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Natural Habitats is proud to announce that we have won an impressive 11 Awards in the 2016 Placemakers Riccarton Landscaping New Zealand awards – more awards and in more categories than any other landscaping company.

/projects/Brickworksentrancesmall.JPGIncluding winning the prestigious PGG Wrightson SPECIAL FEATURE OF THE YEAR, our team won three Gold Awards and seven Silver Awards for Landscape Design, Construction, Horticulture and Maintenance. That each project won awards for both design and construction is recognition of the complete value our Design and Build service model provides to our clients.

We’ve profiled the award winning landscapes in a series of blogs and would like to thank all our team involved in these projects as well as our clients who gave us the opportunity to design and build such fabulous gardens. First up is Bricklane – Brickworks (Lynn Mall Shopping Centre) which won one of the top awards - the PGG Wrightson SPECIAL FEATURE OF THE YEAR 2016 AWARD, as well as a Gold award for Landscape Design, and a Silver award for Landscape Construction. Congratulations go to Landscape Designer Lloyd Atherfold, and our Build Team – Nick Blandford and Phil Komene.

 

 

 

The Kiwi Dream, Episode 4 this Friday 7.30pm on Prime

05 December 2013

We begin episode 4 where we left off – the under floor problem. It’s decided we need to rip the whole job up and start again. Finally a solution is found and the floor complete.

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The rest of the room is completed too and Sally Ridge dresses the space with furniture.

The end result is fantastic, but it has caused the budget to spin out of control having hit $70,000 over budget.

The team also tackle the second bedroom downstairs, completing it in the style of a beachside batch. 

Pascal pitches to Evie a special Sanctum retreat for the garden – but the budget is blown and Mike Pero makes the call to put a stop to all work while we reassess where to from here.

 Find out more by tuning into The Kiwi Dream, Friday 22 November, 7.30pm on PRIME.

 You can also visit www.primetv.co.nz/kiwidream and enter to win a grand prize to the value of $10,000 including - landscape concept design drawings by Pascal Tibbits from Natural Habitats and architectural plans from Refresh Renovations.

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The Kiwi Dream, Episode 3 this Friday 7.30pm on Prime

28 November 2013

The Kiwi Dream is a six part, one hour TV series that follows the ups and downs of a major private renovation project

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Week 3 of the Kiwi Dream the main living room is tackled.

The boys soon uncover water damage resulting in a trench having to be dug around the outside of the house to treat the problem.

The main living room under floor needs special attention and Evie engages a cheap guy to do the work – only to find later it is faulty and may need ripping up and starting again at great expense.

However, outside Pascal does a fabulous job with revitalizing the BBQ area and the main deck is completed, to maximise the magnificent view.

More problems - the wiring is not up to spec. Initially it looked like they may need to dig up the whole driveway to put more wiring in from the road but eventually they chose to ‘thrust’ the cables under the driveway.

The living room under floor remains incomplete and an unsolved problem.

Find out more by tuning into The Kiwi Dream, Friday 22 November, 7.30pm on PRIME.

You can also visit www.primetv.co.nz/kiwidream and enter to win a grand prize to the value of $10,000 including - landscape concept design drawings by Pascal Tibbits from Natural Habitats and architectural plans from Refresh Renovations.


Natural Habitats staring in The Kiwi Dream, Prime 7.30pm this Friday

14 November 2013

The Kiwi Dream is a six part, one hour TV series that follows the ups and downs of a major private renovation project

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The Kiwi Dream is a six part, one hour TV series that follows the ups and downs of a major private renovation project. The project, a 1950’s property has until recently, been kept by the one family for 60 years and barely been touched since it was built. Situated on a cliff top above Karaka Bay with magnificent uninterrupted views of the Hauraki Gulf, the potential is limitless!

‘It’s perched high above a beach in Auckland, but you could be in the far north or looking out across the South Pacific from the Banks Peninsula. The city feels so far away,’ commented presenter Evie Ashton.

