8/10/2012 - A prototype house design, dubbed a “house of the future” has taken out one of the top awards at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.
The house, planned for a site in Wanaka and as yet unbuilt, is the result of world-leading research into sustainable building and will ultimately emit no new carbon into the atmosphere.
The project won the ‘future projects – house’ category at the festival, making RTA Studio the first New Zealand architecture practice to win a category at the awards in its five-year history.
The awards are considered the ‘Oscars’ of the architecture community.
The house was designed for the Longview Environmental Trust on a site within an “outstanding natural landscape” 15 minutes west of Wanaka, called Emerald Bluffs. The architects incorporated the sustainability objectives into a design that was in harmony with the landscape, met the strict covenant conditions of the site, and provided an enjoyable living environment.
Dubbed the ‘C3 house’ because of its triple layered approach to carbon minimization, the finished project will emit no carbon in its operation, has net zero carbon in its total construction materials, and is also 100% recyclable at the end of its life-span. It will be built of locally sourced timber, stone and rammed earth.
The house impressed the jury with its “highly considered approach to energy use, both in terms of fuel requirements and of the embodied energy used in materials”.
“As a prototype for a carbon neutral house,’ the judges said, “it acts as a paradigm that can be emulated in future developments on the site. In formal terms it has a topographic presence that responds to the surrounding landscape, but what clearly sets it apart is its thoughtful propositional nature, making it a “house of the future”.
“It explores the concept of carbon neutrality to a thorough conclusion. The fact that our work and research has been recognised at a prestigious international level is hugely gratifying,” said architect, Richard Naish, of Auckland based architecture firm, RTA Studio.
John May of Longview Environmental Trust said ‘We wanted an outstanding design that not only complemented this unique landscape of Emerald Bluffs and was a livable home, but also satisfied the environmental requirements. It was a challenging brief and we are excited that the judges recognized RTA’s design with this award.’
Emerald Bluffs has a long term commitment to ecological restoration and enhancement of the landscape it inhabits. Over 100,000 natives were planted on the 85ha site prior to the first house starting construction and extensive restoration work and pest control continues.
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