whangateau barn

Project Director
Grant Harris

This small building is the first stage of a two-stage development creating an environmentally friendly/self sufficient residence on one hectare of orchard adjacent to Lews Bay.

Situated in a peaceful valley surrounded by rural land creating a distinctive microclimate. This, coupled with very fertile, sandy soil creates the ideal environment to establish a self-sufficient life style.

The barn was constructed in two parts; a temporary living/sleeping area built over two floors with a two-storey garage adjacent. The temporary living accommodation has now been converted to guest bedrooms and a sitting room, with the garage becoming a studio.

Due to the high water table on the site the barn has been constructed on a raft slab, which will have the top surface polished and sealed. This creates the ideal heat sink – heated by direct sun through large sliding doors – releasing warmth during the night.

A macrocarpa frame forms the structure of the building where the structure is exposed internally. This applies to the garage (where the walls are clad with profiled translucent sheeting externally) and to the roof trusses throughout. Where the structure/framing is enclosed within the wall linings it reverts to conventional treated pine. These walls are heavily insulated.

The living area is lined with untreated plywood internally with corrugated steel and battened plywood, hollow core polycarbonate and profiled translucent sheeting to the exterior. All interior surfaces are non-toxic; therefore any exposed timber is macrocarpa.

Water is collected off the roof and is stored in concrete tanks for use through the household. This will be supplemented as required from an on-site bore. Sewage is “processed” through an aeration septic system with the resulting liquid being dispersed through the orchard. At this stage the power is connected to the grid but future connection to alternative supplies has been allowed for.

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