Langs Beach House

Langs Beach House

David Jack and Elizabeth Thomas are no new comers to the beach as Liz has been involved in the family “bach” and holiday vacations at the seaside since her youth. When planning their new holiday home at Langs Beach David was adamant that the new home would be as maintenance free as possible as he recalls his father in law spending considerable “holiday time” working on the up-keep of the property. “When I come up to the beach I want to switch off and relax away from the pressures of work and enjoy the company of family and friends. The community at Langs beach is very special, as are many small communities, where the residents build a trust in one another and take time to share the pleasures of the day,” say David.” For me Langs Beach and the surrounding environment is perfect. There are no shops and as a result seldom any traffic beyond that which is just passing by on the way to Waipu cove or Mangawhai.”

Having purchased a site David and Liz contacted Architects, Engineers & Planners Apcon Paterson who David had previously worked with. “They have some great ideas and think outside the square”, says David.’”We had a good working relationship and I was confident their skills would be well suited to the project,”

The brief was to design a distinctive new holiday house, to maximize sea views, to accommodate David, Liz and 2 university age children in separate spaces within a single house with a large back (seaward) yard for family activity with a double carport.

From draft sketches estimates were obtained from builders to ensure that the concept was within budget.

The site is in a new subdivision with few other houses. It is the fourth row of houses from the beach facing north-east with great views of the beach. The site had been engineered with a 6 degree fall to the rear (north) and 1m cross-fall to the west. There is a batter up to the road in the front yard area. A maximum height level plane covenant approximately 6m high protects views of sites across the road which was a real challenge to meet.

On the seaward side of the property there are established baches and the view paths were checked to ensure that future buildings were not able to impede the views to the beach. The location of the house was optimised between the two side boundaries to suit yard requirements and to maximize the overall height given the cross fall on the site. The recession angles were 55 and 35 degrees on the side boundaries. The northern corner had a small height to boundary infringement and David was able to get neighbour’s approval to avoid complicating this corner of the roof and compromising the design. The balance of this side of the roof descended substantially below the maximum (over the bathroom area). The resource consent used a proforma application & letter used by the Whangarei council which minimized red tape.

Design Development
The entry and drive was landscaped to the front with a reverse manoeuvring area with a comfortable gradient. The carport was sited up to the front yard site restriction which determined the position of the front of the house and size of the rear yard.

The house was designed to maximize the view under the height covenant and the rear yard size. Consideration was given to siting the house further to the rear to avoid side views being potentially blocked by new neighbour’s houses but it was decided the main view was to the rear and David wanted to retain the sunny rear yard size so future grandchildren had a reasonable space to play in safety.

Access to the top floor is via a 5 step stairway from a spacious front entry lobby. The upper floor is on a single level to cater for long term view of safety with elderly and children alike.

The house was designed with a bedroom and study/gallery on the top floor for David and Liz and two bedrooms downstairs for the family, both with living areas. Additional interfloor sound rating was provided to the floor to block out the children’s music. The upper floor decks have frameless glass balustrades to preserve the view and give protection from the wind. The open plan kitchen, dining/living areas are deliberately flexible and designed to suit various configurations depending on the situation. The overall result gives an open feeling of light and space which capitalises on the views from every aspect of the upper level and a sense of spaciousness, height and drama.

Above all David wanted a distinctive house and did not want a flat roof.

The resulting roofline gives an elegant distinction to the house design which David and Liz, understandably, are very pleased with.

The whole interior was developed as a creative space suitable to show family art works as part of the character.

The roof was ultimately pitched on 45 degree axis to the plan at 6.4 degrees to the northern corner. The eave took full advantage of the height to boundary envelope. To the south the roof was pitched at 14 degrees to the south to reduce the building height and volume over the service areas. The carport roof was with a regular 10 degree pitch to the front but the roofing was laid at 45 degrees to the beams so as to match the main roof.

The roof slopes at 45 degrees to the building axis. To retain simplicity the beams were laid out at 45 degrees so the roof beams would be flat. Although the roof was unusual, the structural design was rationalised so that the construction was standard.

