Beautifully designed, Wi-Fi enabled, energy efficient: Rinnai’s newest fireplace - Spaces NZ
Beautifully designed, Wi-Fi enabled, energy efficient: Rinnai’s newest fireplace

Beautifully designed, Wi-Fi enabled, energy efficient: Rinnai’s newest fireplace

A leading supplier of architecturally designed fireplaces in New Zealand, Rinnai has always been on the cutting-edge of design, and nothing encapsulates their commitment to innovation as much as the company’s latest fireplace.

Words by Nick Forrester

In architecturally designed homes, it’s common to have each room centred upon a single feature — the surrounding furniture forming itself in relation to this touchstone.

In bedrooms, this comes in the form of the bed; in studies, the desk; in larger bathrooms, a bathtub. And in living rooms, typically a space where a lot of us spend the most time, this touchstone often manifests itself in the form of a fireplace — so it’s an important thing to get right when building or renovating.

Rinnai, a leading supplier of architecturally designed fireplaces in New Zealand, has extensive experience helping interior designers, architects and homeowners get their fireplace right — a quarter of a century, in fact.

Alice Wu, the specification manager for Rinnai New Zealand, says that while this experience is a significant factor in its record of over a million appliances installed into Kiwi homes and businesses, it doesn't just stop there.

“One of our greatest strengths is our manufacturing story,” says Alice. “All our fireplaces are made in New Zealand — manufactured in our factory in Auckland. In fact, any Rinnai fireplaces that you find in the world are made by Rinnai New Zealand.”

And in order to keep its operation in New Zealand healthy and vibrant, the company has had to constantly innovate and evolve. And nothing encapsulates this innovation and evolution quite so much as the Rinnai Novo, the company’s latest fireplace product.

The Inbuilt style has the most modern look of the three models of Novo fireplace.

Emphasising both design and functionality

“We’ve taken Neo — one of our most popular fireplaces — and upgraded the technology, modernised the looks based on the feedback and latest design trends… and the new Novo range was born,” says Alice.

The concept for the Novo emerged after thorough research into the ebbs and flows of the fireplace market, and the final product is designed to complement various architectural designs and follow latest design trends.

“We did this by talking to architects, designers and homeowners on their preferences and what they want their fireplaces to do for them.”

One of the most significant things Rinnai learned from its research was the market’s appetite for choice — so Rinnai took this and developed the Novo to have three different models: the Freestander, the Cube, and the Inbuilt fireplaces.

“We found that our customers wanted something compact, and they want the design flexibility that allows fireplaces to be integrated into different living spaces,” says Alice.

An ideal no-fuss replacement for a freestanding woodburner, the Freestander comes with either the cabinet or plinth options, has a 3.9 star energy efficiency and a maximum heat output of 6.6 kW.

“When we asked the architects and designers for their feedback on either cabinet or plinth, it turned out both were equally popular,” says Alice. “Those that chose the cabinet said it reminds them of a traditional fireplace and therefore think it looks more realistic.

Meanwhile, the ones who chose the plinth option said they like the look as it’s more unique and modern. Therefore we decided to offer both base options to suit different preferences and looks of homes.”

The Cube is especially designed to be installed on a choice of fixed furniture, providing unlimited design opportunities.

The Inbuilt style has the most modern look of the three. “In this model, we’ve replaced the glass heat shield with the option for a very fine, barely visible mesh,” says Alice. “The very popular premium classic fascia is also available for villa-style living spaces.”

The Freestander comes with either the cabinet or plinth options.

Fireplaces that embrace technology

Of course it’s not just about the design and aesthetics. The Novo uses a direct vent flue system that is sealed from the room, with easy to fit options for masonry or mock chimney installations.

The fireplaces are also ‘smart’ — all models can be Wi-Fi enabled, and come with a simple remote.

“The simple remote was born from our research with customers, who told us they ‘just want to be able to turn the fireplaces on and off, and adjust the flame height’,” says Alice. 

“They don’t want all the complex functions on the remote itself, so we went with a simple interface. Advance features such as timer and temperature settings can be found on the app.”

And, being Wi-Fi enabled, users can access their fireplace from anywhere — so they can do everything that the remote can do from their phone.

“This makes it easy to make sure your fireplace is roaring before you walk in the door,” says Alice.

The new fireplace is convenience, great design, and great functionality rolled into one — with the option of three distinct models. And, Alice says, it was absolutely a team effort to get it into people’s living rooms across the country.

“A lot of team effort has gone into this project,” she says, “and we’d also like to thank the architects, designers and homeowners for their help and valuable feedback.”

Learn more about Rinnai and its offerings.

The fireplaces are Wi-Fi enabled, so they can be controlled from anywhere.
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