Inspiring people to make a better place to live

Passive Solar House in Riverhead

Riverhead solar passive houseIngo Ratsdorf is a registered architect now with Fat Parrot Architecture based in Auckland. He has also designed and built a passive solar house in Riverhead, Auckland. I caught up with Ingo this week and he shared his story.

Having grown up and been trained in Germany, Ingo is very aware of how poorly most New Zealand homes stack up against international standards.

When Ingo and his family were hunting for their dream renovation project, they were continually overwhelmed with the size of the job they saw. It seemed each house they looked at would need far too much work to bring up to a level of quality and comfort that would satisfy them.

And so it was that they ultimately realised they would have to build from scratch.

Listen in to our conversation as Ingo explains the inspiration and challenges of building and completing (almost) their dream in Riverhead.

He shares some sound advice for anyone looking at start a building project.

This podcast is best accompanied by a great slideshow of the build available  on slideshare here:

I hope this finished product will be an inspiration for your project!

The inspiring  book Ingo referred to and which I also highly recommend for anyone interested in design, ‘Cradle to Cradle’ can be found here:

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Elrond Burrell

    Interesting to hear about the design process. Love the use of untreated macrocarpa & the use of polyester insulation.
    “Cradle to cradle” is a book that really inspired me also, good eye-opening holistic look at design.
    Cheers, Elrond

    • Matthew Cutler-Welsh

      Thanks for your comments Elrond. Ingo might be putting this home of the market soon. Fancy coming back to New Zealand?

      • Elrond Burrell

        Haha, not yet, plus if I did I’d be building my own passivhaus 🙂

  • Thanks for the lovely comment Elrond. I’d be tempted to build a passivhaus too – just need more time (or money – either or) 😉

  • Hi Matthew, the house is now actually on the market, and well documented.
    Have a look at

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