Scandinavian Style Passive House

Featured on Grand Designs NZ, this stunning Passive House in Featherston brings together Scandinavian form with NZ-made metal roofing and cladding from Roofing Industries.

This eye-catching home in Featherston, which featured on Grand Designs NZ, was designed by Swedish-born designer Josefine Watterson with the objective of creating a Passive House for her own family with ample inspiration from her Scandinavian upbringing. Roofing Industries Multidek was used for both roofing and cladding, alongside traditional timber, adding a contemporary twist to the home’s classic Scandinavian look.

The form of the house was inspired by Scandinavian homes which typically have a high roof pitch to allow winter snow to fall off, and the benefit of an additional mezzanine-like space within the home. “Growing up in those kinds of houses, I loved it,” explains Josefine. “It creates an interesting space internally and an interesting expression on the outside. I wanted to do that but a modernised version.”

For the external façade, Josefine wanted a material palette which would tie in nicely with the surrounding nature, but also add interest to the design. “I liked the idea of timber as it could bring a lot of warmth to the house façade but I also wanted to contrast that with something stronger and more masculine.”

It was this idea of creating contrast and playing with form that influenced her choice to use the Multidek profile from Roofing Industries. “For the roof, I wanted to simplify the form into an A, and then have black cladding that would wrap over the wall, up onto the roof and then down again,” she says. “I chose the profile, because it has the strong linear lines that I wanted to wrap around the house. It has a good scale — not too wide or commercial, and not too narrow. It had the perfect balance for creating a nice strong line without feeling too cluttered.”

The 500mm profile of Multidek features striking 50mm ribs with wide flutes, providing excellent water carrying capacity and definition, while the ColorCote ZinaCore substrate in Windsor Grey ensures a consistent colour with no risk of oil canning.

The Passive House design of the home, with all windows set back into the insulation line, meant there were no standard flashings and all details around the windows had to be customised. Roofing Industries’ key account representative was available during this process to review Josefine’s customised designs. “I found that super helpful having someone to talk through and peer review the detailing,” says Josefine. “They were really helpful with giving advice on things like fixing centres and thickness required. It was a really positive experience.”

Installation was straightforward thanks to Multidek’s concealed clip fastening system which is simple to install and eliminates the need to penetrate roofing materials. “The concealed fixings were another of the main drivers as you can create beautiful modern simple details without it looking cluttered,” says Josefine. “Also the speed — it went up really quickly.”

And with sustainability so close to the heart of the project, the fact the roofing is manufactured here in New Zealand by Roofing Industries was another key factor for specification. “There were some similar products at a similar price that could be shipped from Europe, but it didn’t feel quite right to do that,” explains Josefine. “The Multidek material is locally made, it doesn’t have a huge amount of embodied carbon, and it’s also recyclable, so if it needs replacing — not in my lifetime but perhaps my children’s, it can be recycled.”

The end result is a stunning home that reflects Josefine’s Scandinavian heritage, with the Multidek cladding and roofing bringing contrast and a contemporary twist to the design. “I love the contrast of the warm timber against black, and also how the greenery of the trees really pops against the black,” says Josefine.
Having now lived in the home for nine months, Josefine says she wouldn’t change a thing. “I’m really happy with it — I can’t think of anything that I would have wanted to do differently.”