Yes, our plans can be bought and built for a project anywhere in Aotearoa?

Yes, we have five plans already fully developed ready to buy and build now.  The other twenty three home plans in our full range, will be developed around live customer projects.

Five of our plans, have already been fully developed and are ready to buy and build now.  Our full range has 28 home plans, over four styles.  The Mia range is has a square footprint, the Evelyn range a rectangular footprint, The Louise range an L-shaped layout, and the Ava a Z-shaped floorplan.

Each range includes plans ranging from cabins through to 1,2,3 & 4 bedroom homes in both single storey and mezzanine formats.  The 24 plans not yet fully developed, can be developed around any live customer project.

Our small footprint homes: integrate passive solar design principles; are specified toxin-free; our designs are optimised for minimised space use and integrated storage; the dimensions of our homes are based on material sizings to reduce waste & cost; we utilise sustainable material specifications for reduced environmental impacts; and our standardised plans are Homestar rated – meaning a warmer, drier home that costs less to run.

The Greenbridge home design team has over 40 years combined industry experience, is LBP licensed, we are the only qualified Homestar assessors in Taranaki, and we have been designing high performance, healthy homes for over ten years.

We provide a full feasibility, design, customisation and consent service.  In regions we have build partner relationships, we can also offer an integrated build pricing and construction service.

Core Build Prices are preliminary build cost estimates, provided by an independent quantity surveyor, based on our standard specification including: piles, roofing, cladding, exterior joinery, flooring, wall lining and in-wall plumbing & electrical.  These costs are based on a builders labour rate of $70/hr and a 10% builders margin on materials and subtrades (add $50K+ for basic kitchen, bathroom, space heater & hot water heater for a single bathroom plan, or $70K+ for a two bathroom plan).

NOTE: Prices assume easy access on a flat site, with good load bearing ground that’s free of contaminants.

  • Our Build Estimate Prices were reviewed and adjusted in May 2022, to reflect the increased build prices that has happened over the past two years in response to the post Covid building landscape.

Greenbridge includes the building consent application process in our service and in most instances resource consents are completed by a local planner contracted separately by the customer should they be required.

There is a full range of standardised options, that like our home plans are available at reduced cost, including:

skylights; solar power;  rainwater system; deck & pergola; roof extension (for covered outdoor living); increasing the window and door height from 2100 to 2400; heating specification and consent; extra insulation for higher ratings ; extending the living room & bedroom/bathroom options; carport or garage; covered entry; sleep out; kitchen and cabinetry design and spec; lighting and electrical design; we have a range of cladding, lining and roofing specifications you can choose from; changing from pile to concrete slab subfloor; adding landscaping elements etc…

With this range of options giving you a high degree of personalisation and allowing you to control both the final aesthetic and build price of your new home.

Beyond the standard options above, we also offer a customisation service in which window and door sizes can be adjusted to meet customer and site requirements and within the limits of practicality the design can be amended to meet your needs (such as adding on an extra bedroom etc)…

If you choose one of our our fully developed standard plans, you can expect a 2-4week design timeframe from when we start on your project, until it’s lodged with council.  If you choose a plan note developed this will be closer 8-12 weeks depending on how many options and what customisations you want included.

Council processing timeframes can vary hugely from project to project/council to council, but we generally allow 8 weeks for the building consent process.

Again this varies greatly on the builder you are using and the build process used.  i.e: onsite builds take longer and offsite builds, or panelisation shorten build times.  A general outline would 2-4 months from the start of the build.

Although we are focussed on developing our pre-designed plan range at the moment, if our work schedule can fit it, we will consider providing a complete custom design for customers that share our values.

Although we don’t use SIP panels – as they don’t meet our healthy home criteria, our plans have been designed to allow them to be built in high performance panelised sections, that can delivered and assembled onsite for higher quality build outcomes and reduced build times.  Some of our smaller plans can also be built off-site and transported.

Any competent, qualified and experienced builder can build one of our homes, however we also offer an integrated design, consent & build service in the regions we have build partner relationships…

If you don’t already own land, the purchase price of your new property, along with the build cost of your new home will likely represent the two main costs of developing your new home.

