We orientated the house to the sun so we had maximum solar gain. We have concrete floors that pick up that solar gain. The house was set up so that in the summer, we had limited sun coming inside and in the winter, maximum sun. Everything is flat access from inside to outside. The whole place is light and bright.
You can look out into park-like zones. You can look down to across the city. You sit up on the top of the hill and catch the sun first thing in the morning and late at night.
Within the house, we have solar panels on the roof. We have a lot of solar gain through the double glaze. Every room has a sliding door so you can come and go. The house is wired totally for any IT you would want to run. The place is fitted out with speakers in all rooms. It has smart technology built in, so when we eventually moved in, everything was set up and ready to go.
This house was a category winner for the House of 2007 in the price range between 600,000 to a million dollars. He received a Golden Award for the Design of- as build in 2007 in that same category. It won the Micro Bathroom Excellence Award, which is another part of the build. He won the Future-proof Building Award.
He thought in features that we needed that he thought would future-proof this. He ended up receiving the Lifetime Mark award for the design of the house. In the reality, he was ahead of his time. This house was the flagship to launch Lifemark design. He has something real to show people, “I’ve done it. Here are the awards that go with it.
What is a Lifemark House?
A Lifemark has goals so that anybody can live in it. It’s a home that’s easy for moms and babies; easy for family and children and adolescents and old age.
The concept of Lifemark is to be able to be adapted to meet anyone’s needs. This house here has been designed for my needs. For example, light switches are set at a meter. If you have Power Point, set at 500 off the floor. That means you don’t have to bend. You can have easy access to anything you want to touch.
What are visitors’ reactions to the house?
They didn’t know that such beautiful homes existed in the hot valley. They just think that we’re just so lucky to be living in such a beautiful home that’s so beautifully built. That’s exactly how I feel.
One of the boys’ girlfriends came and went, “Oh. This is like being on TV. This is like green designs.” I went, “Well actually, yes it is.”
We have had it open for a garden house design show. This was one of the last houses on the list, and we had hundreds of people coming through. Their feedback was this was the best place that’s seen in Wellington, cars were packed on the road, people were streaming up the hill to get here before the time to close off the visits.
Other people who are building houses say, “Look, we’ve been told this is the place to come and look at.” They pick up features, like the wall behind me. In terms of the concrete block, polished concrete, just different. When you’re talking to someone who hasn’t seen it, they go, “Well, I don’t like that.” They come in here and go, “Oh. Put that on my list.” This has been a good reference place for some of Brian’s clients to come and look to see what can be done.