Category Archives: Canterbury

Tiny home a true mansion

  

Her previous construction experience was a bookcase, but that has not stopped Lily Duval from building her own miniature house.

The 27-year-old is two months into the build, and is on track to have most of the construction finished in another couple of months. She is building her house directly on a trailer on communal land in central Christchurch. At 5.5 metres long, 2.5m wide and 4.2m high, Duval’s house fits under the New Zealand Transport Authority’s definition of a light simple trailer.

It requires no building consent.

Her house will cost $30,000 all up, which includes $8000 for the heavy-duty trailer.

via Tiny home a true mansion – news – the-press | Stuff.co.nz.

Interest growing for tiny homes

  

Christchurch man Bevan Thomas built his own “tiny house” from scratch last year and had seen “hundreds” through it over the past few months.

He believed the tiny house movement was becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand as people looked for ways to live with less impact on the planet, or to avoid being “tied to a half a million dollar mortgage”.

“There’s been phenomenal interest in it. It’s surprising actually how well the concept is taking off.”

Thomas built his moveable house after returning to Christchurch to look after family and finding himself at a loose end.

via Interest growing for tiny homes | Stuff.co.nz.

Tiny home at a tiny price | Stuff.co.nz

  

Stefan Cook is revelling in the fact his new home cost $438,000 less than the average Christchurch house price.

Cook has now finished building his 3.4-tonne home, complete with a mezzanine bedroom, living area, kitchen and bathroom. The house measures 8 metres by 2.45m and is 4.1m high.

It was built on top of a custom-built trailer so it could be moved and did not require a building consent.

Cook did not have experience in building but it took him only 12 weeks to get it to a ”liveable” standard.

The building cost $22,000 – an amount he would save within two-and-a-half years by not having to pay rent – and most of the materials were salvaged from demolition sites, which helped keep costs down.

via Tiny home at a tiny price | Stuff.co.nz.

Student thinks small to beat rental trap

  

Christchurch student fed up with high rental costs is building his own “cottage on wheels”.

Stefan Cook is constructing the 2.5 metre by 8m transportable house in a bid to beat the rising cost of student housing and survive the Government’s withdrawal of student allowances for those undertaking post-graduate study.

The 34-year-old geology student at the University of Canterbury said he had been paying up to $160 for a room in a Christchurch flat during the first two years of his bachelor’s degree and expected his $15,000 project would pay for itself within two years.

via Student thinks small to beat rental trap | Stuff.co.nz.

Office to rise from the rubble

  

One person’s rubble might be potential material for Gap Filler’s new office.

Sustainable Habitat Challenge (SHAC) and ReGeneration Trust New Zealand are collaborating to build an office for Gap Filler in Colombo St, Sydenham, with the help of volunteers and as many recycled or sustainable materials as possible.

Gap Filler project co-ordinator Coralie Winn said she was humbled by the plan.

“It’s a very generous gesture that they are doing this for us and also teaching young people building and design skills,” she said.

Gap Filler, which emerged after the September 2010 earthquake, has overseen several urban regeneration projects, such as the Lyttelton Petanque Club, the “book fridge” and the painted-piano project.

It has been based in Winn’s front room.

“Since November, we’ve hired a part-time helper, and people have been coming and going,” she said.

“It will be great to have an office that’s not at home. It would be quite nice to fill a gap with our own office.”

SHAC’s Tim Bishop said the frame of the 10-square-metre office would be built from recycled timber from demolished buildings, and the windows would also be recycled.

Waste polystyrene would be used for insulation, while the external walls would be constructed from wooden pallets usually used for transporting heavy goods.

“We want to show how to creatively reuse material left over from the earthquake. It’s a bit of a test. A few things are going to be new, like nails and building paper,” he said.

The project also aims to show young people that it can be easy and fun to build small buildings with sustainable materials.

Demolition and salvage yards, including Southern Demolition & Salvage, Musgroves and the Window Market Place, are also involved in the project.

The Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology is contributing equipment and helping to find a licensed builder.

The build will take a week, from January 23 to January 28.

Volunteers can sign up here.

 

via Office to rise from the rubble – the-press | Stuff.co.nz.

ReGenerating small, sustainable SHACs in the temporarily vacant sites of Christchurch

  

The ReGeneration Trust and SHAC (Sustainable Habitat Challenge) are keen to get rebuilding Christchurch. In January 2012, we’ll be running a six-day building project – starting from scratch, we’ll be working with builders, architects and a crew of young people to create a funky, recycled, moveable office for the Gap Filler project.

Gap Filler is a creative urban regeneration initiative that aims to temporarily activate vacant sites within Christchurch with creative projects, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant city. They’ve run a series of awesome projects, like the Lyttleton Petanque Club, Gap Filler Community Chess and the Think Differently Book Exchange.

