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Many years after our first thoughts and plans in 2012 to build a small sustainable house on our section in June 2019 the moment was finally there and we moved with the family into our 72 m2 dwelling.

We still have

With all the scaffolding still up it is difficult to see the end result of the cladding and work hasn't finished yet so we will have to be a bit more patient. More on the selection of our cladding later. With

Some houses would have this as their deck but this is the floor of our whole house. Just before the X-mas break the SIP wall and roof panels were delivered to site so those are ready to go up in

More trucks on site pouring the concrete for the foundation piles. The water tank for fire fighting purposes has been installed too. With the scaffolding in place and piles in the ground the size of the floor area and height

The upper retaining wall is almost finished and the parking turning bay is starting to take shape. With some timber structure up to guide the scaffolding the shape and height of the house is also slowly appearing.

The lasts months have been quiet but in the background progress was made. We have selected local builder Brogan Builders from Maungaturoto as our builder.
The worm waste water tanks and driplines for the soakage fields have been installed after several

Although we still have some time as we haven’t been able to secure a builder yet we are progressing with the wall and roof panel ordering. As our SIP’s (Structural Insulated Panels) for the wall and roof are all pre-fabricated

As there is no sewage system in Pahi we need an onsite waste water treatment system for both grey (all household wastewater from showers, baths, laundry, washing basins) and black water (kitchen sink, dishwasher and toilets). Options are a sceptic

While we don’t have other options than to collect rainwater and dispose of our waste water on-site there is an electricity connection to our site. So the question is to be or not to be grid connected? Decisions to go

The design of the house is still progressing slow so time to reflect on life in New Zealand. We have been here for about a year and a half now and I still love living here. Especially the beautiful environment

We have reached a point where we need to do some serious thinking about what we set out to achieve with our home and lifestyle. We intended to build a small sustainable house to keep it affordable so we wouldn’t

When we are talking about sustainable homes a lot of times it is about reducing energy and carbon emissions. While I like to know more about the carbon footprint of building a home (the "embodied energy") and the footprint of operational use later on, I

Planning and schedules are made so you can change them but for a pretty long time now we have set our mind on "drinking a glass of wine, sitting on our new deck, watching the sunset from our Pahi home, X-mas

After the first sketches some weeks back we now have the developed design drawings with nice 3D renderings. The floor area is 71.5 m² where we tried to keep the plan as open as possible. We have added a loft

Here are the first sketches and lay-outs of our home. After reviewing some schematic options and giving our input to the architect, he created the following sketch based on the lay-out concepts we liked the most. It's cool to see

Understanding the characteristics and the environment of the site plays a major role in the design of our home. Although we have an architect whose job it is to make sure all of this is taken into account, I think

When you start thinking about building your own house you develop a picture in your head about what you want and what it will look like. You know, though, things will probably be different in the end. For me, some things

After the first brief with the architect we had some actions to do: order a copy of our title for the LIM report, order a LIM report and perform a survey of the section to map the altitudes and features.

In other blogs I wrote about our sustainability goals and different concepts and definitions of sustainability in the built environment. Over the years different frameworks have been developed to assess sustainability of homes. The best known rating tools for homes