However there are many other aspects of planning and developing a new property, that you’ll need to consider in your total budget.  Although not necessarily a conclusive list you’ll also need to allow for:

Any legal and or finance costs; The price of your home plan; and any options or customisations you want to include from us; the building consent cost, that you’ll pay directly to the council; if required – the cost of a planner and resource consent with the council; The infrastructure costs of: site earthworks to form your building site; site access (including your driveway); stormwater; along with any additional cost specific to your site for engineering and installing subfloor requirements beyond standard piles; your potable water connection, or rainwater storage, filtration and pump system; electrical connection, or off-grid power infrastructure; connection or design, consent, purchase and installation of your wastewater system; and if not included in your scope of work with us, you’ll also want to allow for: the design and fitout of your new homes interior (kitchen, bathroom, window and floor coverings, space and water heating systems; along with any landscaping you have planned: hardscaping (decks, fences, paths etc), and softscaping (shelterbelts, plants, gardens etc).

Yes, we’ve already consented several of these plans and are working with our customers to bring healthy homes across Aotearoa.

We have two examples of early versions of these plans that have been built for clients here, in New Plymouth, Taranaki, where we’re based.

The first step is to get in touch and have a free initial meeting to discuss your project and find out if our plans are a good match for you and your family. 

Once we’ve done this, we offer a low cost Feasibility Service, in which we adjust your chosen plan by adding any options you’ve chosen and the custom changes required to meet your needs.  We then check your adjusted plan will work on your site and within your local planning regulations (along with any site restrictions).

At the completion of this service you will know whether we can adjust one of our plans to meet your needs & preferences and both our cost to design and consent your new home.  And for a small additional fee, we can offer a revised build pricing through our external quantity surveyor of your customised selection, to give you build price surety from the get go…



We are fortunate in Taranaki to be able to grow a wide range of fruit and nut trees due to the unique mountain to sea topography, which creates a variety of pocket microclimates and habitats.  At Greenbridge we group productive trees with similar needs together ie Mediterranean, sub-tropical, citrus and temperate, all of which can grow well here, if matched to the right habitat.  You will need either an experienced gardener, Greenbridge ecological landscape designer or become familiar yourself with various fruit tree species in order to know the habitat of your garden and select the right fruit trees for it.  Kay Baxter’s ‘Design your own Orchard is a great place to start.  Also see Greenbridge’s Blog: ‘Matching your Fruit Tree to the Right Spot’

Vegetables require six hours of full sun in order to photosynthesise so siting you’re veg beds where they receive this amount of winter sun is essential to your gardening success. Also essential is the closer to your kitchen the better ie ‘out of site, out of mind’ applies to veggie gardening too!  Other considerations for the ideal spot are; North facing, a slightly sloped area so that cold can drain away and prevent frost pockets from forming and good shelter from predominant winds.  See our Greenbridge Blog: ‘Smart Planning for an Edible Garden’

There are many types of veggie beds; lasagna, no dig, bio-intensive, raised, in situ and more! There is no ‘right way’ to grow vegetables its more about matching your gardening style, time available and site conditions to the best type of vegetable bed system for you. The ideal scenario is; bio-intensive, insitue beds (veggies grown directly in the ground, double dug to a depth of 300mm +) and orientated North-South, on contour. This can be a tall order! Deep, well aerated beds allow vegetable roots to penetrate deep, accessing nutrients and water easily, and therefore requiring less watering and accelerating growth – which overall increases the resilience of your gardening system and means less work for you.

Small: 5-10sqm. Herbs and pick-again veg only

Medium: 20-40sqm. Average family, most veggies, incl. small perennial bed

Large: 100sqm per person. For all veg, grains, carbon crops for compost and perennial veg (a regenerative system)


This is a big topic, so here we go in a nutshell; plants need a high level of humus to grow well and be nutrient dense and this can be added in the form of compost, which contains biologically active carbon.  In bio-intensive gardening, a quarter to a half of all veggie bed area is dedicated to growing this carbon, often in the form of grains and woody plants like corn, quinoa  lambs quarters etc (which can also provide food for the table).  Humus is part of the picture of getting the balance of minerals right in the soil so that microbial life can flourish, in particular enough calcium to stimulate soil processes, and that the plants can then uptake these minerals, and increase their nutrient density.  In order to assess the nutrient density of a plant, a refractometer is used to measure the ‘brix’ levels, which represent the plants sugar sap content and is a good indicator of nutrient density.  A brix level of 12 or above is essential for healthy pest free plants and humans!  It is estimated we are currently getting only 25% of the minerals found in traditional diets and this mineral deficiency is directly linked to the high increase in western disease and immune disfunction.  Whether food is nutrient dense or not, has huge impact on our health and the health of our planet.  Find out more at: www.westonapricefoundation.org  or Kay Baxter’s book “Growing Nutrient Dense Food”

