New year and we’re progressing

Seems like planning to build takes even longer than actually building (possibly because we haven’t experienced the latter yet).

And when you decide not to buy off plan and using so-called mainstream building methods, I guess you should expect things to take a while.

Paul Gereats, from Terra Firma who has designed and will be building our new home has been hard at work.

To see some of his work, and get a sense of the type of home we’ll be living in, check out

He’s found a suitable source of just the right kind of earth near Mangawhai and numerous tests far too technical for me to get my head around, have shown that a wall rammed with this material will be super-strong and long lasting. Those ancient Greeks new a few things about building, it seems (and let’s not forget the addition of a small % of good ol’ 20th century concrete!).

Geotechs have done their thing, excavations have been planned and waste water systems designed… so now its on to boring stuff like financing and contracts and (gulp) consents.

Can’t wait to see how the new SuperCity planners respond to our eco-friendly but so-not-the-norm proposal.

Will be interesting to see how much the ethos of sustainability is actually ingrained into the Auckland Council – their Sustainability Plan ( includes four goals, one of which is “Making it easier for Aucklanders to make sustainable choices”.

So in principle, we’ll be sweet …

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