We’ll be building an office for Gap Filler, using as many recycled and sustainable materials as we can. Our aim is to demonstrate that anyone can build and create, all it takes is some motivation and a few practical tools. We also want showcase the possibilities of holistic sustainability –
small, well insulated, water tight buildings made from a mixture of reused, recycled and sustainable materials.

ReGen and SHAC are now looking for motivated people who are willing to step up, represent and take practical action for positive change. The Christchurch 10m2 Building Project in an opportunity for creative, hands on types to work alongside experts on sustainable building, to learn new skills and share ideas for Christchurch in the future. We’ll be learning new skills each day and putting them into practice building walls, putting up roofs, cladding, internal lining, insulation and painting. And we’ll be documenting the process with stories, film and photographs.

If you’re a young person or a builder and you’re keen to be involved, get in touch! Email lani@regeneration.org.nz or tim@shac.org.nz

Happyzine » ReGenerating small, sustainable SHACs in the temporarily vacant sites of Christchurch.

EKOKIT – Modular homes from Ebode & Hybrid Homes

  

 

 

 

 

EKOKIT is a range of self-build eco houses that have been specifically designed to be flexible, sustainable and within the price reach of ordinary New Zealanders.

EKOKIT homes can be built anywhere in New Zealand, under the supervision of a Licensed Building Practitioner. If you don’t wish to manage your EKOKIT build yourself your EKOKIT is also available as a complete finished home through Planet Homes.

via EKOKIT – from Ebode & Hybrid Homes.

F3 Design’s ArtBox

  

 

 

 

 

ArtBox aims to provide exhibition and retail space for approximately 100 Christchurch artists, craft practitioners and design retailers who have lost workspace and outlets, through the creation flexible and portable modules, all of which have been locally designed and manufactured.

The project, instigated by CPIT in conjunction with Christchurch firm F3 Design, will begin with 18 modules being placed in and around the CPIT campus, with the hope that with the community’s support it can branch out to support a River of Arts throughout the city.

Pippin Wright-Stow, who co-owns F3 Design with his sister Ella, said the idea was spearheaded by F3 Design employee Andrew Just, who also lectures at CPIT’s architecture school.

The ArtBox modules are a 2.9m cube that allow for the creation of comfortable and highly adaptable spaces. They can be stacked, oriented and arranged in various practical configurations, insulated with wool, and are weather-tight. And because the modules are based around a steel hollow section frame, Wright-Stow said they have are very strong and have the ability to resist loads placed by earthquakes.

They’re not designed for one-off use either. Their unique design allows for multi-functional and multi-purpose use across a number of industries, from artists and jewellers to craftspeople and education institutions, as well as festivals and events.

“The idea is that they can be on-sold and used as commercial or residential dwellings,” said Wright-Stow.

Featuring interchangeable wall and flooring panels, the boxes can be placed on any surface, including concrete and grass.

via Architects and engineers collaborate in solution for displaced artists and designers

New Zealand Climate Data for Building Simulation

  

The New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has developed a Home Energy Rating Scheme (HERS) for New Zealand households based on software simulation of energy loss and demand. The software requires hourly data to represent the differentclimates zones around New Zealand, especially for larger population centres. These climate data consist of hourly records for an artificial year created from twelve representative months.

Please note: The data is publicly-funded data provided by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA) and no person or entity may charge for its supply or use. While NIWA has exercised reasonable care and skill in the preparation and collation of the data files, the data is supplied on an ‘as is’ basis, without warranty of any kind. NIWA accepts no liability for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages, loss, damage or cost arising from and relating to, any use of the data and/or the information associated with it. Full terms and conditions governing the use of the data can be found at: http://edenz.niwa.co.nz/about/terms.

Liley, J Ben, Hisako Shiona, James Sturman, David S Wratt. 2008. Typical Meteorological Years for the New Zealand Home Energy R ating Scheme. Prepared for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. NIWA Client Report: LAU2008-01-JBL. NIWA, Omakau, New Zealand.

Files for New Zealand are available in EPW format directly from the DOE site below:
Click on the blue marker to download the efw weather file direct from the DOE Energy Plus web site.


