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eHaus – Parthenay Project


The house design was inspired by a trip to Parthenay – a fortified town in western France.

The designer of this highly engineered residential house has created a unique family home that combines quaint French villa and farmhouse-living with energy efficiency. It sits comfortably on a small rural life-style block in Brunswick, Whanganui, overlooking a gully with Ruapehu in the distance.

Stairs and hallway

eHaus is a German concept which Jon Lliffe and Baden Brown have brought to New Zealand. It is a design for the client who is looking forward to the future for a healthier, driver and energy efficient home or building.

The eHaus Parthenay has been designed for a busy family with three teenage boys. The house design is a two storeyed box shape with no windows to the South, slim windows to the East and West to filter light through the home at the beginning and end of the day, and large windows to the North to allow light to flood the house during the day.

Bedroom and bathroom

Living is arranged mainly to the North with only one bedroom, stairwell and bathrooms on the South side of the house. The concept is to utilise as much of the natural resource in the sun as possible. The main living area floor is finished in polished concrete which sits on a thick insulated pad to isolate the material from ground temperatures, making it an ideal cleaning surface and a curiosity among visitors who can’t believe no slippers or socks are needed to comfortably walk around on the unheated floor during the winter.

The building is constructed creating an airtight ‘shell’ to live in. Care is taken to ensure that everything that enters the frame or walls, such as electrical or drainage is carefully sealed to eliminate any unnecessary loss of warm air or cold air penetrating. The house is pressure tested so ensure that the house complies with strict Code and guidelines of an eHaus passive build.

Childrens bedrooms

Health is also addressed with the controlled German air system which provides a constant supply of fresh outside air while simultaneously recovering heat energy from the CO2 laden exhausting air stream.

The concept of this build is also about energy efficiency in reducing expenditure in heating and power. The family received a power bill of $1.96 before line charge in January, using almost no energy to keep the home a constant, comfortable 20–25 degrees. A 3kW net zero solar pv system supplements electricity over the entire year.

Master bedroom

The exterior of the building is clad in Rockcote and Solar Rib Form (South facing wall and roof) with a glass balustrade on the top balcony so the sunny views are not compromised. The exterior like the interior is very structural and box like. It has no softened lines on a rural landscape and yet the structure needed to work with the landscape not against it. As a touch of colour the gates are finished in Resene Clockwork Orange and Resene Retreat.

The back wall of the structure is actually the front of the house and the first part of the house you see when driving up or down the road. It has no windows and in time the only thing that is going to soften the look is landscaping. The East, West and North facing sides of the eHaus are finished in Rockcote in Resene Double Thorndon Cream. This gives a good contrast with the COLORSTEEL® Ironsand and makes the solid structure more interesting. The strong clean lines of the outside carry through to the interior.

Bathroom detail

Light, warm reflective colours were used to achieve that look and feel visually. Light needed to bounce or reflect off the colour rather than be absorbed. It also needed to be warmer hues rather than cooler grey tones. Resene Rice Cake in Resene Zylone Sheen was chosen as it has just enough warmth but is also very neutral. Resene Half Thorndon Cream was teamed with this in Resene Lustacryl for the trim throughout the home, to give a slight variation in colour but also a difference gloss level. Feature doors are in Resene Black.

Colour was used within the boys’ space to personalise their area, as block colour on the outside of their rooms rather than feature walls inside. This gave them plenty of scope to decorate their room individually but each had a colour they enjoyed that worked well together. Resene Mountain Mist was used on the main feature wall wrapping around the two block colours, Resene Retreat and Resene Classius. This kept the colours fresh and clean.

Outside and landscape views

The colours are a definite focal point as you come up the stairs. The colours run through doors and frames rather than paint a whole wall. The balance of the upstairs landing really determined how this would work because of the interesting ceiling and the way the light reflects through this space. Resene Clockwork Orange stood alone because the bedroom is separated from the other two. To achieve a similar gloss level Resene Zylone Sheen was chosen for the walls and Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen for the doors and architraves.

The ensuite block colour was added because from the landing outside the bedrooms you looked through a slim window with the landscape beyond and it needed a soft frame. This was achieved with Resene Opal.

The punch of colour in the neutral kitchen was the glass splashback in Resene Starbell, which frames the view through the window.

The painter had not painted block colours over part walls and doors etc. I scaled everything and gave him a definite plan of what I required. He created exactly what I wanted to achieve. Individual colours for individual personalities but working together as a group or a family.

Architectural specifier: eHaus/CadViz
Building contractor: eHaus Wanganui
Colour selection: Terry Lobb, Terry Lobb Colour and Design Ltd
Painting contractor – exterior: Allan Tong Ltd
Painting contractor – interior: Phil Brown, Kiwi Impressions
Other key contributor – cladding and application: Taranaki Steelformers
Other key contributor – concrete floor: Stu Packard Wanganui Concrete
Other key contributor – glass balustrade: Sharpeye Ltd
Other key contributor – kitchen manufacturer: Rob O’Keeffe Joinery
Other key contributor – window joinery: Eco Windows
Photographer: Tracey Grant Photography
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2015

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