Innovation in Pauanui

Located near the coastal holiday town of Pauanui, this new Bach makes use of an innovative, smart and quick construction technique.

Looking at this beachside Bach, it is hard to believe it could be built in just five weeks. While a little smaller than some of the sprawling Bach’s in this popular holiday town, the 120m2 contemporary-style beach house doesn’t appear out of place.

Configured so that living spaces and bedrooms look out towards the water, and with easy summer living in mind, the house has a modern aesthetic, with COLORSTEEL® used for the roof and wall cladding, and cedar baseboards used to off-set the darker tones of the steel.

The project makes uses of multiple COLORSTEEL® colours, with the roof clad in Slate and the walls clad in Sandstone Grey. Where it gets interesting though, is when you step inside. Not only has COLORSTEEL® been used for the exterior cladding, it continues indoors where it’s finished in the dark and textured tones of TidalDrift® and FlaxPod® Matte.

The metal internal walls are due to an innovative construction technique using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). These panels are made from pre-painted steel sheets continuously bonded on both sides over an Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) core. Due to the thermal properties of the EPS core, and the prefinished internal skin of the SIP, no further finishing is required.

Homeowner, builder and designer Nathan Findlay of Connect Homes says this house was a prototype that allowed the company to figure out the finer details of using this construction technique.

“This is a method we’ve always wanted to use. I like the style of construction, mainly due to the speed it offers and the fact that it has high thermal properties as well. The efficiency in terms of price is also good. I can have contractors coming in once and finishing off. It involves a lot of planning and we have to do some things differently, but we can speed the build process up massively.”

Nathan was initially concerned about the glossy finish of the panels when used inside, until a chance conversation with an architect led him to the COLORSTEEL® Matte range. “As soon as we looked at that, it was a no brainer. It would take the shine off the product and be the right fit for what we’re trying to achieve.”

Working alongside some in-house and contracted designers, Nathan and his team worked on a concept that embraced the metal look of the interiors. With copper water pipes and suspended cable trays complimenting the COLORSTEEL® TidalDrift®, the result is a striking and industrial look.

“We didn’t know how the building was going to act in terms of noise, but after living in it we’ve been pleasantly surprised with the performance,” says Nathan. “Moving forward we’re going to do some similar builds using this technique, but we’re going to hide the wires and go for a homely, modern feel.”

The utilisation of Structural Insulated Panels as roof & wall cladding is not an approach often seen, but with excellent thermal properties and obvious advantages in installation, it may just become much more frequent.

Connect Homes

Based in Waikato, Connect Homes focusses on designs and builds that use structural insulated panels throughout, as a faster, smarter way to build.

Nathan Findley

My design philosophy is around embracing the site. For this particular home, you’ll see the whole glass front designed to take in the views, and that seamless transition from inside to outside. We design these case-by-case, depending on the site and what we’re trying to achieve.

Designer & Installer: 
Connect Homes
Additional design assistance: 
Leilani Morgan, Danielle Cooper, Tessa Symons

Roofing and Cladding Manufacturer: 
Metalcraft Insulated Panels
9 Earthmover Cres, Hamilton
Terry Stevenson 
Ph 027 493-0423
Thermo Panel and Thermospan Insulated Panels

Exterior: Roof – COLORSTEEL® Slate
Wall Cladding – COLORSTEEL® Sandstone Grey

Interior: Ceiling – COLORSTEEL® FlaxPod® Matte
Walls – COLORSTEEL® TidalDrift® Matte