Monday, September 29, 2014

Green Modern: Eco-Conscious Contemporary New Zealand Homes

Green Modern: Eco-Conscious Contemporary New Zealand Homes brings together the often disparate disciplines of cutting-edge design and eco-conscious solutions. It makes the point that the ‘greening’ of our homes need not come at the expense of contemporary aesthetic values.” ─ Green Modern, Claire McCall

Carbon neutral. Zero energy. Passive. Sustainable. These are the buzz words that swirl around as New Zealand homeowners, architects, builders and designers consider contemporary building, design and renovation projects. At the heart of the conversation is the question – how can we live more sustainably?
Claire McCall has been writing about architecture and home design for many years, and has edited several prominent lifestyle magazines. These credentials serve McCall well as she surveys 15 of New Zealand’s most striking, eco-conscious contemporary homes, evaluating each in terms of how it responds to more sustainable ways of living.
The homes featured in Green Modern are eclectic – from the modest bach on Waiheke Island to an urban apartment in Auckland, family homes and remote retreats in Wanaka and the Marlborough Sounds. Throughout, thoughtful design and environmentally responsive building techniques combine to produce striking and ecologically sound living spaces. They are also spaces which inspire.

First and foremost, Claire McCall has chosen design-conscious homes that respond to the challenge of positively harnessing greater energy efficiency, and maximising environmental impact, health and comfort. As McCall writes in her introduction “Green Modern architecture and design can be sexy. There are people out there who are actually doing it. They’re doing it thoughtfully and passionately. And they’re doing it well.”
These are ‘smart’, eco-conscious homes created by award-winning and emerging architects and designers that champion style and sustainability in equal measure. Often, the emphasis is on compact homes that optimise space and heat generation and are financially sustainable; as is the case with David Melling’s CityBach, which inhabits a 6.5-metre x 7-metre space next to a bypass in Wellington City. The text includes invaluable Q&As with each architect or designer, helpful floor plans that explain the layout of the house, and a detailed breakdown of the environmentally sustainable features and products incorporated into the home’s design.
Green Modern is an ideal reference for anyone considering how to build or renovate a home in a more ecologically responsive way; it is also a lavish, full-colour production, containing stunning photography. The ultimate ‘thinking person’s coffee table book’.

About the author:   Originally from South Africa, Claire McCall immigrated to New Zealand in 1993, and has written for, and edited, a number of leading New Zealand lifestyle magazines, including Home New Zealand and Your Home & Garden. She has also contributed to Vogue Living in Australia, Town & Country in the US, House & Leisure in South Africa and Elle Decoration in the UK. McCall lives in what she calls an ‘urban bach’ in central Auckland, striving to transform its compact garden into a sanctuary for bees. Green Modern is her first architectural book.

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