What Makes it an ‘Eco’-Retreat?

  • Solar panels power the house and heat the hot tub. The steep roof pitch is at the optimal gradient for the Te Anau sun’s rays to effectively reach the solar panels.
  • All water is collected from the property’s roof and stored in large rainwater tanks at the rear of the property. This water is safe to drink.
  • All wastewater is managed on-site, using a wormery and dispersal field.
  • The house is timber-framed, its walls consisting of thick NZ wool insulation and ‘natural’ paint, ensuring that walls are breathable (hygroscopic) so that rooms naturally remain at optimal humidity for human occupants (and don’t become too dry or too humid).
  • The house benefits from passive solar gain on its polished concrete floors in  northern-facing rooms. Warmth from the pad is slowly released during the day. The concrete came from the local cement works, less than 5km away.
  • Solar shading reduces the amount of sun that enters the house at the height of summer, meaning that the concrete pad remains cooler and actually helps to maintain lower temperatures during the summer.
  • Double-glazed windows are filled with argon gas, and are thermally-broken wherever this was possible.
  • Carpets are made from 100% wool.
  • Only local builders were used.
  • All landscaping on the property is native NZ plants, except the fruit trees in the orchard and the gum trees which, once big enough, are to be used for on-site firewood.
  • Only plant-based cleaning products are used (NOTE: we are using disinfectants with ingredients / strengths as recommended by the World Health Organisation during the Covid-19 pandemic).
  • The house is designed to blend in with its natural surroundings.