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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

C3 House in Wanaka, New Zealand by RTA Studio

October 9th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: RTA Studio


To design a permanent residence for a family of four with 2 living areas, 2 guest bedrooms, gym, garaging for 2 cars. The design needed to achieve a zero carbon footprint and be visually integrated into the landscape.

Image Courtesy RTA Studio

  • Architects: RTA Studio
  • Project: C3 House
  • Location: Wanaka, New Zealand
  • Architect: Mr Richard Naish, RTA Studio, New Zealand
  • : Future Projects – House
  • : 2012
  • : World Architecture Festival 2012 – Shortlisted
  • Client / Developer: Long View Environmental Trust, New Zealand
  • Cost Consultant: Mr Steve Gracey, Rider Levett Bucknall, New Zealand
  • Structural Engineer: Mr Maurice Harris, Harris Foster Consulting – HFC, New Zealan
  • Sustainability Consultant: Mrs Jo Woods, eCubed Building Workshop, New Zealand

Visual Impact on the Environment:

The C3 house has been designed to occupy a position in a highly controlled and restricted outstanding natural landscape zone on the Southern Lakes region of New Zealand. Planning controls in this area require buildings to have ‘less than minor’ visual impact on the landscape from surrounding public open space.

Some of the controls are: 4.5 meter flat plane height limit at the highest point, a pre determined designated building platform, recessive colours and textures, limited earthworks disturbance and limited vegetation disturbance.

Carbon Agenda:

The developer of the land subdivision, Longview Environmental Trust, has developed a site specific sustainable house rating tool that is the most comprehensive tool available in New Zealand. Land purchasers are required by the Trust to meet a minimum rating on this tool. This project, however, strives to reach the maximum score and achieve triple carbon-zero status: zero carbon emissions from its operational energy use; zero carbon emissions from its total material manufacture and zero waste to the environment at the end of its lifecycle. The project has succeeded at this challenge.

The house is almost entirely constructed of local stone in Gabion Baskets, local renewable timber and rammed earth with limited use of steel cement and glass. The overall embodied carbon is negative.

The energy consumption is kept extremely low by a hugely efficient thermally insulated external building envelope and a highly efficient ground-source heat pump as the primary heating source together with low energy use lighting and appliances. Electricity required to operate the house is entirely generated by photo-voltaic cells. At the end of the house’s lifecycle, the entire building can be recycled.

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Category: House

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