Re: Middle units Dark or Not
From: Cathy Angell (
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 11:22:17 -0800 (PST)
Tim Clark wrote :

The concern is that the center units in either case will be dark and nobody will want them.

Is this true?

Any feed back would be appreciated.

At Earthsong (Auckland, NZ) we have had no particular difficulty selling 'middle' units. We too wanted to minimise the overall footprint on the site, and yet not sacrifice good light access. We have two basic designs - terrace houses (in NZ this means each house has two levels). and single level apartments, which are stacked two high. As an aside, we have seven ground floor units of our total of 32, which are fully mobility accessible.

Among other things, we are committed to passive solar design, so all the homes face north (remember southern hemisphere), have pergolas on their sunny sides, but are only about 7 metres wide from north to south.

Our site is quite long and narrow, running north/south, which was an added challenge when designing for passive solar access!

Our terrace house design is a two bedroom home, with the bedrooms and bathroom upstairs. For a 3- or 4- bedroom unit, we simply 'plug in' an extra bedroom at ground level, either between units or at the end of a row of units.

Only recently have New Zealanders started living in higher density developments, so we were keen to design carefully to maximise private space opportunities for owners. One of the ways that we did this, which also I believe increases light access, is that the intervening bedrooms mentioned above are not rectangular, though they still have only 4 walls. This has the effect when the bedroom is in the middle of a block of terrace houses, of 'curving' the building. This is visually appealing, and met our two criteria of good light access, and maximises a sense of privacy.

Have a look at for an artist's impression of our site plan. It is very very close to the reality we now have!

Good luck with your development!

Cathy Angell
Earthsong Eco Neighbourhood
Waitakere City
Auckland , New Zealand

Where we are about to move in to our gorgeous new common house , *and* the builders are well under way with our last block of 8 units. There are only 4 left for sale, which is pretty wonderful too! In just over a year our 11 year project will have reached the end of its development/building phase! Yehaaa!

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