About

PhD Building are the South Island distributors of Nudura ICF (insulated concrete formwork) - now adding the Viking timber double and triple glazed windows to the range means we can meet the highest thermal efficiency and durability standards desired.

With more than 30 years’ experience in building in NZ, both on our own extensive property developments and for clients. Now living in Otago, we focus on providing exceptional levels of performance from our building envelope materials.

With a minimum durability of 100 years, together with exceeding passive house standards for insulation and airtightness, Nudura ICF walls provides all, and more, that a designer can ask for, whilst saving the client cost.

Awards and recognition

2022
ICF International Awards
Unlimited Category Residential Home Gold Winner
2021
Master Builders Southern Region
Supreme House Of The Year Gold Winner
2021
Master Builders
Gold Award

Testimonials

I have been building for 30 years mostly timber-framed houses, I built with ICF first off in 2004 using Super Form blocks, I have built with MegaForm and have built 2 large 2-story homes in Nudura and currently building my investment house (rental) in Nudura as it's so quick and easy to build with compared to other ICF products I've used. You pay more for the product but it is well worth it in the long run as you save time and wastage during construction. There is no comparison to Nudura's unique design and I will use it over any other building technique. 

Daniel Gerken, BetterBuild - Queenstown / Cromwell

The development consists of two contemporary alpine styled chalets containing 48 apartments (24 in each block). The apartments are 1-2 bedroom configurations with 2 bathrooms and vary in size from 50m2 to 80m2. All have views of the Queenstown landscape and mountains. The apartments in Block A are privately owned, while Block B is run by the hotel next door as holiday apartments. Each apartment is highly specced with Sapone pod bathrooms and balconies with timber decks and glass balustrades. The structure is precast concrete flat slabs, polystyrene block with concrete infill and cedar and larch cladding. The construction uses NUDURA technology, an energy efficient, insulated concrete block system which provides maximum efficiency for heating and cooling, and also acts as a sound barrier. The outside of the product is made from polystyrene and stacks together. It’s hollow core is steel reinforced and filled with concrete. The concrete core provides a fire rating of four times that of traditional wooden framed buildings. It can also withstand high winds and debris impact. This was the first commercial project in the South Island and the largest multi-storey building in the Southern Hemisphere to use the NUDURA product. Working through a Queenstown winter brought it own challenges. The programme meant framing and first fix were scheduled in the middle of winter. To mitigate weather delays the decision was made to install temporary scaffold roofs over both buildings to ensure works could continue. At the peak of the project there were eight Hawkins staff working on the job and more than 80 subcontractors.

Hawkins, La Residence Du Parc Apartments

We engaged Jeremy at PHD to build the lower level of our house at Jacks Point in 2020. They’re great to work with and it’s fantastic product, the result is that we have an incredibly well - insulated lower level to use for entertaining as a media room and bar. In the peak of summer when parts of the house hit the mid or late 20’s the lower level sits a consistent temp around 20c regardless of how warm it is outside. In winter even with little or no heating to the area it sits in the late teens and in the afternoons hits around 20c which is perfect for us. Having a constant living temp without the need for much - or any - power input for all seasons is pretty awesome for Central Otago where it varies hugely between summer and winter. Another real benefit of the Nudura construction is the sound insulation, which is outstanding. We can be entertaining at a fairly high volume downstairs but that sound doesn’t carry upstairs or outside to neighbours, giving us a great place to enjoy after the kids are in bed without stirring them up. Bonus! The construction period for the Nudura walls for the lower level, comprising around 1/3 of our footprint, was only a couple of weeks from start to finish, pretty impressive. It was our first time building so we were slightly reserved about using it across the entire build but seeing how it performs and the efficiency of it I don’t think we’d hesitate to use it again for a large portion of a build or recommend it to others. The solid look and feel it gives our lower level especially is worth it and we get comments about it often. The house received a gold award at the 2021 Master Builder’s awards which was a nice accolade to the construction team and Jeremy for giving us such a solid base to work up from.

Tim & Rayana Kershaw

I have had the pleasure of working with Jeremy Chisholm over the last 7 years and the Nudura product from both a building and design perspective. When I first met Jeremy he was passionate and totally in control of build details and design requirements. The Nudura product is without question the lead product globally in the world on design and meeting design requirements for NZ and the rest of the world. With their team and support network based in Canada no design or problem is insurmountable. If you are planning on building an ICF house, I would highly recommend using Nudura and more PhD Building to supply and install to a superior standard which is to a world class standard.

Martin Reagan

Coming from a warmer climate and moving to the southern lakes area, heat insulation and retention was key for our family home. We had used the Nudura product before in our first home and after encountering nothing but success with it , it made sense to use it again for our second home, - It was a breeze. The blocks are light, strong, quick and easy to put together. As well as all the structural walls in our house we used them for retaining walls and other areas of landscaping as well. As labour prices increase, having something that is quick to work with, ensured our project was completed on time and within budget. The Nudura NZ team were helpful with all aspects of the build and it didn't take long, with a little bit of onsite training to get the hang of it and assemble quickly. We would definitely recommend the product and would definitely use it again.

