Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Refitted Log Cabin to Promote Sustainable Building

Media Release

Refitted Log Cabin to Promote Sustainable Building

Click for big version.

Mazin Bahho – promoting sustainable building. Photo: Kevin Bridle.

On a shady hillside behind EIT, a derelict log cabin is being offered a new vocation as a model for sustainable building.

Mazin Bahho, a senior lecturer in design at EIT’s ideaschool, says the project is the first of its kind in this country.

“There are many other sustainable buildings in New Zealand,” the Iraq-trained architect points out, “but they are not for demonstration purposes.”

The project has attracted considerable support through sponsorships from local organisations and businesses, as well as the backing of the trades and technology programmes at EIT.

Mazin has initiated the project as research for a thesis towards the PhD in Architecture he is undertaking through Victoria University. Once it is completed, the renovated cabin will be made available to school and community groups as a venue for workshops on sustainable building.

Groundworks recently started on a greenhouse addition, where native seedlings, potted up by visiting groups, will be nurtured. When the groups return some months later, they will be invited to plant a young tree on the surrounding slopes for each one they take away.

“We are aiming to return the area to native bush,” Mazin says of the Otatara hill site, which is culturally and historically significant to local Maori.

The log cabin also has past associations with EIT. Built in 1985 when Para Matchitt and Jacob Scott established the institute’s visual arts and design programme, the cabin was once used as teaching studio space and later for an artist in residence.

Clad in rustic douglas fir logs, the building’s walls are to be made airtight, insulated and lined and the windows double-glazed.

Rainwater will be channelled from the roof into a storage tank to use for cooking, washing clothes and showers and kitchen and bathroom wastewater is to be treated on site to nourish plants in the green house.

Solar panels on the greenhouse roof will heat water and generate electricity for use in the log cabin.

“The aim is zero net energy,” says Mazin, “so although the building will remain connected to the grid, it will generate more energy than it draws off.”

A concrete floor in the greenhouse will act as a passive solar store, helping to heat the log cabin. As much as possible, recycled materials are to be used in the refit.

Other buildings on EIT’s Otatara site were demolished some years ago, and ideaschool’s visual arts and design department is well-established on the campus below the hillside.

Plans for refitting the cabin, drawn up by students, will give it a new lease of life as a showcase, demonstrating the pluses of environmentally-friendly building design practices and technologies.

“It will serve as an educational tool and catalyst to inspire sustainable behaviour.” Mazin says, “utilising solar energy, thermal insulation, water conservation, managing wastewater, recycling materials and sustainable landscaping.”

Follow progress on the cabin’s refit on


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>


Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>


Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>


Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news