Portfolio » Cromwell Point, Newlands

Sleek and sustainable


(As featured in Revere Magazine, 2024)

“Our easy care and energy efficient home has become our haven for relaxation”

Located overlooking a steep 70-degree slope in Newlands, Wellington, this stylish home is the epitome of Certified Passive construction.

Mike Craig from Mike Craig Builders Limited worked closely with the homeowners and the architect for three years before building this eco-conscious home with a minimalist style.

The lower level houses a garage, workshop, and utility room, while the upper level has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a media room, and a spacious kitchen and living area that opens onto an extended cantilevered deck.

Mike says the sharp incline of the neighbouring site,  

on the western side, posed several challenges in the initial stages of the project. “Where the contour of the land drops substantially, we had to create custom concrete beams  to support the deck. This involved installing eight-metre footings.” The skillfully designed outdoor living area is  

a favourite spot for the homeowners to host gatherings  and enjoy views of the native bush.

With the owners desire to create a sleek black exterior, Mike introduced them to Nu-Wall cladding, made from over 80 percent recycled aluminium.  

“We used 200mm-wide boards arranged in a random pattern, all featuring negative details and boxed corners to achieve a sophisticated appearance,” he says.

The home follows Certified Passive design principles throughout. Triple-glazed German aluminium windows, sit 60mm into the cladding to prevent thermal bridging. Raised roof trusses enable thicker roof insulation. Layers of insulation, fibre cement sheet, and chipboard under the oak floor ensure airtightness and warmth. A quiet Passive ventilation system, using the same power as an 80-watt light bulb, refreshes the air inside every three hours. These steps create a 148m² high performance home with minimal heating needs: just 12.4kW per square metre annually.

As well as being energy efficient, the property oozes a refined style. Concave fluted wall panels take centre stage behind the master bed and in the entryway. Floor-to-ceiling cavity sliders, crafted with solid wood and glass, feature in the master and living room. Designed for the culinary-loving homeowners, an executive chef’s kitchen with stainless steel benches and double ovens is hidden away in the large scullery, leaving the large stone kitchen island clutter-free for entertaining guests.

“Collaborating closely with the homeowners and the architect during the design phase fostered a strong working relationship throughout the build,” says Mike. “Flexibility was key, as some elements had to change due to location, budget, and supply chain issues. We offered alternative solutions to maintain the original vision, while prompt decisions from the homeowners minimised delays in the schedule.”

The owners say the home is a wonderful space for socialising whilst still feeling intimate. “Our easy-care and energy-efficient home has become our haven for relaxation.”