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Sustainable living . . . Jeanne Gray outside her Horse Gully Rd house, at Papakaio, which won a national lifestyle award at the House of the Year Awards. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

The owner of a national award-winning Papakaio house believes those who built it are more like “craftsmen” than builders.

Jeanne Gray’s Horse Gully Rd property, built by Fairlie-based High Country Carpentry, won a national lifestyle award at the Registered Master Builders House of the Year Awards on Saturday.

The outside of the two-storey, 300sq m house, which features three bedrooms and two bathrooms, was made from whole Douglas Fir logs, while the ceilings and other interior areas fitted out with wood are all macrocarpa.

Ms Gray, who moved in last October, said it was “pretty cool” to live in an award-winning property, and said she instantly felt right at home.

“It’s just the feel of it and the quiet – but I suppose that’s to do with the site, too, more than anything. It’s quite big, but it’s quite cosy.”

She said she lives “off the grid”, a factor that was important to her.

“I’ve always wanted to do that. The reason I went that way in the end was it was going to cost too much to get the power up here.”

Awards judges were full of praise for the property.

“With a remote location and challenging weather, self-sufficiency was a key driver of this build,” judges said.

“Water is sourced from an irrigation system. A bank of PV cells deliver power to a storage system, which is capable of delivering power for five days without solar gain, after which backup generators cut in.

“The Rayburn cooker with wetback heats water for underfloor heating. Upstairs radiators and the use of stacked-log construction provided a major gain in the insulation factor, which far exceeded that of conventional construction.

“Altogether, an excellent example of future-proofing and exacting construction by the builder.”