Pascal Tibbits, Senior Landscape Designer at Natural Habitats teamed up with Architect Dean Wyllie to transform the property into a ‘Kiwi Dream’ by adding a modern feel, whilst keeping the initial 1950’s Californian bungalow style architecture.

‘Landscape design is about speaking the same language as the environment you are working with.... most often this includes the architecture, and if we respect the past, but look into the future, the results can be very satisfying,’ said Pascal Tibbits.

While a team from Refresh Renovations (www.refresh.co.nz) tackled the house, a team of experts from Natural Habitats looked after the landscape installation, to help achieve the dream and make the most of the spectacular views. Each section of the house and property will be transformed per episode.

Episode 1 tackles the master bedroom and the landscaping. The team is faced with challenges along the way when they find out that the floor boards have rotted, the old clay pipes need replacing and the concerned neighbours complain to council forcing the landscape part of the project to an immediate halt, while the situation was resolved. Evie is soon running over budget!

Despite these hurdles, the house team is able to produce a stunning main bedroom, and in the meantime council approved works on the landscape to proceed,

Find out more by tuning into The Kiwi Dream, Friday 15 November, 7.30pm on PRIME.

You can also visit www.primetv.co.nz/kiwidream and enter to win a grand prize to the value of $10,000 including - landscape concept design drawings by Pascall Tibbits from Natural Habitats and architectural plans from Refresh Renovations 

 

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Natural Habitats working with Iwi

12 November 2013

Natural Habitats are working with iwi on numerous ecological projects to not only create landscape designs with cultural meaning, but to also benefit local hapu in training

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Natural Habitats are working with iwi on numerous ecological projects to not only create landscape designs with cultural meaning, but to also benefit local hapu in training.

The latest project completed is Stage 2 of the Ngaruawahia Expressway. Natural Habitats wanted to ensure the local Tainui iwi, derived as much benefit as possible from the project and worked jointly on how youth could be employed. They inducted and trained young unemployed rangatahi into our project teams, who then helped implement the landscape designs.

“Natural Habitats engaged Tainui and provided job opportunities along with extensive training in health and safety, work ethics and best horticultural planting practices. In turn these skills will help build towards NZQA credits,” said Tūrangawaewae Board of Trustees Environment representative, Dennis Ngataki.

“We have been part of many significant projects which have embodied a holistic approach, weaving together sustainable practices with connective and meaningful environments. The aim of our landscapes are  to strengthen our connection to Papatuanuku, make cultural identity visible through design, markers and art and strive to maintain a healthy and plentiful environment for future generations,” says Debbie Tikao, Natural Habitats’ Principal Landscape Architect.

Natural Habitats endeavor to integrate traditional indigenous knowledge to provide a deeper understanding of their environment. While planting out Wiri Men’s Prison, Natural Habitats also involved Corrections, so inmates could contribute to improving their surroundings.

Hon Anne Tolley, Ministry of Corrections wrote, “Employment is considered to be one of the most important factors in preventing re-offending, and I would like to express my gratitude to Natural Habitats for offering job opportunities to offenders. Work experience gives ex-offenders a legitimate income, heightened self respect and the ability to contribute to the financial wellbeing of their whānau. Most importantly it leads to better lives and safer communities.”

Natural Habitats have been developing their knowledge of Mātauranga Māori relating to Māori values, sustainable development, enhancement and protection of native biodiversity and knowledge of native plants, which are used for traditional crafts, rongoa and kai. This knowledge has been growing over many years through working closely with various iwi, kaumatua, Māori architects, artists and through our own whānau involvement.

Josephine Clarke, Natural Habitat’s Maori Landscape Architecture Graduate, is passionate about strengthening an awareness of Tikanga Māori (Māori philosophies/processes) and Mātauranga Māori (traditional Māori knowledge) within the profession.


Natural Habitats Creating Green PETS in Schools

12 November 2013

Stanmore Bay Primary School in Whangaparaoa will be the pilot school for the first sustainable Green Wall project completed in New Zealand. Affectionately named Green PETS, the Green Wall is made from recycled plastic polyethylene terephthalate bottles.

