Teear House, Christchurch - Comfortable and Energy Efficient Christchurch Home

Nestled in the Clifton hills overlooking Christchurch, Teear House embodies the many years of experience Buck Architects + Associates have accumulated designing houses that strive to be self-sustaining in their ability to maintain comfortable and healthy internal climates.

Designed to take full advantage of solar gain for passive space and water heating Teear House achieves an affordable balance between thermal mass, glazing and insulation.

The house is an all concrete structure, with the interior arranged to maximise surface areas exposed to solar effects and penetration.  The concrete has a solid plaster internally and externally, and extruded polystyrene insulation. Other features include a Butynol membrane roof covering, predominantly tiled floors, and double glazing in thermally-efficient (PVC) frames.

Monitoring has demonstrated that regardless of external conditions the internal temperature only fluctuates within the range of +/-1C daily in terms of base levels. It is anticipated that Teear House will have a minimum (winter) base temperature of no lower than 17C in any room.

Buck Architects + Associates founder Roger Buck believes that in the pursuit of optimal passive design it is impossible to ‘over-mass’.  “Our experience and research have shown that thermal mass, or a thermal mass equivalent, is essential if uniform temperatures throughout a dwelling are to be achieved passively by minimising the effects of daily and seasonal external temperature swings and solar variability.”

The strong commitment to passive solar design exhibited by Teear House accompanies an overall approach to sustainable building practices. This is evident in the durable products selected, which provide minimal maintenance requirements over a long life.  The high levels of mass also ensure enhanced fire resistance and acoustic insulation. With the addition of a relatively modest net-metered photovoltaic system Teear House could potentially be a net energy exporter.

From an aesthetic perspective Teear House is stylish and contemporary, integrating effortlessly with the surrounding natural environment

“This project demonstrates achievable connections between thermal mass, glazing, and insulation, and the benefits of long-life, low maintenance homes,” says Roger Buck.  “In terms of basic principles, it offers a template for housing in New Zealand.”

Excellence in Residential Concrete Construction Award winner at the 2010 Concrete3 Sustainability Awards

Buck Architects + Associates - www.buckarchitects.co.nz

Article reproduced from CCANZ Concrete magazine