Te Whare (The House)



After four years of living in a caravan we welcomed the arrival of a locally built board and batten house. It wasn’t the strawbale house we had been dreaming of building – after two years of negotiation with our local council we could not convince them that lime was a good material for plastering or that the house did not need steel reinforcement. Luckily for others these days, the way we wanted to build is now possible.

However we still managed to incorporate many features of sustainable design into our small 6om2 cottage, including East-West orientation to maximise solar gain, double glazing, extra insulation, solar power, multi-functional wood stove (for cooking, space and water heating), grey water irrigation, homemade paint and plaster, homemade and commercial compost toilets, wrap-around verandah to provide shade and extra rainwater collection, and large rainwater collection tanks with run-off to a duck pond.