There are many compost types; with structures, tumblers or bins – they are all relevant but free style is the easiest and cheapest!  For a hot compost (free style or contained in some type of structure) you will need a minimum of 1m x 1m x 1m squared in order to get the heat up to a temperature to kill weed seeds and stimulate microbes.   The compost can be either in a designated spot (and if so site it higher than your veg beds so that they benefit from any nutrient seep) or directly where you are going to need them ie on the veggie bed – super simple.  Use whatever garden waste you have (no pernicious weeds though), keeping a rough ratio of 1:30 nitrogen: carbon.  Nitrogen is the green waste and carbon is the brown stuff like leaves and woody stems.  Break the pieces into 10-20cm sizes, layer up and sprinkle an activator in between like manure or comfrey tea.  Water well and ideally cover to protect from the elements.

Carbon or Straw-yards are an important cog in a nutrient dense gardening system, producing lots of compost and eggs, while keeping the chooks busy and healthy.  A carbon-yard is a deep litter bed made up of carbon (could be leaves, mulch, twigs, corn, cut up woody stems etc) that the hens poop on and turn, as is their natural behaviour to do.  It is important to keep topping up the carbon so the system doesn’t become anaerobic and smelly.  Additionally the deep litter also produces microbial and fungal life to supplement the hens diet (done well the straw yard could provide the bulk of the birds protein).  Hens will also need lots of greens and scraps such as meat (hens are high protein eaters having evolved from jungle fowl, so ironically not so much grain eaters).  With 6-8 hens and a rooster, you will have ample compost (and eggs for an average size family) to annually spread over a family sized (50sqm +) vegetable beds.  Our clients receive a regnerative Info-Sheet: ‘How to Set Up a Carbon Yard for Healthy Chooks, Eggs and Compost’

Yes!  There are lots of ‘waste’ products from everyday living that can be cycled back into the system – for the benefit of the environment and your health.  Most scraps can fed to chooks as first priority, as they give you eggs (and perhaps meat too).  Bones can be burnt for their calcium and sprinkled into the top ten centre metres of your garden bed.  Garden waste can be used to make high quality compost, saving the landfill from producing toxic methane, produced when the green waste breaks down.  Pot ash from the fire can be used anywhere you need to raise the alkalinity of your soil.  Black water from the toilet and kitchen sink can be diverted to an environmental system or wormarator to breakdown waste to be applied at the base of fruit trees.  Grey water is a precious resource, that when integrated into your garden raises fertility and reduces watering.  

The time taken to maintain an eco-garden will depend on its size, your gardening style and how much time you have available.  Starting small, building confidence and knowledge is a sensible approach.  Start in zone one (the area directly around the house) and move outward as you have your systems become well established and successful.  We find an average veg plot takes 2-4 hours per-week  which is ideally spread out over the week – little and often gets the best results, as you can quickly get on-top of pests and diseases before they get out of hand.  The more you put in the more you get out. Concentrating on building biologically active soils and diverse plantings, ensures greater health of the system and resilience – minimising the work for you.  The time ‘cost’ of producing your own food is far less than the cost to your health and the planet from not doing it.  “We think we are nurturing our garden, of course it’s the garden that is nurturing us”  Jenny Uglow

Lifestyle Blocks

First off ask yourself (ideally before you buy), do I have the time to develop and maintain a lifestyle block?  And the money?  There is good reason why lifestyle blocks turnover every seven years!  They are a lot of work and can sting your wallet.  Lifestyle blocks are best suited to those who have the time for them and are willing to work them, ideally generating a livelihood while regenerating the land.  There is joy in developing a block along sustainable principals and seeing your hard work flourish.  If you committed to this lifestyle, then key considerations are;

  • Water and water!  Ideally for resilience you will have two sources of water ie rain water, spring, river, bore or pond.  This is more important if you are to have stock.  Annual veg in particular is limited in growth by access to enough water during the summer months.
  • North facing land that receives good solar access is a must for productive land use (not so vital for forestry).  East-facing and West facing land can also work, although West facing is harder to create good shelter.
  • Contoured land is also valued from a permaculture perspective (though not from a conventional one).  Contour is valuable because it increases the range of habits and edges, which increases the variety of crops you can grow and therefore resilience to changing weather patterns.
  • Other considerations are; freedom from sprays in past use, stock baring capacity, good existing shelter (ideally) and biologically active soil – though this can be built.


