniture at the temporary campground. See Mike’s work at The Headwaters Project.


Mike’s passion for recycling and upcycling has seen him transform homes, furniture and even old junk into unique creations. Through his creativity and craftsmanship, Mike’s reputation in this field continues to grow. Mike has turned old fridges into pieces of art, created masterpieces using reclaimed timber from abandoned barns and has become a familiar face at The Headwaters Project, a soon-to-be Net Zero certified project in Glenorchy.

Mike Kingan is an artisan whose creations speak quality. It’s a task that takes time but the results are far more rewarding that anything you can buy ‘off-the-shelf’. See our craftsmanship projects here.


It begins with a simple question. How can we use less to create more?

Some of the ways we implement green building practices into our projects include:

  • Awareness of red list products. Red list products are those made with the “worst in case” ingredients such as asbestos, CFCs, cadmium, formaldehyde and lead. We aim to provide suitable alternatives to these products wherever possible.
  • Solar panels. Solar panels are becoming more affordable and a simple way to improve a building’s green credentials. We are strong advocates for this relatively simple technique that will have a big impact on your home’s energy efficiency. We continue to stay up to date with ways this technology is used around the world. For more info, see
  • Passive building techniques. Our clients can choose to adopt just one technique or many, and we are happy to provide input. Simple techniques like positioning a building to benefit from thermal gain during sunlight hours and allowing airflow for cooling in hot months bring great benefit.
  • Insulation, insulation, insulation. For those of us who live in cold climates, keeping your home warm and dry is vital. With huge advances in insulation products, there is no excuse for cold, damp buildings. Insulation and high-performance double or triple glazed windows are a simple way to make a big impact on the health of your family.
  • Some of the projects we are most proud of are those created from somebody else’s “junk”. Using recycled hardwood, we mix old and new to create a sense of warmth and quality. We recently collected materials from abandoned farm buildings to use on projects. These old pieces of timber have added character and a sense of beauty. There’s a reason the saying goes ‘they don’t make them like they used to’.

Maybe you have a grand eco vision or you simply want to keep your energy bills down. Perhaps you want to create a small living space or you want to incorporate recycled materials into your project. Mike Kingan Builders shares your vision for a building that not only looks good but also does good.

Click on an image for more information about the project