HOME2104 August/September 2021


When we started putting this issue together, the obvious first question was: what does ‘green’ mean when it comes to our built environment? The answer? Well, it was vast and varied, as seems to be the case when considering sustainability in any context.

Of note was discussion around sustainability certifications. In some instances, for example, achieving passive house certification is a clear answer, while in others avoiding certain certifications and simply using locally sourced materials, clever design methodologies, and a reduced footprint makes more sense. It’s those considerations that we traverse in this issue.

On page 82, we explore a certified passive house on the hills of the Kapiti Coast that cleverly mimics the unmistakable low-lying form of Kapiti Island in the distance.

On page 60, we look at a different approach: an off-the-grid home on a tiny Northland islet, conceived by Dave Strachan and built by Modern Earth Homes.

We also consider different elements: the underwater photography studio of environmental activist and Nelson local Jose G. Cano, which takes the form of a ‘living’ pool, and, on page 50, a beautifully nurtured landscape that stretches out from the 2021 Home of the Year in Bannockburn.

On page 108, we talk to the designer of a well-considered timber house in rural Canterbury whose footprint is small but entirely palatable — a reduction of resources in a home that delivers much joy to its owners.

Each project in this issue offers a different perspective on what is ‘green’, be it the use of copper in a striking cathedral-like vision in Christchurch or the intentional use of a material of permanence, such as concrete, that requires minimal resource use over time to maintain. Photographer Anne Noble considers the notion in her work on page 20, as does artist Judy Darragh, whose pieces are incorporated in thought-provoking imagery styled by Sarah Lods. The considerations of the designers, craftspeople, creatives, and product suppliers we spoke to as we made this issue pay heed to a wealth of thinking and harness some key narratives about the health of our planet as its protection remains front of mind.

Clare Chapman

21 September 2021

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