New Zealanders have an innate relationship with the environment. Most of us have grown up going camping or visiting the beach, and have forged, almost subconsciously, a relationship with our natural surrounds. It’s a relationship that is unique in terms of global culture, and one that informs our residential design.
It’s within the realm of the natural Kiwi connection with the environment in which Duncan Firth of Solarei Architecture works. His style is pared back and simple, focused on green, and environmental design.
“While there are many green ratings for residential dwellings that can be achieved, unfortunately, these often get put in the ‘too hard basket’ by clients given the complexity involved in achieving them,” Duncan says “While acknowledging the importance of green rating schemes and energy efficiency schemes in the industry, it’s important to acknowledge that green and energy efficient design is often a set of logical design decisions made at the start of project, which inform the overall sustainable design direction of project. For example, with a few smart design moves early on in a project the energy efficiency of a house can be halved, compared to the national average. This often comes down to floor plan layout, orientation, and smart insulation strategies.”