Jo and Shay began their Zero Energy House project by establishing seven clear goals and identifying design opportunities that would impact each of them. It was clear from the outset that the choice of site would impact many of the design opportunities and therefore whether they could achieve their goals for the project.
Specific impacts the site would have on the project included:
Shay and Jo determined a range of requirements against which to assess the sites they visited around Auckland, which included:
The site they selected performed well against each of these requirements, and ultimately enabled them to achieve the goals set for their project.
Two project goals Jo and Shay set that would be particularly impacted by their choice of site were Health & Comfort and Low Pollutant Emissions. Some of the first sites they looked at were rural and on the outskirts of Auckland. While these had magnificent scenery and privacy, the couple ultimately decided these sites would significantly affect the lifestyle they wanted for their family and have negative impacts on their environmental goals.
The site chosen for the Zero Energy House is located in the suburb of Point Chevalier, on the western fringe of central Auckland. The suburb has great transport links to the city, cycleways to surrounding areas, and much of what the now-family-of-four needs is close by, including a supermarket, schools, cafes, pubs, and shops. The location has meant the family is within easy travel distance of many of the places they go on a daily basis. This has a number of benefits:
While the location of the house on the site was largely determined by Auckland Council's District Plan requirements, the couple tried to maximise the garden size to the North and East. This created indoor spaces that link to outside, allowing interaction with the street while giving the family some privacy. It also provided a reasonably-sized sunny garden, good for growing fruit and vegetables onsite thereby contributing to the project goals of Low Pollutant Emissions (by reducing transport of offsite produce) and Health & Comfort.
From the first storey there are pleasant views over Western Springs park and even a glimpse of the water from north facing windows.
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