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‘Waste’ salvaging a winner

Architect Gregg Crimp in his house with partner and design technician David Robinson. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

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Carterton’s Robinson Crimp House won a Wellington Architecture Award at Wednesday night’s 2020 event held via zoom and the designers say the house was a pinnacle of their work to date.

The annual awards are run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

The judges of the housing category said RobinsonCrimp Architects’ design, “successfully re-imagines what a low-cost, low energy dwelling can be”.

“What started as a shed renovation evolved into a new house which is the result of extensive research and interrogation of materials, and mastery of construction techniques and engineering.”

Gregg Crimp and David Robinson bought a 1950s mechanic’s workshop in central Carterton in 2012.

They spent a year collecting and salvaging second-hand items for the low-energy use house they visualised and then built.

The workshop was demolished in 2014 but the solid concrete foundations were retained and built upon.

The house was built with mainly recycled materials such as old macrocarpa wooden pallets for wall linings, some old wooden shelving, a 100-year-old staircase, and a couple of the walls are constructed and lined with old discarded metal cabinets.

But to make the best use of the sun and to hold warmth, it has huge triple glazed windows that help the house trap infrared sunrays.

“We used the principles of a passive house, a house that heats itself by its design. We have assembled and placed the windows to trap the sun,” Crimp said.

Its heating system relies on good insulation throughout, including thick polystyrene underfloor insulation.

It is designed with a high ‘thermal resistance’ rating.

This means its ability to transfer heat is exceptional.

The pair seldom turn the heating on because the system works to keep the house from about 19 degrees Celsius to 23C most of the time.

Crimp said the house was a culmination of more than 21 years of designing and working with his partner.

The total cost for the house [165m2], with a mezzanine floor and lean-to was about $400,000.

“It is a pinnacle for us to have made this sustainable and energy efficient house and we love it and are very proud of it,” Crimp said.

RobinsonCrimp Architects has been running for 21 years.

Crimp is the architect and Robinson is the company’s technical manager.

They have completed 320 projects together.

Riverside Bach, a 7m x7m bach at Riversdale by a.k.a Architecture was another awardee in the housing category.

“A simple, unadorned, but skillfully composed bach designed and built to test the model for future use as infill and affordable housing,” the judges said.


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