Five-year wait to create the ultimate energy-efficient house

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Allan Wallace of Allan Wallace Builders Ltd was ecstatic when he was announced as the winner of the BRANZ Sustainable Homes $500,000 – $1 million award at the Registered Master Builders PlaceMakers 2012 House of the Year — particularly after a long wait for technology to meet the client’s sustainability needs.

Mr Wallace says his winning Rodney home is exceptionally special, with extremely rare energy efficiency qualities that made it stand out from others in the category.
“This home really is one of a kind — it is unusual in that it has no windows and the walls are made up of 93% glass. To meet the client’s sustainability needs, we waited five years for technology to catch up so we didn’t compromise the home’s aesthetic elements,” he says.
“The brief from the client was that they wanted all the modern toys and gadgets as well as extensive energy efficiency. Coupled with a very exposed and oddly shaped site, this build required a lot of attention to detail and a lot of technical consideration.”

The judges called the winning home a fabulous symmetrically planned house that incorporates a multitude of heat capturing, energy saving and power providing components.
“The owners had a very clear view on their sustainable lifestyle requirements and have set about creating a home that provides this in spades,” they said.
“Thicker than normal interior concrete floors, extensive insulation, low E glazing and wood burning fires throughout provide a thermal mass requiring zero input from local facilities. This is a simple, beautifully built, uncomplicated yet ultra efficient home that is a perfect fit for the owners’ lifestyle.”

Mr Wallace says winning House of the Year is recognition for his team, and confirmation that his business stacks up against others in the industry.
“Winning these awards tends to be a real achievement for my son and the guys who work for me — they just love it, and they pride themselves on working for an award-winning company,” he says.
“Being able to say they worked on a home that won a House of the Year award is also a fantastic testament for the younger builders’ CVs, which means they really get something back from the competition.
“In this industry, it’s very difficult to judge where you sit among your peers. You can listen to feedback from clients and others you cross paths with but, ultimately, the way to gauge how you’re doing is through House of the Year.”

The Awards are made possible through the support of PlaceMakers, James Hardie, GIB, Nulook, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Future-Proof Building, Carters, ITM, Plumbing World, Resene and Westpac.

For more information about the competition, visit the Registered Master Builders web site at www.masterbuilder.org.nz.

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