Castle Hill house

Location: Southern Alps, Canterbury New Zealand
Area: 130sq.m          
Year of project: 2008
Completion: 2009

The extreme climatic conditions of the Castle Hill site at 700m altitude informed much of the design. Needing to withstand high winds and snow loads as well as blistering summer sun, this project required a unique set of design solutions.

The house is constructed using a Triboard structural panel system rather than a traditional New Zealand timber stud wall technique. The snow and wind load that the building is designed to withstand is well above that prescribed by the building code. Each wall is made of a 36mm structural panel running floor to ceiling and as such provides a bracing structure engineered suitably for such a mountainous environment. The Triboard panels have the internal lining pre-attached which enabled off site prefabrication adding significant economic benefit to the project’s construction on such a remote site.

With below freezing winter temperatures all pipe work and plumbing runs within the building envelope; this also works on an aesthetic level to establish a strong clean external finish.  The building’s main heat source is a reconditioned coal range which as well as providing significant heat output also allows stove top and conventional oven cooking and heats water for the wall mounted radiator central heating system. This system creates a warm ambient temperature throughout the dwelling in any weather.