Rammed Earth Home Soaks Up The Heat

Soaking up the sun just back from Lake Hawea’s shoreline, sits an extremely energy efficient and charming family home.

Built 22 years ago by a family of local builders, the rammed-earth home was constructed using Cardrona Valley earth sourced from Snow Farm on the Pisa Range. Lake Hawea brothers Mike and Jimmy Cotter lovingly built the home for their own family.

Perfect family abode

Mike and his wife Michele raised their four kids in the house and couldn’t think of better place to have done so. They’ve decided it’s time to downsize as all their kids have moved out, and safe to say they’re sad to see their beloved family home go.

“The property is so perfectly located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. It’s been a fantastic spot to raise the kids in, there’s heaps of backyard space, the lake’s basically on your doorstep and the positioning of the house means you get all day sun,” says Mike.


Made from the earth

And the house quite literally soaks up all the winter sun. As a rammed-earth home, its designed so low winter sun radiates through the eaves and windows letting its warmth into the walls, enabling thermal mass to build up and create passive heating. Come summer, when the sun is much higher, roof insulation resists its heat, ensuring the walls and house stay cool.

Michele says the home has a very warm and inviting presence.

“It feels like it’s the right way to live, it’s more than homely,” she says.

“All our kids have moved out, but they always want to come back and stay, their friends love it here too. It’s been accommodating for everyone, kids, teens, and grandparents, and one of the bathrooms has even been designed to be fully accessible.”

“It’s the ideal spot for someone or a family who’s invested in how and where they’re living. The property is organic, the home is sustainable and energy efficient and deeply connected to its location.”


Specialised build

Mike’s brother Jimmy has gone on to become a leading rammed-earth home builder.

“Rammed-earth homes require hard-work and careful attention. Jimmy’s craftsmanship is incredible, there’s an impressive level of creativity that goes into his builds,” says Mike.

Jimmy even showcased a rammed earth home’s passive heating qualities with a build in Ophir, famously known as the coldest place in New Zealand.


Home is where the heart is

The property is called Anam Cara, a Celtic phrase meaning soul place, soul friend or place of the heart. Mike and Michele believe there isn’t a better way to describe it.

“It was built with a lot of love and having raised a family in it for 22 years, the home really does feel like a soul place,” says Michele.

“There’s this ageless beauty to the house. It’s matured and grown with us. It’s really special and you only need to walk in to feel that warmth.”

View the full listing on our website. Call Gavin or Chris now for your private viewing appointment or walk through video tour. Being sold Price By Negotiation.