  • Land purchase: the initial outlay for the land itself is where you will spend your most money, but the type of property you buy can have a large bearing on development and maintenance costs.  If you are planning on developing the block sustainably or regeneratively, then considerations can be different (as above). 
  • House size; choosing a smaller house reduces material use (and therefore reduces the impact of extracting, manufacturing and transporting more materials on the environment) as well as keeping your mortgage smaller.
  • Professionals; its easy to underestimate the cost of professional fees, whether council consent  designers, surveying  engineering, architectural and more.
  • Access: type and distance is important, with steeper access likely requiring more expensive sealing and longer distance from road to home elevating cost.
  • Water storage: we don’t have a lack of rain in Taranaki, just a lack of storage.  You will require 1-2 water tanks for home use and if growing your veg, an additional tank for irrigation (unless you have access to a bore or river). 
  • Wastewater environmental systems ensure ‘waste’ products are converted to resources onsite. 
  • Energy: photovoltaic, hydro, battery or grid tie?  
  • Earthworks and landscaping: will vary depending on the contours of the site, your aspirations and inclusion / exclusion of stock and small animals.
  • Infrastructure: sheds, hot houses, garden shed, chook coop, bike sheds, EV stations all come with a cost – some you can stage but if you can build a shed first then this will make over all development pleasanter 🙂 
  • Planting: shelter, orchards, biodiversity, native reveg, manuka for bees, high value forestry all have a cost of plants and or labour (unless you propagate and plant yourself).  
  • Income: are you planning to make an income from your block? what are your options? what can your grow? what are your pathways to market?  We can grow a variety of crops in Taranaki but is there a market for them?  What are the costs of establishment?

Greenbridge offers a ball park pricing service for those considering purchasing or are looking to develop a lifestyle block and would like an indication of development costs relevant to their site…see our Land Appraisal Service


Ideally you would undertake a ‘broad-scale landscape design’ first, so you feel confident you have explored options and defined the position of key infrastructure and objectives. This is the cheapest time to make changes on paper! Next, design and build your home. Then undertake an eco-garden design for productive gardens and infrastructure directly around the house. You can then either DIY landscaping overtime or have Greenbridge professionals install for you 🙂

Perhaps! Depending on your income needs and expectations, a lifestyle block is perfectly capably of financially supporting you; a fruit tree nursery may need as little space as half an acre, and a plant nursery 1-2 acres. Growing flowers maybe another option. Garlic, ginger and truffles are high revenue crops that don’t take up much space. Market gardens can be intensively and sustainably managed. Manuka honey is lucrative, though you will need to check out regulations. Tree crops such as tamarillo and avocado may also work for you and your site, high value forestry is almost certainly a good long term option and has the potential to regenerate the landscape (depending on tree selection). Talk to us about your options…

The highest point is often chosen as the house site – which may or may not be the best spot. Views are often the primary driver for this siting but also expose the house to thermal loss from high exposure. More important is a North facing house, if you value a warm and dry home. While views of the mountain and sea are nice, save these for select, small farmed views. One third of the way down a gentle slope is often ideal, there is often a ‘thermal belt’ that is warmer here than at the top or bottom. Access is also important, a house closer to the road does reduce costs for infrastructure such as driveways, power, phone, and internet – you may have to balance this with privacy.

