Geothermal-powered home amongst NZ's best - 15 Aug 2016


Taupo builders came away with three category wins at the Registered Master Builders House of the Year regional finals in Mt Maunganui last weekend.

Simon Dumble - Beechtree Building

Houses in Hilltop, Nukuhau and Two Mile Bay all received category wins.

Design Builders Taupo won the Resene New Home category $300,000 - $400,000 build category for a three bedroom home in Gillies Ave.

The weatherboard house has schist exterior features, two bathrooms, and an open plan kitchen, dining and living areas.

Penny Homes's Brentwood Ave entry in Nukuhau won the JIB Show Home category.

The four bedroom house features white ash timber flooring and cedar detailing, as well as three bathrooms and two living areas in its 224sqm floor space.

Winning the Future-Proof Building New Home category for builds costing $500,000 to $650,000 was Beechtree Building.

Director Simon Dumble said access to the lakefront property difficult, as the property had to be reached by the Lions Walk.

"That probably what helped it achieve the results, as part of the judging criteria was the difficulty of the project, as well as criteria like the quality of the the fixtures, fittings and cladding."

To steady the building's base on the lakefront sand, Dumble brought in a custom-fit concrete waffle pad. 

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"We used a double-thickness rib-raft system for the floor, which was pretty much specifically engineered for the site and these ground conditions."

Geothermal heating warms the house's underfloor heating, radiators, hot water cylinder and spa pool.

Floor to ceiling windows in the middle of the house meant the lake could be viewed from the back.

"Even on a crappy day, you can be in the hot-tub out the back, and look through the house to the lake."

The lakefront location has interesting perks and quirks though, he said.

"We had the ducks coming in on wet days when we were building. It was a bit of surprise, but not so bad, as they keep the grass down."

Dumble said it was the first time he'd entered the House of the Year awards, as he only started his company two years ago. 

"We're just a small, quality-based company. I started it up in 2014 after four years abroad in Canada. I grew up in Taupo, so I've worked for a number of builders here," he said.

Halliwell Construction won a gold award in the GIB Show Home category.

The three category winners earn a place at the House of the Year national finals in November.

 - Stuff