View Larger Map

Files in the TM2 format – for TRNSYS, TRANSOL, etc, have been converted from the EPW files using  CCWorldWeatherGen without performing any climate projections. NZL_TMY_WeatherFiles_TM2

 

 

Recover heat – Pontos HeatCycle, reusing resources | Hansgrohe International

  

 

 

Intelligent water cycle for active climate protectionHow ingenious it would be if we could store and reuse the heat from the run-off shower and bath water that we use each day before it disappears down the drain forever! Now you can – with a heat recovery system from Hansgrohe. The Pontos HeatCycle system is the result of years of research. It recovers the energy from the grey water. To this end, the system uses a heat exchanger to extract the heat from the still warm grey water and uses this to heat up cold drinking water. This saves valuable resources, lowers gas or electricity bills and reduces CO2 emissions. Those who use Pontos HeatCycle can reduce their overall energy requirement for hot water preparation by up to 20%. That is good news for the climate, your wallet and our future as a whole.

via Recover heat – Pontos HeatCycle, reusing resources | Hansgrohe International.

Build Simply – Northland Northern Advocate

  

A few simple building rules could have saved billions of dollars and kept thousands of people in their own homes after the Canterbury earthquake, Far North Mayor Wayne Brown says.

The problems showed the complicated building codes of recent years were no help, because they were ignored or not understood.

The excellent performance of old timber-framed, iron-roofed homes – built in the decades after a swarm of earthquakes in 1859-70, long before modern building codes – proved his point, he said.

 

 

Building practices exposed by Christchurch quake – Local News – Northland Northern Advocate.

Build a resilient house [NZ Herald]

  

“It is not enough to design purely for life safety,” says Auckland architect Barry Copeland. “A resilient house, as well as surviving structurally through an earthquake, needs to continue its function as a family home.”

In response to the Christchurch earthquake, Copeland, working with seismic engineer Barry Davidson and wastewater systems engineer Ian Gunn has developed a concept design for a house providing a high degree of self-reliance in terms of basic essential services – water, energy, drainage.

via The resilient house – National – NZ Herald News.

Walking Christchurch–Contributed by Roger Buck

  

BedZed Development:

BedZed 1BedZed 2BedZed 3BedZed 4

 

Freiberg Housing

Housing FreiburgFreiburg Community GraphicMixed Use Freiburg

 

Medium Density Housing, Christchurch:

Medium Density Christchurch

 

Frankton Proposal:

Medium Density Housing, Frankton Proposal

 

Existing Housing in New Zealand:

Rhys & Anne's Place 2Rhys & Anne's Place

 

What We Can Do (Roger Buck)

What We Can Do

 

Bricks Work – After 22 Feb Earthquake:

EQ Bricks Still On Hi Mass House

 

Urban Growth – Two Examples of Another Way

[Article Submitted to the Christchurch Press on Urban Form]

Although the evidence is all around us there seems to be little appreciation of the depth of the impacts that the car-industry giants, allied to the oil industry, have had on our lives. They have in a very short time destroyed our sense of community – the human-to-human interactions that are the foundation of human existence – and greatly increased our cost of living (which represents a massive transfer of wealth from us to them) in order to meet their own self-centred, commercially-driven objectives.

To achieve this General Motors and Ford (in particular) took over the design of our cities. And as first steps in that direction public transport systems were destroyed, or, at best, marginalised, and road-based urban sprawl took over as the primary means of dealing with urban growth. Motorways became symbols of economic ‘progress’. Taken together all these things were, and still are, regarded as fundamental to our being a so-called ‘advanced’ society.
With increasing concerns about urban sprawl becoming evident, peak oil now upon us, and climate change rarely out of the news, it is imperative that we take a serious look at alternatives.

Two examples of developments which, in their entirely different ways, were designed to put people before cars are Port Grimaud, on the south coast of France (near Saint-Tropez); and New Ash Green, on the outskirts of London.

Port Grimau - Links & Spaces

 

Significantly, in each case their architects were also the developers and they run roughly in parallel in terms of conception and initial work (1960s), but New Ash Green took less time to complete. Both projects experienced problems with the planning authorities which took several years to deal with – New Ash Green required ministerial intervention to obtain approval.

Port Grimaud covers 90ha, and includes 2,900 homes (a population of perhaps 8,000 people), a variety of retail outlets, 7km of canals, and 14km of waterfront. The architect and developer was M. Francois Spoerry, and his aim was to build a waterside village designed to relate closely in appearance to the traditional characteristics of the local architecture and urban form, which had evolved over thousands of years. This was applied in particular to the visible elements of group composition, scale, materials and finishes – but also to the movement of people within the development. Consequently vehicles were to be kept out, except for servicing purposes, with parking generally being distributed around the perimeter.

It is without doubt a very beautiful and appealing place. There are plazas, courtyards and a market place; gardens, streets, lanes, waterfront walks, and bridges form linkages which connect everything together.  Cafes, bars, restaurants and shops are plentiful and varied. The scale of everything is entirely human, and although variety and individuality abounds there is a powerful sense of coherence, physically and socially. It was clearly designed from the heart, and is therefore as far from our obsession, in New Zealand, with simplistically conceived, rigid, box-ticking, traffic-focused rules (and the associated lawyer-driven processes), which produce our urban environments as it is possible to imagine.
Unfortunately this development has become a victim of its own success, and its location. Many of the owners come from northern Europe, which means that it is a summer destination for many, and it also attracts large numbers of tourists – also during the summer – which skews social and economic activity. As well, because of the emphasis on boats, there is also a demographic bias.

