Homes Tour was a ‘fas­ci­nat­ing jour­ney’

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About -

Tran­si­tion Matamata held a Grand Earth House Tour re­cently, Caro­line Ma­son re­ports.

An earth­ship and a home made of straw bales were just some of the prop­er­ties in­cluded in a spe­cial Eco Homes Tour or­gan­ised by Tran­si­tion Matamata.

The tour, in­cluded a group of 26 peo­ple shar­ing in a fas­ci­nat­ing trip vis­it­ing unique and sus­tain­able homes around the Waikato.

Baigent Mo­tors very gen­er­ously as­sisted with the pro­vi­sion of three vans.

The day be­gan early with a drive to an ‘Earth­ship’ house in the hills be­hind Ngaru­awhia.

Earth­ship is a con­cept orig­i­nally de­vel­oped in New Mex­ico and em­ploys the use of tyres packed with Earth.

This house used 2500 tyres in its man­u­fac­ture and the north wall of the house is made from a glasshouse re­sult­ing in an amaz­ing se­lec­tion of veg­eta­bles grow­ing right in­side the house.

The house also made ex­ten­sive use of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als from right around the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty and was built for less than $30,000.

Our sec­ond stop was at ‘Bon Marie’ in Newell Road Tamahere, a very large, el­e­gant home and busi­ness premises made from

‘‘This house used 2500 tyres in its man­u­fac­ture and the north wall of the house is made from a glasshouse.’’

straw bales. This house has mag­nif­i­cent plas­ter walls which took four men over two years full time to plas­ter over all the bales. The mu­sic room alone has six tonnes of plas­ter on its walls.

We then vis­ited a prop­erty in the coun­try­side out­side Cam­bridge with three beau­ti­ful B&B cot­tages. The con­struc­tion of each cot­tage em­ploys vari­a­tions of mud brick and adobe con­struc­tion.

The fi­nal stop on this fas­ci­nat­ing jour­ney was at the ‘‘Olive Grove’’ near Cam­bridge, built of rammed earth but this time clay mix was com­pressed into wooden shut­ters in situ.

‘Olive Grove’ was orig­i­nally built on a bare quarry site, hard to be­lieve now, as but there are stun­ning gar­dens, olive trees and an olive press.

Tran­si­tion Matamata is de­lighted that this was such an in­ter­est­ing and fun day out, a great way for us to com­plete our ac­tiv­i­ties for 2016. Sea­sons Greetings to all.

The earth­ship’s north wall is a glasshouse and a large se­lec­tion of veg­eta­bles grow in­side the home.

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