Finnis project

Location: Finnis S.A.
Completed: roof up May'95
occupied during construction
Architect: E. Prelgauskas
Builder: owner built
Owner: Helen & Derek Fenton
Size: 80 sq. metres living module
Climate: Dry, warm temperate


To provide a low energy demand living module incorporating cellar and kitchen for cheese manufacture; and living, mezzanine bedroom and greenhouse areas incorporating open bathroom.
This development to match in with existing bedroom and other modules already existing elsewhere on the site.


20ha of steep east facing sloping land on the eastern hills face, the site was already developed with some accommodation as well as creek water pump, some solar power, water tanks.
Parts of the land are being revegetated. A steep access track exists up to the building site.

The building site is on a level area part way up the slope with limited existing vegetation.
The land is characterised by thin top soil overlying shale soils on solid rock.


Cellar built with concrete slab, waterproofing tanked stone walls and capped venting ducts for moisture control. Main building module built with concrete slab, stone walls and pole frame roof support. Stone recycled on-site, recycled timbers and window units built-in.
The module is principally open plan, with greenhouse open to living room and mezzanine bedroom.
Design includes glazing and window box to greenhouse, venting clerestorey to both north and south to living room.


The building is to connect to the site services of water supply and septic disposal. A wind turbine was built on the hilltop to the west of the building site and connects to the self contained site power supply.
Solar hot water is to be roof mounted.


The owners have lived on site prior to and during construction.
The building comfort is to be controlled by manipulation of openings.
Services to be limited to capacity of the existing site systems.

End of section