New Ash Green 1New Ash Green 2

New Ash Green is entirely different in that it was conceived as a relatively self-contained village of low-cost housing for around 5,000 people, set in countryside some 35km from central London. It was intended to show that there could be alternatives to the generally bleak housing estates being built elsewhere, and although most houses were to be privately owned it was planned to include about 400 ‘social’ houses – until a change of government pulled the plug on this (thus bankrupting the developer).   Whilst the surroundings – high on the North Downs – are certainly very pleasant the only close attraction of any significance is Brands Hatch, a race track.

The architect and developer (via Span), Eric Lyons, as with Francois Spoerry, worked from people first, cars second. This led to groups of houses being located next to landscaped walkway links to the village centre, school, and recreation areas. Cars are generally parked or garaged close to, but away from the dwellings, and are concealed partly or completely by what is now very substantial planting. The village centre and school are within easy, safe, and pleasant walking distance from all the houses. The amount of green space is amazing – it’s perfect for children.
Where this development stands out is that it shows the value of comprehensive design and development. As with Port Grimau the entire project was carried out entirely as a singular, unified, environmentally-centred design process with a wide mix of housing types. By contrast, in New Zealand, the design inputs are limited to subdivision, roads, and services – which come first, and which are all controlled by the town planning process – then, tacked-on, notional, landscaping. There is no architecture as such – the most visible residual outcome of this process, the roads and houses, are in effect also designed by planners because of their control of heights, separation from boundaries and set-backs from streets.
Forty years on and New Ash Green has matured, and looks great. But there are a few glitches. Two motorways built nearby have led to reduced use of the shopping centre and it has clearly suffered. Making this worse, the absentee centre owners have paid no attention to maintenance, and this shows; as well, changes have been made which have damaged the original architecture.

There is a railway nearby, but beyond easy walking distance, and there is a bus service. But neither of these can compete with use of personal vehicles so until something changes, such as the cost of motoring, the commercial viability of the shopping centre will remain marginal.

A second problem, a relatively new one, has been the growth of absentee house owners: the so-called buy-to-let investors have moved in. They also neglect maintenance, and have no interest in what their tenants get up to either.
Both New Ash Green and Port Grimau are managed by residents’ committees, and owners are charged an annual fee to cover the costs of this. There are also controls over such things as colours, alterations and additions. Some residents may resent this, but the results are clear: both developments are, albeit in quite different ways, exceptionally attractive, very well maintained, and liveable environments.

Both these developments clearly share a common design ethic. They demonstrate the value of visionary inputs into high quality, comprehensive, and carefully coordinated design processes which recognise our need for human interactions both with each other and with the wider natural environment, as well as our responses to scale, proportion, texture, colour and form.

Contrast this approach to the housing which results from our fractured, leaderless system which reduces design inputs to the absolute legal minimum and we get exactly what we see all around us: visual tedium, sterility, and endlessly cloned oversized roads lined with equally monotonous one type-fits-all houses – each with a wide driveway and a double garage. Recognition of having appealing spaces around us, and of social diversity, or having a pleasant walk to the shops, schools and other amenities?  – forget it: like it or not there is no choice but to jump into your car and drive across town to do these things, and in so doing you will pass through equally soulless surroundings, and end up at a big box retail outfit set in the middle of a gigantic car park and almost never meet anyone you know.
I think there is very clear message behind all this: we can and must do better.

 

PDF: Clifton After T28-C-brochure-( New Zealand, Roger Buck)

Roger Buck can be reached at bucrl@clear.net.nz

CPIT students to design and build innovative, low-energy, affordable homes

  

CPIT is currently completing a scoping exercise to determine the size and shape of CPIT’s entry into the Shac 2011 competition.

A brief has been given to students from CPIT’s School of Architecture to scoop and then present to the CPIT Shac committee.

Current thinking on this project is that two units may be built, one with as many alternative and sustainable options available and the other with more conventional practices so the equivalency can be measured.

Features:

  • One bedroom units that is transportable
  • Can be placed on a section as a second dwelling
  • Is easy to relocate as required
  • Accommodation that meets a range of community needs from emergency housing to a Granny flat.
  • Services can be connected and disconnected without remedial work required
  • As self sufficient as possible within a average budget
  • Use of sustainable materials
  • Has high energy efficiency
  • Has Grey water containment options