Callum Rhodes

I am a builder from Wanaka, New Zealand. I loved using the Nudura ICF System for the ground story level on my house. The system was fast and easy to use and provided an outstanding product that is strong solid and well insulated. I am very happy with Nudura ICF and I look forward to using it again in the future.

Daryll Macale

If you are looking for an eco friendly, cost effective substitute for conventional block work, Nudura is the product. We are a NZ based company but have built homes in Australia and Canada as well, and have always had a passion for producing eco friendly and sustainable houses using system based processes. We’ve been working with PHD on our latest build and have adopted Phd’s Nudura products and methodology in construction in what’s considered a high end architectural build. We subbed out masonry block work for Nudura ICF on all external and internal walls. The day the ICF blocks were delivered to site I knew that we were going to be working with a progressive product. Jeremy ( PhD Building) installed the blocks in a timely fashion and with very little waste, a huge bonus in today’s construction with massive amounts of waste discarded from every site. Unlike other ICF we’ve used in the past the pour process was stress free and systematic. The finished product is what was guaranteed. Straight, true and plumb. I highly recommend PHD Building and Nudura products and will continue to use them when applicable on future builds.

Matt Lucas

A quick note to say thank you for a job well done. After 46 years as a carpenter / foreman in the construction industry, active within both the commercial and residential markets. I have chosen to use the Nudura ICF wall (poly-block) system on my final project, my retirement home. Over the years having been involved in the construction of 3 homes and a portion of a hotel using similar ICF systems. The Nudura system has proved quick to erect, versatile and easy to work with. Capable of delivering the structural engineering requirements along with other benefits such as excellent insulation and acoustic properties. The combined scaffold and bracing / wall straightening system is efficient and cost effective. The installer, Jeremy at PHD Building, was professional, knowledgeable, very helpful and accommodating. A pleasure to work with. I would recommend Nudura ICF as being a great construction product.

Brian Lyford (Retired Construction Foreman)

DCD has tried every ICF product in NZ, and have found Nudura to be best suited to what our Clients are focused on. Perfect wall alignment, resilient construction and a quiet internal environment. Only Nudura offers us the flexibility to achieve the high thermal performance standards through their unique billet inserts while retaining the ability to adapt the concrete core size without impacting structural or thermal performance. We were able to erect the internal and external walls for a 900/m2 home in less than 3 weeks with 3 men and I am not aware of any other system that would have afforded this outcome.

DCD Builders

Nudura block was specified by our architect for our studio, one of two separate structures comprising our new-build home and workspace near Ophir, in Central Otago. The main house is built of rammed earth, and initially, what we liked about the Nudura block system was that it felt similar in terms of heft to our 450mm thick rammed earth walls, with its wonderfully deep window recesses. It also served as good structural retaining, as the studio is partly dug into a slope and we imagined – given the blocks are polystyrene – that the thermal qualities would be superior to using concrete block.While our initial intention was to veneer the exterior of the Nudura block with schist, we ended up using a board and batten finish using ply and oregon timber battens very closely spaced to form a rain-screen lookWe have lived in the house and studio for a couple of years now and have found the studio to have superior thermal qualities, even to the rammed earth. It is easy to heat which it retains well in the depths of our sometimes freezing winters. In scorching mid-summer temperatures the space stays relatively cool – also helped by minimal glazing as it was built to house our library. It is also a very quiet environment to be in when we are experiencing high wind conditions. These qualities serve us well in the extreme climate experienced here at our exposed elevation of 350m.

We are very happy with the result.

Veronica Alkema & Gary StewartDesignersOphir

Veronica Alkema Vero Design

Last year I worked with Jeremy from PhD Building on the installation of a large house in Queenstown using Nudura ICF for the large basement and foundation walls.The system was chosen because of its robust qualities and speed of installation. Easier and about the same price as concrete blockwork. We were able to rely on the structural battens in the block to connect all our cladding systems without having to fix to the concrete core.

Our walls were straight and plumb with a minimal amount of wastage.

On the basis of this experience I then installed Nudura into my own family home in Wanaka, I was amazed at how fast I was able to install the product with only one house previous experience.

I think in any situation where concrete block is to be used then Nudura ICF is a no brainer to use. Just the ease of managing the materials on a difficult site make it such an obvious choice, plus the installed insulation and structural battens provide all the fixing that could be needed for any cladding systems, including schist.

Our project management team at Cook Bros were impressed with the efficiency of the solid wall system that Nudura ICF provides and are looking forward to working with it again.

Eddie Heenan Construction manager Cook Bros

I have been a builder for 35 years in the Queenstown region.  

Over the last 8 years I have used Nudura ICF exclusively on my own homes because its simple, fast, cost effective and delivers an outstanding performing building. I recommend to my clients to use Nudura ICF wherever possible for the same reasons

The photo attached is of my own home that is now 4 years old, its a 4 level concrete structure set against a sheer rock wall. Nudura ICF allowed us to build a home of this nature with minimal effort.

Being a trained installer I am able to completely control the build process and achieve a very cost effective quality result. I say to anyone considering Nudura is “why would you use anything else?

There are other ICF’s in NZ but none of them have the strength, structural capabilities or speed of installation that Nudura provides.

Bruce Wyndham Builders