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Stanmore Bay Primary School in Whangaparaoa will be the pilot school for the first sustainable Green Wall project completed in New Zealand. Affectionately named Green PETS, the Green Wall is made from recycled plastic polyethylene terephthalate bottles. The plants grow in a ‘top secret’ Natural Habitats nutrient media mix, with its own irrigation system.  

Graham Cleary said, “It’s a simplistic idea, the community working together to collect, recycle and build a sustainable garden in the vertical plane.  We have created a habitat for small animals and insects while instilling intrinsic environmental values in our next generation.  Our aim is to reduce our carbon footprint using everyday items to create a beautiful edifice”.

The projects’ components shall be sourced, constructed, planted and installed at the school. The children, teachers, parents and whanau will be actively involved in the process from planning, collecting and recycling the plastic bottles, to the construction and planting of the wall, including the installation.

The school children will collect the plastic drinking PET bottles for recycling and participate in the construction of the wall with adult assistance.

 The PET green wall project will promote education in: 

  • Recycling

  • Sustainability

  • Horticultural practices

  • The environment

  • New Zealand native plant species

  • Creating eco systems and food sources for plants, insects and birdlife

 ...as well as working collaboratively with the community on a community based project.  We also aim for this school to be proud of their achievements of being the first to fully construct this recycled green technology in New Zealand.

The PET Bottle Green Wall Project was developed from an idea Mark Paul, Australia’s own Green Wall guru and founder of The Greenwall Company, had while working with his Brazilian licensee Bruno Resendez de Silva in schools in the Favellas in Rio de Janeiro.  The outcomes there were dramatic with long lasting impact for the residents of this very hostile urban environment.  

Why Natural Habitats is promoting Green PETS: 

  • Creating a home and food source for birds and bees through specific plant selection

  • Young people and their families are encouraged to think about the topical matter of their environment, and sustainability

  • A proven concept that involves young children nationwide in creating a living legacy

  • It’s an investment in educating and inspiring young people about their environmental responsibility

  • A common household waste item is productively recycled

  • Kids are taught basic skills in horticulture, craftwork, and team play

  • Job creation, and work skills for aspiring young horticulturalists / landscapers 

Green Walls Background: 

Since storming into public view in Paris in the early 2000s, Green Walls have become one of the most talked about and coolest pieces of architecture ever since, and they are good for the environment. 

Green Walls (also known as Living Walls, Green Facades, Bio Walls or Vertical Vegetation) are an innovative way of greening a vertical surface - they are magnificent to look at, have health benefits, contribute towards a company’s green star rating. They make a bold visual statement, which assists companies in becoming a leader in sustainability. 

Natural Habitats (NZ) and Mark Paul’s The Greenwall Company (Australia) have been the leading innovators and installers of these beautiful pieces of functional art in the Southern Hemisphere. Leading corporates in Auckland, Melbourne and Sydney have snapped them up because of the branding association of Green Walls to the exemplary ideals they aspire to. Local installations include Britomart, Westpac, Goodman and Google to name but a few. 

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They're Alive!

01 November 2013

Amazing sculptures out of living plants. (Too much time?)

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Once every three years, there is an international competition in horticultural sculpture, called "mosaiculture," in a major city in the world. This year it is Montreal.

This is not topiary but rather creating sculptures out of living plants. 

The greatest horticulturalists in the world, from 20 different countries, submitted plans a year in advance.  Steel armatures were then created to support the works (some 40 feet high); they were then wrapped in steel mesh and filled with dirt and moss and watering hoses.  Then they ordered 3 million plants of different shades of green and brown and tan, and these were grown in greenhouses all over Quebec.

In late May, these horticulturalists came to Montreal and planted all of their plants in the forms at the Montreal Botanic Gardens, and they have been standing for three months now.

