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The 'Five-Star' Tramping Lodge

 

 

Hilltop Karori home turns self sufficient

High up in the Karori hills; secluded but with expansive views over Karori central and the Wellington harbour beyond, stretches a 2-acre section covered in native bush. At the top of this lot perches a tiny treasure of a house, designed and built by local architect Rochelle Tse in the late 90s.

We were approached in Aug 2012 to help upgrade the energy performance and the capacity of this solid Macrocarpa, single bed home.

Phase 1 was to replace the extensive single glazing with high performance windows, built by Paul and his talented team at Wainui Joinery. Comprising double-glazed units perfectly framed in slender, golden Macrocarpa and fitted into the existing openings, the new windows look like a part of the original design. Since the install, the interior has been noticeably cosier and draught-free.

Phase two of the project was to extend the house by way of a garage / sleep out. The design of this was to provide a north-facing roof slope for a solar photovoltaic array, with the building volume below bordering an internal garden courtyard, sheltered from the southerly winds.

Phase 2 is now complete, and the vision has been met! The ply cladding is as yet fresh and yellow, but will silver off with age to match the house. With its long axis facing north, and detailed to fit the existing architecture (complete with Wainui timber windows), this is a very special, sun-trapping garage indeed, and warrants its nickname as a ‘five star tramping hut!’ The building is ‘solar-ready’ – pre-wired for the installation of PV panels to create a zero-energy home in the future.

Below the garage to the south, the land is being terraced for vege gardens and an orchard, irrigated by water collected from the garage roof. With three beehives producing a Manuka honey blend, this 2-acre property is shaping up to be a small slice of self-sufficient paradise…

Beautiful Timber windows: Meticulously crafted, high performance, timber framed windows have been installed in both the new part of the home and the existing. 

Beautiful Timber windows: Meticulously crafted, high performance, timber framed windows have been installed in both the new part of the home and the existing. 

Draft free: Since the install of the new windows the interior has been noticeably cosier and draught-free.

Draft free: Since the install of the new windows the interior has been noticeably cosier and draught-free.

Where the old meets new: The design is sympathetic to the existing macrocarpa home and, as it ages, will blend seamlessly with the original.

Where the old meets new: The design is sympathetic to the existing macrocarpa home and, as it ages, will blend seamlessly with the original.

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A small footprint: As a part of a larger 2-acre section of native bush, the extension has been designed to have a minimal impact on the environment, with concrete floors to soak up the sun, timber windows, rainwater storage and a solar array to power the existing house.

A small footprint: As a part of a larger 2-acre section of native bush, the extension has been designed to have a minimal impact on the environment, with concrete floors to soak up the sun, timber windows, rainwater storage and a solar array to power the existing house.