Green building expert joins healthy homes tech start-up

Tether Limited Press Release

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4 February 2019

building expert Rochelle Payne (Ade) joins healthy homes
tech start-up Tether

“Until now, we’ve never
actually never been able to verify that the green buildings
we construct can actually do what we say they do.” –
Rochelle Payne

Leading New Zealand green buildings
expert Rochelle Payne (Ade) has taken an equity share in
healthy homes technology start-up Tether because she is
excited by the technology’s ability to completely
transform how green buildings are constructed.

Payne, an
accredited professional in LEED, BREEAM, Green Star NZ and
Homestar, as well as being a Passive House Consultant, says
Tether has the potential to completely transform how homes
are built because it goes beyond design to measure in
real-time what happens when humans occupy a space.

Tether EnviroQ is a battery (or mains) powered indoor
environmental quality monitoring system for housing, schools
and work environments that is designed to ensure quality
living, learning and working conditions all year

With a battery life of three years on six AA
batteries, the Tether EnviroQ measures indoor temperature,
humidity, CO2, lighting levels, ambient noise levels, air
pressure and dew point – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
365 days a year (and reports to a central online dashboard
and mobile app).

The end of theory based design?

says that at the moment all green design and healthy home
principles are based on the theory of design.

now, there was no way to measure how the theory of design
actually performs – we could always measure the potential,
but not the actual.”

Payne, who is a green buildings
consultant and who made national headlines in 2017 for her
10 Homestar Design rating for the rammed earth house she is
building with her husband Joel, says people cannot be
divorced from the environment.

“To date the only way we
have been able to evaluate green buildings and healthy homes
was by design and construction based evaluation, but that
doesn’t look at the operation – we have never actually
been able to verify that the green buildings we construct do
what we say they can do.

“Tether measures the actual
environmental quality of living, learning and working
spaces, and that’s just the beginning. Finally we can
focus on how people impact a building – how they are
occupying them.”

Payne says she is particularly excited
by the potential of the data that Tether gathers to change
how buildings can be built to be truly healthy.

Two kinds
of home in NZ, neither are healthy

Payne says there are
essentially two types of homes in New Zealand.

building stock which was built to old building codes, so
they have issues with moisture, mould and drafts that lead
to illnesses like asthma – the home is letting things in
you don’t want – because they create unhealthy nesting

“And then we have new buildings built to
the current building code, which have insulation and double
glazing, but they are air tight and ventilation is often
inadequate. Modern design favours very big windows which
cause over-heating and the only extractors we have are in
the kitchen and bathroom – the result is poor indoor
environment quality .”

Payne says that New Zealand is
still not designing houses very well and even modern homes
have the potential for mould and damp – due to facilities
like open showers that cause a lot of steam.

“Tether can
help us accurately figure out what’s working and what
isn’t because it actively monitors the indoor environment
24/7 and reports on the day-to-day impact of people living
in a home.”

For more information visit:

(More details in the attached Information

Self-funded upwards of a quarter of a million
dollars so far by majority shareholder and CEO, Brandon van
Blerk, Tether is a tech start-up company that offers a
turnkey, full-stack solution which includes sensor
installation and software integration dedicated towards the
enablement of healthy homes and spaces.

The other
shareholders are software developers Jordan Clist (chief
technology officer) and Andrew Smith (lead developer).

The idea for Tether started in July 2017. By October 2017
the company had its first prototype and signed its first
contract with Tamaki Regeneration in February 2018, before
being rolled out to Housing New Zealand properties in June

Based in Auckland, Tether has three permanent
employees and six contractors (three electronics engineers,
a mobile developer, a UI and UX designer and a software


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