Fed up with feeling cold and damp in their ageing farm house, property owners in Banks Peninsula wanted to downsize.

Insulation Heat Loss Diagram

Seeing potential in their neglected milking shed on the same property, the couple called in Walker Architecture designer Pete Hodge from Christchurch. Hodge came to take a look finding a structurally sound shed, solid concrete columns and beams. Together they decided to transform the milking shed into a classic yet glamorous home.

The determined couple were keen to do their own research and be involved throughout the process. “The clients were very driven to be informed,” Hodge explained of them understanding how the house would operate and breathe. 

The milking shed’s concrete structure allowed for absorption and storage of heat which met healthy home and energy efficient standards.

Peeled right back to its skeleton, rigid foam insulation was installed within the buildings’ walls, floor and ceiling. Windows and doors were positioned to minimise heat loss. Hodge explains that when the air temperature cools, the heat absorbed by the concrete is released back into the room where the insulation prevents it from escaping.

Insulation Heat Loss Diagram
Insulation Heat Loss Diagram

It was difficult for them to come to terms with not needing the existing log burner or space for storing wood due to the well-insulated design. They decided on a small fireplace purely for the cosy ambience.

The couple didn’t like the idea of a new townhouse. They wanted context and narrative which was achieved through the limited palette of materials and simple ‘L’ shape. The simplicity of the house and its original foundations keeps its connection to its rural environment and farm surroundings.

Adapted from Colleen Hawkes, Derelict milking shed converted into stunning eco farmhouse

Got questions? Call us on 03 384 9001 or Request a FREE Consultation