Ophir Case Study

Ophir Case Study


Ophir, a quaint and historic gold mining town, 114kms from Queenstown in New Zealand’s Central Otago Reigon, has the unenviable reputation of being New Zealand’s coldest town.

In 1995, Ophir, recorded New Zealand's coldest temperature of -21.6°C.

Residents remember livestock freezing to the ground and prising frozen hens from their perches.

"We would have to cart buckets of water to the toilet to be able to flush because all of the pipes were frozen," recalls Jack Allen, an Ophir local.

Knauf Insulation chose this hardy settlement when they decided to insulate the homes of a resilient community.

The historic town was full of old, energy inefficient homes and insulating them all was no small feat.


Despite a worldwide presence, Knauf Insulation was new to New Zealand and recognised the opportunity to assist the community by bringing the coldest town in from the icy South Island temperatures with its high performance Earthwool® glasswool insulation.

Earthwool® glasswool insulation is a higher quality product that is more environmentally friendly than other traditional Glasswool products on the market. What's more, it is an energy saving product that has been used in some of the world's coldest climates in Europe, North America and Russia.

In August 2012, Knauf Insulation completed a 12 month project to insulate every single home and most commercial buildings in Ophir from the pub to the church, warming up the lives of the 50 residents of the small town and the thousands of rail trail visitors that pass through every year.

"Knauf Insulation is a family owned company that prides itself on community values and being a responsible corporate citizen.

We believed this was a useful way to demonstrate our commitment to improving energy efficiency in New Zealand and help some very hardy South islanders become more comfortable in their homes,” said Stuart Dunbar, Managing Director of Knauf Insulation Australia and New Zealand.

Project Ophir: The Town that came in from the cold
Client Ophir, New Zealand