Business South August 2022

80 | SUR Architecture “The strength in our practice is our communication and achieving the needs and the brief of our clients with good architectural design…” Superb architectural design every time Virginia Wright The Deborah Bay house has features designed to maximise its efficiency in terms of its space, energy use, and sustainability. ARCHITECTURE Sustainable Electrical Solutions • Solar Installs • Grid Tie • Hybrid • Off Grid • Wind And Hydro Systems Residential, Commercial & Industrial Electrical Services. • New Home Electrical Design & Install. • Ev Charging Stations • Renovations & Upgrades • Shop Fit-outs • Switchboard Replacement & Upgrades • Industrial Machinery Repairs & Installation Need a light? Whatever electrical need you have, whether it’s renewable energy installs, off or on grid, new builds, renovations, heat-pumps or new commercial fit-outs we can do it. At Kirkland Electrical, our focus is on quality work, safety and client satisfaction. Residential or commercial, we’re experienced in both. Do you need some electrical work done? We’d love to check out your job and give you a free, no obligation quote. 021 946 915 The owners of Sur Architecture, partners Maria Callau and Juan Puricelli are both from Argentina. They set up their architectural business in Dunedin about six years ago and are gradually making a distinctive impression on the building landscape there. “We try to maintain a look across our designs,” says Juan. There’s a consistency in terms of our approach to size, and to our use of materials especially for the exterior where there’s exposure to harsh weather. We use long-life materials like steel extensively because it’s a good recipe for both low maintenance and budget.” Juan and Maria see the Deborah Bay house as a good example of a first home with features designed to maximise its efficiency in terms of its space, energy use, and sustainability. When they met the clients, a young couple with a young daughter, they soon realized they had plenty of common ground to work with and a mutual understanding quickly developed. “The clients and us gelled really well which means the design project worked really well. It has a small footprint with very low maintenance materials and what we think is a very good budget for the site and the project. “It’s very efficient in terms of keeping the heat in which is something we always maintain through our designs,” says Juan. Whereas some houses might have insulation with different r-values in, for example, the walls as opposed to the ceiling or the floor, this is an area that Sur Architecture believe repays any investment. The r-value refers to the thermal resistance capacity of the insulation, that is its capacity to prevent heat escaping, and the higher the better. Sur Architecture make a point of maintaining the same r-value throughout the envelope, or the outer shell of the building, thereby gaining control of the temperature within the house. The Deborah Bay House clients are pleased to report that they’ve spent two-thirds less on heating already in the last year than they might have expected. In what is rapidly becoming the Sur Architecture signature style the compactness of the design is a key feature. The house is built in an L shape with all the common areas in an open plan, bedrooms and amenities on the other leg of the L, and both sides of the L converging into a warm, north facing deck. Their mutual understanding about the importance of eco-friendly materials, and Sur Architectures preference for warm materials such as timber where people gather, led to the use of New Zealand grown timber cladding around the communal deck, complemented by extensive use of plywood inside and solid oak floorboards. It’s a steep site on the edge of the harbour with everything that means in terms of exposure to wind and weather so both the roof and exterior cladding are ribbed iron. Where the budget comes into its own is with the footprint of the house which is where Sur Architecture’s international roots really make themselves felt. Unlike many new builds in New Zealand which, in Juan’s observation, tend to be a minimum of 150sqm and above, they design three-bedroom houses, with a very few exceptions, measuring between 110-130sqm mostly for couples with up to two children, “and we always push for that,” says Juan. The result no doubt of having lived and studied in high density cities with a culture of small footprint design, with sites typically between 200-300sqm² and where builds of 150sqm are almost extravagant. They believe small and minimal is the way to go for the future. Having said that they clearly know how to listen. “The strength in our practice is our communication and achieving the needs and the brief of our clients with good architectural design basically,” says Juan, “and certainly making a huge effort to keep the budget down. “We always try to look after the money. For us it’s a priority not to overspend on things.” If the Deborah Bay house is anything to go by it’s a successful approach with that 115sqm build completed to both the clients’ and the architect’s satisfaction. “It’s got a lovely warm feeling and they’re loving it,” says Juan.