Monthly Archives: October 2012

Innovative New Zealand


Last week I was fortunate to travel back to one of my favourite destinations. The Central Otago Region of New Zealand…….Right down the bottom of the South Island.

Yes it was rather “refreshing” to say the least with flurries of snow commonplace as we walked and drove around..

On one of our tourist drives we headed down to a small town called Glenorchy located at the bottom of Lake Wakatipu. Not a great deal there except mountains but I came across a building site that caught my eye.


Log Home in Glenorchy NZ

An innovative young builder by the name of Mat Rusher of Aspiring Log homes was building a nw home in the shadow of the Majestic Mount Aspiring.

I was instantly impressed with the sheer bulk of the building materials being approx 450mm diameter logs of the introduced Douglas Fir.

These were all hand sawn and cut to fit with a bead of insulating foam providing a complete seal between the logs. The insulation capacity of this material must be truly incredible.



Each individual log cut and fitted by hand.

Window openings were cut using a chainsaw and the major structural elements were “joined” together without screws, bolts, or metal plates.

I was impressed with the  skill and  craftmanship of this guy and his ability to  get away from the  “block mentality”.  When I asked him about the cost of construction he said  that it was  a labour intensive way of building and mot the cheapest………That just means you don’t get a house as big……………”Size isn’t everything”.. apparently


When dealing with an alternative material good, efficient design is critical.  Wasted space in the form of long corridors or huge bedrooms just push the  price up.  How many of us grew up is a  100 sq/m home with 4 kids 2 dogs and a budgie??

Traditional carpentry and joinery.


If you want to know more about this interesting  building material have a look at Mat’s website

Should you require any further information reagarding alternative building materials such as  mud bricks, rammed earth, post and beam, or straw bale construction feel free to contact us for an obligation free design consultation.






Is your project “Architecturally” Designed

Sitting in seat 31A of my Qantas flight to Darwin the other day I was planning on gazing out the window but alas I scored the window seat with no window!! So I had some time to read and ponder the universe.
I happened to read an advertisement for a well known building company promoting “Architecturally Designed” homes. But I could immediately tell that no architect still drawing breath, would have designed these.

Many real estate agents claim that a home is Architecturally Designed and when asked what it means they just say “It looks nice”.

So I did a quick Dr Google search and it led me to Wikipedia where they explain that the term “Architecturally Designed” is a building or home designed by a qualified and registered Architect.

Why are so many building companies and drafting companies calling their product “Architecturally Designed”. Well I suppose like me until I had the time to look beneath the surface I just figured the term was a loosely used marketing term with no substance.

Now I realize that ALL our homes and buildings are “Architecturally Designed”. And we can safely claim this as our two qualified Architects Robin and Ahtee are not only experts in their field but suitable qualified as well.

If you’re looking to build a new home or commercial development carefully consider the sales and marketing element behind the pretty pictures. Has the person that will be working on your project got the qualifications and experience that you are led to believe they have? If in doubt ask- doing due diligence will save more unnecessary heartache down the line.