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.