Superhome of the Year Awards 2024 | The Burrow, Howick, Auckland

The Burrow, Howick


Judges Comments:
“New Zealand’s largest Passive House achieves impressive energy performance, with the potential for self-sufficiency offsetting the impact of it being such an extensive dwelling. Notable design elements include carefully crafted spaces to accommodate working from home and generous shaded outdoor living.”

Originally meant to be a high-performance home, the design was upgraded to meet passive house standards. With building commencing in late 2019, the build has seen every moment of the Covid-19 pandemic, and all the challenges that came with it.

The house has been designed to be healthy, quiet, energy efficient, and nearly self-sufficient. Like a commercial building, there is a services room that houses the ventilation units, water treatment, hot water cylinder, lift machinery, networking, and switchboard.

Although grid tied and connected to town water, the house has a generous PV solar array, house battery, and rainwater tanks. The aim is to be mostly self-sufficient barring the gloomier and drier months. With energy efficiency, the aim is to get more out of every watt of power. Hot water, swim spa, and air conditioning are all serviced by high COP heat pumps – giving 4W of heat for every 1W of power input.

Rainwater passes through sediment and carbon filters, before being UV treated. The air is constantly refreshed and filtered by the Zehnder heat recovery ventilation units
The top two floors are clad with Abodo NZ pine weatherboards, coated with Sioo:x, and the bottom floor in dark schist called ‘Piha Black”.  The Sioo:x coating gives a weathered look, while protecting the wood for up to 10 years.

The basement structure is insulated concrete form, and the upper floors are 140mm timber framing with a 45mm services cavity, providing two layers of insulation, and minimising thermal bridging.

Flooring on the second level was machined from the rimu weatherboards of the original 1950’s house that was on the section. NZ wool carpet on the top level over an aerated concrete Hebel subfloor means very little sound transmission between floors. The lift ensures there is accessibility to all floors.


Owners: Sesame & Leonard
Builder: Craft Homes
Architecture: Kim Veltman Architecture
Passive House Design: VIA Architecture
Passive House Certification: Sustainable Engineering
Kitchen & Interior Design: Mal Corboy
Passive House Systems: Enveloped
Weathertightness & Airtightness: Pro Clima
Cladding & Soffits: Abodo
Solar & Powerwall: Harrisons
Electrical: Top Mark Electrical


● Aiming for Passive House Plus standard
● Recycled Rimu timber flooring
● Neuffer Aluclad triple glazed timber windows
● Izodom insulated concrete form basement and slabs
● Abodo timber cladding and decking
● 44,000L rainwater capacity
● 16.4kW solar array with 40.5kWh battery storage
● Three Zehnder MVHR units
● Reclaim CO2 hot water heat pump with a hot water ring main

The home was part of the 2022 SUPERHOME TOURS