14 Oct 22

Southern House of the Year

Southern House of the Year

Our Winders St build was a huge success at the Registered Master Builders Southern House of the Year Awards.

Our team were awarded:

Gold⁠ Award

Regional Category Win ($2-4 mil⁠lion)

Sustainable and Environmental Award⁠

A Top 100 place...which means we're into the National Awards in November!


The Sustainable and Environmental Award⁠ was an exciting win for us. Sustainability forms an underlying theme in the build and has influenced many design decisions.
Some of the key elements are:

 The performance of the house is designed around passive house principles. Verified via pressure testing, the ‘leakage’ for the entire home is only 0.64m2 (3.54 air changes per hour @ 50Pa).

• Rammed earth is naturally low in embodied energy, meaning only a small amount of energy is needed to manufacture and construct the walls.

• The earth used in the walls is locally sourced from the Cardrona valley only 15km away from site. Waste from the building process is reduced, and any leftover earth can be safely spread on site.

• The rammed earth has significant thermal mass which increases energy efficiency. It causes thermal lag which can keep the house cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

• The location/ orientation of the house - its windows and eaves optimise for solar gain from winter sun while reducing direct sunlight in summer

• The roof is warm roof technology.

• A zender fresh air unit mechanically ventilates the home, keeping the inside environment healthy.

• Abodo timber is used on part of the exterior cladding. Abodo is a thermally modified New Zealand pine and is carbon positive.

• The polished floor is completely independent of the structural slab (poured after the walls and roof were in place) giving it full thermal isolation from the outside.

Winders St is a shining example of how trusting, collaborative relationships can successfully work towards a singular vision. Built during the tumultuous Covid period, the project team seamlessly delivered a spectacular home despite the overseas client - Jasper Living - and project manager being unable to visit throughout the build. ⁠
The home represents deep connections between people, land, the past and future. Constructed where the old family bach once stood, the house will be the centre of new memories for future generations. The design balances form and function by combining enduring aesthetic with practicality of use and connectivity with the land. The result is cutting edge design beautifully crafted to leave a positive legacy in Wanaka⁠. ⁠
The centrepieces of this intricate build are monolithic rammed earth walls and ‘twisted’ pavilion roofs. The shear mass of the rammed earth walls evoke a primal sense of shelter, emphasised by steel lintel cappings that support the roofs. This lintel is bolted into the rammed earth providing a key visual aesthetic in addition to its core functionality. ⁠
Supported on steel fins to provide a ‘floating’ effect, the roofs were very technical as they feature a non-linear twist. Clean cedar ceilings and subtle negative detailing where wall linings adjoin bely the complexity (of both design and build) of the structure. ⁠
Finishing work is meticulous and precise. The care and workmanship that has gone into the build is felt in every room.
Photo credit: Simon Devitt & Registered Master Builders