Timber, wool and double glazing ensure durable comfort in harsh conditions.

Family-owned New Zealand company Abodo has long been famous for its sustainable, locally grown, thermally modified timbers. Its most recent collaboration with New Zealand builders and designers eloquently shows the adaptability, quality and cost-saving potential of timber builds.

Three new eco-villas have gone up at Cardrona Alpine Village near Queenstown, the first of 12 accommodation units planned. Designed by First Light Studio in collaboration with FLiP Healthy Homes, the villas are a liveable example of how Abodo’s products can be used in a residential setting.

“The villas are a chance to see how the product might work for homes at an affordable level,” explains First Light designer Eli Nuttall.

Each of the three villas has a slightly different look and feel inside, with a range of Abodo products and finishes used for everything from ceiling and wall linings, to cabinetry, decking and fencing.

“Part of the brief was to test a range of products in what is really one of the harshest environments we have here in this country,” Nuttall says, explaining that the highly efficient homes were designed to achieve a Homestar 7 rating. This was accomplished through double framing stud walls with an air tightness layer through the centre, sheepswool insulation, and thermally broken double glazed windows, which are recessed back to the thermal line to boost performance.

In order to make this project affordable in a location where access can be difficult, the homes were prefabricated in Christchurch and carefully moved to site by truck. They were then carefully transferred to the site using a rail system, which meant there was no need for cranes.

For the First Light and FLiP teams, this was a special project. “We’ve been specifying Abodo products and telling their story as a part of our story for many years,” says Nuttall. “So it was great to partner up with Abodo and come up with a design solution that would best showcase the products.”

Abodo founder and managing director, Daniel Gudsell, says, “It was important for us to not only showcase our range of timbers, profiles and finishes – but also to show that low budget housing in New Zealand is possible. And we’ve chosen one of New Zealand’s harshest climates to demonstrate that in.

“Cardrona’s alpine location is known for its dry hot summers and is also a famous ski area, so our thermally modified timbers are really put to the test here. We’re proud to have built such high-performance homes on a comparatively modest budget.”

Two of the three villas are available to book on Air BNB, click for the Abodo Alpine Eco Villa or Abodo Alpine Eco Villa (Spa).