I am an earth building artisan with 28 years of experience and have been a driving force in natural building in NZ since 2002. To date I have carried out over 200 building projects, ranging from pizza ovens to the construction of entire mud brick homes, to earthen and lime plasters over drywall or strawbale, to the restoration of numerous historic cob buildings.
In 2006 I designed and we built our own passive solar eco-home. This is me showing off the 5m tall feature wall in the living room, that is an earthen plaster artwork inspired by Pacific weaving.
I am trained in Architecture as well as Building Biology and Ecology (BBE) in Switzerland, where I have done extensive research on earth building and have written a paper on the health aspects of earth as a building material. Working in construction instead of architectural design was a lifestyle choice for me.
From 2007-2014 I was the chairwoman of the Earth Building Association NZ. I am currently part of the committee in charge of the revision of the NZ Earth Building Standards. I feel very privileged to have received the 2017 Tradeswoman of the Year Award by the National Association of Women in Construction.
The focus of my work is on state-of-the art workmanship, the creation of healthy living spaces, artistic expression as well as the integration of natural materials in existing buildings or timber-framed buildings (hybrid construction).
I also really enjoy teaching and sharing my extensive experience with people. For the past 17 years, I have been sharing my knowledge of natural building with hundreds of people through workshops and community projects. I am now adding consultancy and web-based tuition to my offerings, because I am convinced that there is scope for more people to fast track turning their dreams into reality – by learning hands-on with my guidance on their own earth building projects.
I learned about earth building 13 years ago when I met Verena, and to this day am struck by the beauty and substance of this type of construction. Before joining Solid Earth, I have worked both as a landscaper and a carpenter for many years, here in NZ and overseas.
I am a creative person with attention to quality and detail. I love the flexibility of earth building and how it can be organic as well as very modern in its style. I feel excited by the creative potential of natural building materials and love working with earth, stone, timber, lime and straw.
The focus of my work is on producing high-quality, healthy building products and finishes, that are made from locally sourced materials and have a low carbon footprint. I also enjoy leading the team on site and making sure everyone is looked after and happy.
Earth building comes naturally to me because it is a bit like cooking, and I am an awesome cook who never follows a recipe and likes experimenting.
Verena and I are a great team and our individual strengths compliment each other beautifully. I bring a strong and steady quality to our work and am stepping into heart-centred leadership in the business.