Our Houses

tui house small

As described in our Concept Proposal, during our research we identified a number of different options for houses which could be used to provide affordable housing in Golden Bay.

We have completed four two bedroom houses using Formance SIPS panels:


house 2

House #1: 547 Hamama Road


house 1

House #2: 880 Collingwood-Bainham Road

houses 3 4

Houses #3 and #4: 187 Commercial Steet, Takaka

house 3 kitchen

House #3: Kitchen

house 3 living room

House #3: Lounge

house 4 bathroom

House #4: Bathroom with Wet Shower

Here is a video which shows the construction of our first house:


House #5 is our first three-bedroom house is an Ecotect traditional timber framed design but with a local twist: much of the timber is sourced in Tasman district and milled by Gibson Timber in Wakefield. This is focused on a more 'natural' design and so has features such as timber walls and flooring.




rangihaeta completed


House #5: Rangihaeata

Houses #6 to #9 will be a new flexible design which are 80 square metre houses which can be either two or three bedrooms. Below is the three-bedroom configuration. For two bedrooms the kitchen is shifted to where the third bedroom is.

multi proof




Since some of our houses will be targeted at pensioners and persons with disabilities, we have considered their needs in the project, as well as engaging with people in the community working with those target groups. The Lifemark principles for accessiblity have also been followed where practicable and they have undertaken a review for maximising accessibility.

The Lifemark process is of great value as there are many opportunites to improve the accessibility of a home--and 85% of the improvements were at no or very minor cost. Many of these will be included in our regular houses. An example of one of our accessibility features is the 'wet' bathroom. Among the features:

  • A basin which is wheelchair accessible
  • Toilet 450 mm high for ease of access, with large buttons
  • Wet shower area 1200 x 1200

wet bathroom

The Lifemark features will be incorporated to all of our builds to the extent practicable.



With our goal of building houses quickly and cost effectively we have transitioned from the standard timber piles we used in the first house, to 'Screw Piles' for the second. These allow the foundation to be installed in half a day for about the same cost as timber piles.  They also have about 570 kg less embodied CO2 (eCO2) than the concrete solution, so using them for a 60 square metre house is equivalent to saving some 5,500 km of travel for a car. Here they are being installed for House #3.

screw piles


Here's a video of the installation of a pile at our second house.


Construction Waste

A major focus of our project is to minimize construction waste. The average house build produces some 4,500 kg of waste; our first build produced 780 kg. We produced only 280 kg of waste (one household trailer) on our fifth house getting it to the point of lining the interior, and the total waste was under 400 kg.


construction waste house1

One focus we have is on reusing where possible (e.g. flooring offcuts make great shelves). If we can't reuse we recycle where we can. There is a lot of rubbish which does not weigh much, but still contributes to waste.  The appliances for one house come packed in styrofoam which will fill two waste bags (see below). We take it to Mitre10 in Nelson who recycle it into Expol insulation which is what we use in the flooring. A real circular economy!

Styrofoam Small

We save our soft plastics and they are transformed into fence posts, planter boxes and more using the NZ Post soft plastic recycling program. It is amazing how much soft plastic fits into one of their $7 bags!

Soft Plastic Small

Construction Partners

Another important consideration in selecting the houses to build was maximizing the opportunities to benefit our local community. For example, we expect that ITM will supply materials. Our preference for other suppliers is to purchase New Zealand made if there is not a major cost increase for doing so--for example our blinds from Wellington. With this approach, we have estimated that for every 2-3 houses we build there will potentially be one-person year of employment, much of it in Golden Bay. This is important as our local firms support our local community by facilitating their staff to be our volunteer fire fighters, ambulance officers, etc. Every time we have a local function we reach out to them for sponsorship. Our 'Supporters' page recognizes the help of our various partners with realizing our vision of affordable housing in Golden Bay.



Our houses are being built at a variety of locations around Golden Bay. The map below shows the current status of our Phase 1 houses. The box to the right gives more details as well as photos.

house blue icon The Blue icons are completed houses.
house gold icon The Gold icons are houses either being built or in the resource/building consent stage.
house purple icon The Purple icons are sites where the landowners have approached the GBMAHP about the possibility of hosting homes. No assessments have been done as to the viability of participating in the project and it is uncertain how many of these will proceed.