Mahana House – back to the future

7 December 2020

This is a story about a priest, an architect and a builder…

Two years ago, Reverend Craig Dixon approached Scott Watson, Business Development Director at Naylor Love, to talk about building healthy homes for those least able to afford them.

Naylor Love embraced Craig’s idea, collaborating with renowned Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban, and local design studio Isthmus. The result is a healthy, low maintenance home that can be built in 35 days and costs about the same as a flat pack home sold by a national hardware chain.

A long-time passionate advocate for sustainable housing, Craig Dixon has now joined Naylor Love as Community Living Project Director.

“The Mahana House is quite a large family home. The standard version has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It can also be produced in 3, 5 and 6 bedroom versions,” Craig says. “It’s carbon neutral where the site doesn’t require concrete foundations.”

Craig believes the house will have strong appeal for iwi, councils, churches and the government. “The beauty of the design is that it is entirely scalable – we can produce as many of these homes as the market wants. All or most of the home can be produced off site, then assembled on site.

“This is a family home; it’s warm and solid and will be a great place for kids to grow up,” Scott says.

Naylor Love Director Chris Naylor sees the project as “going back to the future.”

In 1937 Love Construction was awarded a government contract to build 38 state houses in Pine Hill, Dunedin as part of the first state housing initiative in this country.

“More than 80 years later we are using our skills, experience and resources to create a 21st century version of those original state houses for some of those in our community who need it most,” Chris says.

“It’s important to keep this valuable heritage alive – a family home developed by a family company.”

Source: Naylor Love

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