Take tour of Grand Earth Homes

Matamata Chronicle - - Motoring - GORD STE­WART

Some call it al­ter­na­tive house de­sign. Oth­ers say they’re homes of the fu­ture now.

Ei­ther way, if you’re keen to view some in­spir­ing homes then mark your cal­en­dar for Satur­day, November 26 and join Tran­si­tion Mata­mata on what they dub their ‘‘Grand Earth House Tour’’.

The road trip will take in four homes, with a chance to tour each one and hear from their own­ers what they have done and why.

A rammed earth house is on the list. This one is set in an old quarry planted out with trees, in­clud­ing an olive grove. Then there’s a cob house. Cob is an old build­ing tech­nique us­ing clay and straw and con­structed by hand. This one is now run as a B&B.

The third house, a straw bale ef­fort, is also a B&B. It’s a beau­ti­ful house with thick bale walls and lime plaster fin­ish.

An ‘‘earth ship’’ house com­pletes the list.

Earth ships are made from waste ma­te­ri­als (tyres mainly) and of­ten fea­ture de­sign el­e­ments that make the house self­sus­tain­ing in food pro­duc­tion, water col­lec­tion and waste man­age­ment.

The day tour leaves Mata­mata at 8.30am in mini vans gen­er­ously pro­vided by Baigent Mo­tors.

Cost for the tour is $20 per per­son.

For de­tails and to book your spot, ring Caroline Ma­son on 888 6647 or email caroline@tech­ma­son.co.nz

‘‘The road trip will take in four homes, with a chance to tour each one and hear from their own­ers what they have done and why.’’

Gord Ste­wart is an en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity con­sul­tant and ru­ral prop­erty owner in the dis­trict.

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