Shelter species and plants will vary with each site, depending on elevation, salt exposure, soil type, overhead powerlines and other uses you may wish to get out of the shelter ie firewood, fodder for birds and bees.  Check out our Free Info download sheet on ‘Shelter Basics’

We have probably all heard the saying ‘a weed is just a plant in the wrong place’ and to a large extent this is true. However, often what is actually needed is a shift in our thinking about said weed. For example, gorse in New Zealand is considered a pest because we desire pastural land unhindered by spiky invasive bushes, but gorse only establishes itself on land that is eroded with poor soil. The gorses deep tap roots are actually binding and healing the land as well as fixing nitrogen to make the soil rich – just dig a spadeful under a gorse bush and observe! You may need to find your peace with whatever weed you have to deal with – we advocate removing it where you may want to grow food and require access and letting it regenerate where bush is to regenerate to provide an ideal nurse crop for forestry. Kykuyu can be effectively managed organically with black plastic as it is light sensitive. Talk to us.


It depends on the size and complexity of the farm. The Concept Planning phase for a 80 ha farm starts at $6995 +travel +GST

Once the initial concept layout is finalised, then details such as species, spacing, and stems per hectare can be specified in a Planting Plan. The Planting Plan phase for a farm varies depending on the amount and type of planting, but starts at around $3995 +GST.

We recommend doing some cashflow & carbon planning, so you understand your expected costs and incomes from the start of implementation. This work can be done for an additional $1500 +GST (approx.).

We are using an open-source online mapping tool, that you can continue to utilise into the future. If you are using software such as FarmIQ, then once the Planting Plan is finalised, we can provide you with a shapefile to import into your own farm planning software. 

Yes we can price and manage the implementation for you (depending on where you are located).

If you are located in Taranaki, we can also connect you with groups such as Rapid Reforestation who support land owners with planting projects by turning up and planting trees in organised working bees.

Yes we think so. Many NZ farmers are already earning passive incomes from carbon credits on their farming operations. For example, by spacing a deciduous tree such as poplars over pasture, a farmer can earn $570/ha/year (averaged over 30 years, at the current price for carbon), while still earning the pastoral farming income beneath the trees.

That is a great question! If well designed, farm profit will increase due to a mixture of factors:

  • Shelter from the wind – pasture grows better, stock use less of their energy to keep warm, and are healthier.
  • Trees and shrubs provide habitat for lots of birds and insects, and these provide a significant amount of free fertiliser for your pasture.
  • Trees and shrubs have up to 10 times more leaf area in a square metre than pasture, so are able to photosynthesise more, and feed lots of liquid carbon into the soil -growing soil health.
  • Farmers report improved pasture growth spreading across the paddock from the trees & shrubs, as a result of all of the above.
  • Improved management – farms are easier to manage when all the shitty, steep, dangerous, & wet areas are fenced off and planted.
  • Shade in summer – keeping stock happy & healthy during those hot summer days.
  • Tree & shrub fodder provides resilience through droughts and floods. Animals can nibble fodder through/over the fence, or the farmer can cut and throw fodder into the paddock.
  • Lower vet bills – due to healthier animals.
  • Lower fertiliser costs – no longer putting fertiliser on areas that were unproductive.
  • Lower drain digging costs.
  • Fewer stock losses in wet areas.
  • Increased land values.

And then we can add in the diversified income streams from carbon credits, forestry, and products such as honey…

One 129 ha drystock farm near Raglan/Whaingaroa fenced off and planted all their streams, wetlands, wet areas, and steep slopes – which added up to one third of the farm area. They were then able to double their stocking rate…



This can vary a lot, depending on the site conditions, size of the house, and the aim of the wastewater system. A simple septic tank system starts at around $8,000+GST. A system that separates black & greywater and supports the edible landscape starts at around $12,000+GST and can head towards $20,000+GST. Secondary treatment systems start at around $9,500+GST and can easily reach $20,000+GST. These figures don’t include council fees or design fees.

New Plymouth District Council has approved every design we’ve submitted, including wormerators, compost toilets, mulch basins, and greywater systems.

Yes. The eco products available in the supermarkets are suitable. We recommend EcoStore products in particular.


Our engineer Kama has designed over 30 wastewater systems. Our partner plumbers have installed hundre

Blackwater comes from the toilet and includes faeces. Via treatment and subsurface soakage, it can be used to safely support ornamental gardens, fruit trees and other treecrops.

Greywater comes from the kitchen, shower/bath, handbasins, and laundry. Via treatment and/or subsurface soakage, it can be used to safely support vegetables, ornamental gardens, berries, fruit trees, and other treecrops.

Yes, but we generally recommend you use a plumber.

Yes, see our ‘Projects’ page 🙂

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