Sustainable Habitat Construction

Building a Better Way

All Blog Posts (31)

UCOL 6 Star build

I am currently leading a UCOL project to design and build a cost-effective, sustainable house that demonstrates energy and health benefits compared to a code standard build.

For more information check out our website or you can contact me at [email protected]

Added by Matt Cassells on August 27, 2012 at 15:10 — No Comments

The Little House That Could

The Little House That Could (TLHTC) is a model for whole community sustainability education based on eco-renovation and permaculture food production. It engages school children from the earliest grades all the way through senior citizens with local, tangible, affordable and realistic approaches to ecological, economic and social sustainability. The programme emphasizes ecological literacy, thermodynamic literacy and financial literacy. 


At the primary school level, teachers…


Added by Nelson Lebo on November 3, 2011 at 8:51 — No Comments

Project #2

The other project just started, is a retrofit affordable eco habitat (RAEH project) - we are building a 60m2 apartment under my pole house using all recycled and natural materials (like pallets, rammed earth tyres, carpet as lath for earth plaster, adobe internal walls, earth floors on recycled polystyrene packaging sheets. Etc. The Raeh will be off grid with lighting via a solar panel/12v battery, cooking via biogas from a biodigester, heating via passive solar design, greywater recycling…


Added by Mark Fielding on August 26, 2011 at 12:33 — No Comments

Project #1

Best I get cracking with our entry... PLEASE READ ALL COMMENTS FOR THE FULL STORY, THANKS.

we have an eco cabin just completed which is built from 90% recycled waste materials (IE Garbage) that meets all the performance requirements of the NZ building code (I maintain - as an LBP). The timber frame is all wooden pallets, the lining is old wool carpet facing hessian side out and painted with discarded paint. All roofing and cladding is second hand corrugated iron from a 1920's bungalow…


Added by Mark Fielding on August 26, 2011 at 11:30 — 7 Comments

Christchurch sustainable homes project

My partner and I are interested in building a sustainable home in Christchurch.

We would like to at least meet, or team up (possibly even to form a community project)

with people to share information, find ways to reduce costs and resources,…


Added by Jane Pearce on April 21, 2011 at 23:30 — No Comments

‘Low energy houses for the NZ climate ’.

Not until the 1950’s with the wide spread development of roads, global infrastructure ,fossil fuel distribution, and industrialisation were we able to turn our backs on the sun and wind as providers of light, heat and air for the houses and buildings we occupy. As a consequence, in just a few decades we have experienced an exponential growth in consumption of natural resources, production of pollution and waste. Fortunately, for New Zealand 60% of energy required to run our country comes…


Added by Duncan Firth on March 14, 2011 at 22:22 — No Comments

Masonry Stove Nearly Finished

Sampsa's masonry stove is nearly finished! Albie came from Maine Wood Heat in the USA to teach us about how to make these Finnish style wood burners. The firebox is designed for complete combustion of flue gasses, and storing heat in the bricks for 8-12 hours. One or two firings a day… Continue

Added by Tim Bishop on February 10, 2010 at 16:32 — No Comments

Finnish Masonry Stove Course, February 5th to February 12th, 2010

Finnish Masonry Stove Course

Central Otago Polytechnic

Place: Clyde, Central Otago New Zealand

Time: February 5th to February 12th, 2010

Teachers: Albie Barden – Professional Mason from USA

Participants: Approximately 8. Fee approx. 1200 NZD. Food included. Does not include accommondation.

a)… Continue

Added by Tim Bishop on January 22, 2010 at 17:30 — 1 Comment

CommendationsCommended for Vision: The Plant Room for revitalizing Wellington inner city apartments with a bolt-on garden room; Waikato for SIP panel design and backyard sleepout; Whareuku for low-co…


Commended for Vision: The Plant Room for revitalizing Wellington inner city apartments with a bolt-on garden room; Waikato for SIP panel design and backyard sleepout; Whareuku for low-cost housing for rural north island; BACH 101 on Rangitoto Island for only retrofitting what was needed; Ecocrib for considering products that work in concert with the homeowners to make using less energy and water fun and easy;…


Added by Tim Bishop on December 1, 2009 at 1:30 — No Comments

Updated Symposium Programme and Venue details

See the Symposium Page

Added by Tim Bishop on November 17, 2009 at 15:43 — No Comments

Designing Better Products

Designing A Better Way - SHaC09 opens at Unitec on 9th November and forms part of our Cumulus Aotearoa Conference -

Please drop by to see the exhibition before it travels to Otago for the SHaC09 S…


Added by Roger Bateman on November 3, 2009 at 12:30 — No Comments


Added by Roger Bateman on November 3, 2009 at 11:39 — No Comments

The Plant Room Renderings

The Plant Room has submitted some renderings of their ambitious inner-city apartment… Continue

Added by Tim Bishop on October 15, 2009 at 9:30 — No Comments

Pics of Jobsite Progress August 31 2009


Added by Sarah Johnston on September 29, 2009 at 22:31 — No Comments

Team Waikato to SHAC 09 House at Waikato Home Show 1- 4 October

Keeping it so simple (KISS)

The key is good insulation moving the barriers that prevent insulation from working and using New Zealand's number 1 sustainable product Pinus Radiata in a panel system.

* The design is simple, the construction unique and simple, the materials plentiful.

* With plenty of glass to the north and little to the south, heat loss is minimal.

* With high levels of insulation in the floor, walls and ceiling.

* Venting to give comfort and… Continue

Added by Tim Bishop on September 23, 2009 at 20:43 — No Comments

David Trubridge Workshop at UNITEC

David is one of our Adjunct Professors and today he starts a 2 day workshop on 'nourishment through design' with our 1st years Product Design, Object Design and Interior Design students...... we are all looking forward to what will surely be both an exciting an worthwhile two days.

I will publish photos and possibly video of the workshop to the UNITEC SHaC Ning site…


Added by Roger Bateman on August 18, 2009 at 6:15 — No Comments

UNITEC Product Design and Landscape Design

For more information on the working process adopted by Unitec's Product and Landscape Design programmes see our NING site.

Added by Roger Bateman on August 18, 2009 at 6:10 — No Comments


Masonry Stove Workshop

October 30-November 8 2009

Clyde, Central Otago

Albie Barden, from Maine Wood Heat, USA will be teaching a 7-10 workshop on how to design and build a masonry stove. This workshop will be on site in Clyde. Contact Otago Polytech, Cromwell for more information.

Straw Bale Design & Construction Workshop

November 7-13 2009

Clyde, Central Otago

This 6-day workshop is in conjunction with the SHAC project. With the straw… Continue

Added by Sarah Johnston on August 10, 2009 at 14:50 — No Comments

Construction Underway

Construction of Sampsa's home in Clyde is now underway with foundations being formed and poured. The salvaged tilt-slab panel that our Engineer, Paula, found was stood last week. It's great to have saved a great hunk of concrete from heading to the landfill. This panel is being used as a retaining wall on the lower level.

The Autoflow septic system, has been delivered to the site and will be installed soon. It's great to have the project in underway! Pictures will soon follow.

Added by Sarah Johnston on August 10, 2009 at 14:41 — No Comments

Site Visit

We visited the site last week, the basic observations of the site are: that the back section behind the house will be well sheltered by the existing rows of trees surounding it, the land is mostly flat however it does slope slightly downhill, Oakely creek is to the left hand side of the property,Oakely creek is in the gully there is a ongoing replanting project taking place down there, the creek is surrounded by trees which can be seen from site,the main road can also be seen looking across the… Continue

Added by amanda on March 11, 2009 at 15:00 — No Comments

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