Construction Types

Methods of construction available to you

Light Timber Framing
Precast Concrete
Straw Bale
Earth Block

Light Timber Framing

The bulk of the new houses constructed in New Zealand utilise light timber framing as the supporting structure of the house.

To the framing is fixed weatherboarding, plaster (in many forms) sheet material, a veneer of brick, block or stone, glass paneling and many other linings. The inside can be lined with any material that will satisfy the health, safety and durability requirements laid down in the Building Code.

The roofing mediums are equally as varied with profiled metal, concrete or clay tiles, sheet material, timber shakes or slates etc.Houses of this nature are required to be insulated to provide comfort levels and reduce energy consumption.

We design the majority of houses using this form of construction, often using innovated design solutions to extend the capacity of the timber framing and to provide good design solutions for our clients.

Precast Concrete

We highly favour this form of construction for housing and commercial use because of the design options available and the distinct advantages of the system in provision an energy efficient, temperature regulated environment.

The construction, using the Thermomass system, consists of a reinforced concrete inside shell 150mm thick with a 50mm high density polystyrene layer separating the 65mm outer shell. The two concrete layers are held together with proprietary pins. Most of the panels are factory produced and trucked to the site.

Houses constructed of Thermomass have a permanence about them and the clear finished precast concrete surfaces provide a lively backdrop for modern living.

Many of our houses incorporate portions of external walls using Thermomass intermixed with light timber framing and glazing depending on orientation and design.

Straw Bale

We have developed a philosophy with respect to straw bale construction for housing that revolves around the sustainability of the external straw bale walls. Much of this philosophy stems from work we have undertake with a lecturer at Victoria University and aims at protecting the straw bales from attack by moisture where the possibility of wetting the walls occurs.

The sites where we have been involved with straw bales construction have generally been exposed rural locations and the desire to protect our client’s environment (and investment) has led us to be cautious in our approach. To achieve a safe structure we have surrounded the bale walls with a ventilated timber frame. This ensures that, should any moisture manage to get to the bale, the moisture will be drawn away by the air movement and ensures the bales remain dry.

Walls over half a metre thick with windows and doors set back from the face provide a feel of strength, stability and dimension not found in conventional houses. The interior walls, plastered over the bales have a free flowing irregularity that enhances the hand build feel of the housed.

Straw bales provide high values of insulation and reduces the energy requirements and running cost of the house.

Earth Block

When the clients requested a house with a solid feel with low maintenance costs in to the future we suggested earth block as an option.

The blocks are made in Hawkes Bay and were laid by local blocklayers. Each block is 290mm x 290mm x 190mm and weigh close to 40kg per block. The walls, some over 4 metres high are mortared together and are cored to take vertical reinforcement and service ducting.

We suggest that the structural timbers be recycled timber to match the rustic nature of the bricks with macrocarpa rafters and sarking.
The end result is one of solidarity and timelessness.

 

 
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