There were 50 major sculptures along a path two miles long.  They were incredible.  If you would like to visit a few and walk along the path with me, click on 

http://myvirtualgarden2.blogspot.com/2013/09/mosaiculture-exhibition.html 


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

25 October 2013

Natural Habitats are proud to part of the Best Design Awards alumni for 2013. The judges voted our 'Eco Pillows' as part of the Best of 2013.


Maori Woman in Landscape Architecture NZ

03 October 2013

As part of the Auckland Architecture week 19-29 September Josephine Clarke, Natural Habitat's Maori Landscape Architecture Graduate was privileged to be interviewed by Te Kāea, in regards to the exhibition "In Between the Silos," focusing on Architecture + Women

This was a celebration of Mana Wāhine (Women in Architecture) ranging from Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture to encourage more graduates into these creative industries.

Manaaki Whenua - Manaaki Tangata
(care for the land - care for the people)

Watch interview here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK6jqEmp2Lk&feature=youtu.be


Are the Aussies Ahead?

03 October 2013

The perennial question for us Kiwis is: Are the Aussies ahead ? And in the development of green buildings the answer is yes and whipping our butts !!

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This project in Sydney is well on its way to being finished. The two towers which form the Central Park development is a joint venture between Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House Australia and will house 623 apartments.

The protrusion shown is a heliostat - basically a giant mirror used to reflect sunlight in a fixed direction. In this case - the area of the building usually in the shade. The 110 tonne frame has just been craned into position on the 29th floor also supports a “sky garden” which complements the rest of the building facade designed by green wall early mover Patric Blanc of France. Greenwalls also cover the building facades and while Green Wall Pty ( inventor of Natural Habitats greenwall system ) currently holds the record for the tallest greenwall at 28 stories, Central Park will sneak ahead by a floor. We intend to catch up quickly !!

Australia and Singapore have really set the standard of green buildings, we need to use them as both an inspiration to catch up and a benchmark for our own development!!


Natural Habitats Creating Award Winning Landscapes

01 October 2013

Natural Habitats are delighted to have contributed to five of the award winning properties in the 2013 Property Council Awards, the country’s most esteemed commercial property development awards.

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“The association of these great accolades reflects the innovation and quality construction Natural Habitats contributes to the projects, to enhance the value of New Zealand’s urban landscapes” said Warren Warfield, Director of RCP.

Education and Arts Property Award

  • The University of Auckland, Grafton Campus, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (The University of Auckland) - Excellence

Construction Heritage and Adaptive Reuses Property Award

  • Abbeville Estate (Auckland International Airport) - Merit

Commercial Office Property Award

  • ANZ Centre Auckland (RCP & Warren and Mahoney) – Best in category
  • Geyser (Patterson Associates & RCP) – Merit

Green Building Property Award 

  • Geyser (Patterson Associates & RCP) – Best in category

Industrial Property Award 

  • Paykel Building (Davis Langdon, an AECOM Co) - Merit

“Geyser, which is the first six star green rated building in New Zealand, is one project we are especially pleased with,” said Graham Cleary, Director of Natural Habitats.

Green Buildings are scattered across the country, representing wide acknowledgement of the benefits of sustainable design and Geyser stakes a claim for the most sustainable building in New Zealand. The underlying assumption of Geyser is that if a building belongs in its ecology, both environmental and social, then the people who use that architecture will feel they belong there also.

“Natural Habitats’ green walls and roofs are at the leading edge of contemporary landscape design and green build solutions; they are the key to the future sustainability of our environment. Green walls are an innovative way of greening a vertical surface and have proven to have considerable health benefits, contribute towards your green star rating and increase the overall value of your development,” said Graham.

Over the past three decades Natural Habitats have won more awards than any other landscape company in New Zealand and are pleased to add these accolades to their other 2013 ‘Pride of Place’ LA Awards for Landscape Design: Rural/Park/Recreation:

  • NZILA Award of Excellence: Cliff Face Park at Stonefields
  • NZILA Distinction Award: Maungarei Springs at Stonefields

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