Davy House, a new Waller Projects south Auckland eco-home, has scooped a Gold Award in the PlaceMakers New Homes $350,000 to $450,000 category at the Auckland region Registered Master Builders 2014 House of the Year Awards, which were announced on 9 August.
As well as winning Gold, Waller Projects also topped its category at the Awards which are judged against a scorecard that encompasses workmanship, design, style and functionality.
As first-time entrants, showing the market and consumers that affordable housing does not have to be ‘brick and tile’ was a key driver for Waller Projects, who built the house alongside long-time market-leading collaborators Creative Arch and Yellowfox.
Ancient Vedic architectural principles, which are based on the direction and orientation of the home in relation to auspicious placements creating positive influences of wealth and fulfilment, formed the essence of the design; a simple north-facing butterfly wedge-shaped form mirroring the shape of a nearby mountain, and finished with striking recycled telephones poles – a first for Waller projects.
It was important to the team to achieve a high Homestar assessment rating for this eco-home project. An extensive amount of recycled timber was used in a number of areas including: Tawa for flooring, Ironbark and Tallowwood for cladding and the kitchen bench, Alaskan Yellow Cedar for the front pivot door and window jambs, Tawa for the internal sliders, salvage Oak for the vanities and TV shelf, and salvaged Kauri for the decking.
The sun areas contain polished concrete floors, and the home is fuelled by a wetback wood burner and solar panels, with louvres providing cross-ventilation for the warm summer months.
In addition, an on-site stormwater management system was implemented with a water reuse tank and soakpit into the rock substrate below, a high R-value insulation system, non-toxic paint systems suitable for climatic conditions, and low-energy lighting all contributed to Davy House achieving its 7-star Homestar rating, significantly exceeding the average home rating.
A greater consumer understanding of eco designs and principles reflects a growing demand for this type of house build. Typically, eco designs have leant themselves to big-budget projects, with the products requiring a long payback period given the initial investment. Davy House marks a shift in this trend, with its project team resolving to complete it on a budget that was not only affordable, but that still maintained a high level of detail and finish to achieve the exact tolerances required in eco-architectural design.
Auckland’s Gold Award winners will now be assessed alongside other nationwide Gold winners for consideration for the shortlist of National Gold Reserve Finalists which are to be announced in early September. National category winners, and the Registered Master Builders Supreme Awards for Renovation of the Year and House of the Year, will be announced in Auckland in November.