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Timbercrete Sustainable Home

This property is sited in a semi-rural area on the hills overlooking the Papakura region.

The house is orientated true North to maximise passive solar heat gain and the optimum for solar hot water panels.  The house is formed to sit into the site and to be a ‘story’ point for visitors and family members alike.

The brief specifics was to create a small home with guest accommodation (final area 326m2), two bedrooms, an office that could be converted into a bedroom, providing warmth in winter and cool interiors in the summer.

Layout to allow natural sunlight and open plan living utilising natural materials wherever possible. The design was developed to allow for a strong expression of the natural products and to include exposed beams, sarked ceilings and the appearance of wood panels to a traditional dado. The connection between the living and the second floor was to be ‘transparent’ but with a sense of strength.

DB&S presented a new product that could combine a natural finish along with structural integrity and thermal performance. Timbercrete blocks could meet these requirements and was a sustainable form of construction. The blocks are handmade in Rotorua and are constructed with over 50% of timber shavings, sourced from local mills and combined with aggregate and concrete. The thermal factor of this timber component is high and warm to the touch inside the home and has an extremely high acoustic performance.

Radiata pine was used extensively for all beams, rafters, balustrades, shelving and the main elements were pre-stained prior to installation. Shadowclad T&G sheets were used for the sarking ceilings and panels to the walls. The overall effect resulted in the client requesting it to be continued on all flat ceilings.

The Cedar garage doors, Eucalyptus Main Entry door plus framing and the use of Shadowclad to disguise the external beams have all complimented to the overall design. The finishing touch in the kitchen had Timbercrete blocks behind the gas cooker protected with a screw fixed clear glass panel to allow the blocks to be seen beyond. The combination of the different materials compliment each other and the finish at the junctions ensured the successful blending of all the components.

A final endorsement from our client:  “I wouldn’t change a thing in the house, it has met all my expectations and more. I would definitely work with the architect and contractor on another project.”


NZ Wood Timber Design Awards 2010
Highly Commended – Sustainability Award