Auckland’s intensification is well underway, with traditional standalone houses on full sections rarely being built and medium to high density dwellings are now the most common type of consented dwelling. While common overseas, this style of housing is relatively new to New Zealand’s suburbs and a challenge seen with early medium density developments is the prioritisation of function over form.  

Many early homes were built in unappealing uniform rows with uninventive exteriors and shapes.  However, design thought has progressed since these early developments and an example of a modern, fresh medium density project can be found in the heart of Kumeu.

Golden Homes, the building company tasked with constructing 47 of the homes within the development, wanted to ensure their homes not only fit the homeowner’s lifestyles, but added beauty to the neighbourhood.  To combat traditional medium density ‘sameness’, Golden Homes built their homes with exterior design differences; utilising diverse cladding types, changing colours, and different layouts.  The double storey buildings running along Papatupu Way have a warm timber cladding offset with dark accent walls, while adjacent buildings are outfitted in white to provide contrast.  However, the one aspect that remained the same was the roofing material.

“When we’re specifying a roofing material, it’s really important that that roofing material is going to stand up to the weather events that we’ve been experiencing recently.” Golden Homes’ Site Supervisor, Paul Houchen, says.  This is why Gerard Roofs’ Stratos steel tile was chosen as the material for the project. “The tiles are lightweight, they’re extremely strong, and in the weather events that we’ve had in Auckland particularly, they’ve performed really well.”

One of the factors adding strength to the tiles is the irregular pattern of the Stratos tile used in this project.  Another is the interlocking design, where the tiles lock together to form a single structural unit. Seamlessly integrating with the roof tiles, Gerard Roofs’ matching sanitary and extraction vents were installed across the rooftops.  Golden Homes frame with steel making Gerard Roofs’ pressed steel tiles an easy choice as they are extremely lightweight and designed to be compatible with both steel and timber framing.

A key concern for any builder is to ensure the job is finished on time and on budget.  Delays of any sort can be costly, not only monetarily, but also in reputational damage. This was another factor for Golden Homes working with Gerard Roofs.  “For us, as a group home builder, what we really like about using Gerard Roofs is we’re able to send the plans off for quoting early in the piece”  Paul explains, “Then when our trusses go up and we’re ready for roofing, we can speak to our Roofing Coordinator, he arranges the boys to be onsite, everything gets delivered and the whole process goes smoothly.”.  The tiles for the entire roof can be palletised and sent to site without having to measure and order flashings and other pieces later.

The development is bustling as new homeowners move in and final touches are completed on the last of the homes. The mixture of exterior styles creates a welcoming atmosphere with each home having its own personality.  As the sun sets over the warm hued cladding and textured rooftops, Paul reminisces “It’s quite exciting to see a project go from a slab to the roof, get finished off. Quite often I have contact with the people after they move in and take over their units. So that’s quite gratifying for me, to see that whole process come to fruition.”