News Next article

Whangarei eco-beauty with solar power to burn

A home where everything is fueled by solar and computer controlled.

By Gill South 8 August 2023

Refrigeration and air conditioning business owner, Brian Harricks has been involved in solar power for over 50 years. So it’s not surprising, that after selling his large Claude Megson home at 152 Cemetery Road in Maunu, Whangārei and subdividing the land, that he then built a brand new home next door with, “solar everywhere I can put it.”

The eco-friendly home, built in 2021 by Warren Currin, was designed by Brian to flow from east to west with two wings, each wing given its own hot water and lighting systems.

“The home lays due north and south and has solar panels on the east and west,” explains the vendor.

“Over the year, so much power is produced in the summer months that you have a large credit of power,” he adds.

The house is built on a fully insulated concrete slab. “A lot of people don’t realise that heat loss comes out of the side of these slabs so you have to insulate around the edges too,” says Brian. Meanwhile, the heating of the floors and the water, plus the air conditioning, all comes from one large heat pump, he explains.

The spacious 486 sq m sustainable property was designed by the homeowner on generous lines with 2.7m stud ceilings. The exterior cladding and joinery are both made of PVC so there’s no maintenance to worry about on the outside of the house, notes Brian.

His wife, artist Maria Giza, was in charge of the interior design of the home which includes a generous kitchen space with Italian marble and multiple working spaces. The contemporary home, whose clean lines lend themselves well to the owners’ art, has particularly innovative use of LED strip lighting throughout. It’s been designed in such a way by Maria to cleverly frame the hallways and accentuate certain features in the rooms.

Smart technology runs this house. You can control the whole home on your phone and that includes lighting, heating and security, says Brian. The house has two full security systems plus 10 cameras and you’re either completely locked in or locked out of the property, he says. The property’s gates are all operated on solar. “Wherever there’s a chance of solar, I’ll take it,” says the eco-enthusiast.

Off-grid living possible if required

If you wanted to, you could be pretty self-sufficient on the property, suggests Brian. The 1.35 hectare site has an orchard with every type of fruit and nut, he claims, including avocados, and a raised vegie garden.

“It is volcanic land with its own bore, so it’s pretty much set up so you could disappear off the grid if you wanted to,” says the vendor. Surrounded by a wind break, there are no visible neighbours, he adds. You could have a couple of sheep to keep the grass down, he suggests. He and Maria had chickens when they lived at the near new home.

The property is ideal for a family, with four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a gallery space which could be another living room or bedroom, says the vendor. The home also has a large office, so you could easily run your business from there. There are two electric vehicle charging stations in the three vehicle internal access garage.

NZ Sotheby’s International Realty’s agent, Selma Peters says the photos don’t do the home justice, it has to be seen to be believed. The vendors are expecting in the $3.8 million price range.


Gill South
Gill South