A long span polystyrene panel roof was used to minimize roof thickness to maximize floor height & views. This gave an economical solution with prefinished ceiling and a roofing profile upper and plenty of insulation.

As the panels were at 45 degrees to the walls the ends would normally be cut to waste and so a saw tooth edge of the uncut panels was retained for architectural effect. This simple decision gives the entire project a very distinctive appeal which sets it apart from the traditional single pitched roofs on surrounding properties.

The house is in a very high wind zone and was clad in vertical corrugate Colorsteel (coated to suit marine environment) to provide a built in drainage cavity without battens for economy and contemporary expression. Feature fibre-cement panels were specified under the windows to provide interest & some contrast. These were simply screwed over the corrugate cladding so as to avoid risk matrix problems and further detailing & costs. The window glazing in the living areas raked with the roof again to highlight the roof & wall elements.

The basement retaining walls are concrete block to 150mm above the ground with a mowing strip. The bottom floor is polished concrete. The upper timber floor uses polyurethaned ply to good effect. This ply continues to form the deck areas and is protected by fibreglass matt.

The building was braced with braceline without portals. As the upper deck returns over the lounge below a custom designed and reinforced steel UC was required under the deck to support the upper wall without being exposed under the deck or ceiling to emphasize the flat floor element. The walls were insulated to the new R values with excess roof insulation and single glazing.

From the outset Neville Paterson says,”The client having old world values and integrity we recommended obtaining an honest builder for an honest client. David was managing the project and tendered the construction using our documentation and an appropriate builder was crucial to the success of the project.”

David took on board the advice and as a result the project was given to Brogan Builders and managed by Grant Eagar who in David’s words did “a superb job.” The roof design was unusual, particularly the various roof pitches, and both Grant and Neville, the engineer, worked exceptionally well together interpreting the construction detail.

Neville assembled the site data, assessed the town planning and covenant controls to decide on the optimal location. He worked in collaboration with with Barrie Paterson on the sketch design, assessed budget costings and preliminary builder’s estimates, supervised the majority of the drafting and completed the building consent and resource consent documentation, specification details and engineering, framing, plumbing & drainage, insulation, risk matrix calculation & weathertightness. Whilst not directly supervising construction Neville was available during construction to answer queries and consents during the building process.

The site has yet to mature with landscaping and occupation.

Architects Engineers and Planners are a ‘one stop design shop’ for anyone wanting a home or commercial premises built. The company provides integrated design solutions including architecture, resource management, structural, civil, fire, geotechnical and drainage engineering.

Over many years Apcon Paterson Ltd has completed a wide variety of projects. Most work is completed in the greater Auckland area. Due to stricter building regulations it is now virtually impossible for the average person to ensure they have met all the correct requirements. Councils are requiring more detailed information and we aim to do things right the first time. We endeavour to keep up with the latest changes and have also checked consents for Auckland Council.

ThermoSpan FR
Of particular interst on this building is the use of ThermoSpan from Metalcraft. This product forms both the external roof and internal ceilings.

ThermoSpan FR consists of a 0.59mm profiled roofing sheet bonded to a Phenolic Polystyrene, PPS core, with a ceiling panel sheet bonded to the underside.

ThermoSpan FR is Fire Rated and has a Class 1 Fire Rated classification.

ThermoSpan FR panel can be used in a variety of residential and commercial, roof and wall cladding applications. ThermoSpan FR panel’s are also available in a number of colour options from the Colorsteel range of colours.

David Jack and Elizabeth Thomas

Architect: Apcon Paterson Ltd
Auckland 1041
Telephone: 09 620 9099

Engineer : Apcon Paterson Ltd

Builder: Brogan Builders
Grant Eagar
Telephone: 09 431 8290

Cladding manufacturer: Metalcraft Industries
Telephone: 09 470 0870

Cladding: Corrugate 0.04 Maxx®

Colours: Roof Smokey.
Cladding Indigo Blue

Roofing Manufacturer: Metecno NZ Ltd
T/A Metalcraft Insulated Panel Systems

Metalcraft Thermospan FR
Telephone 09 277 8844