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First Light house nears completion and gets set for Wellington debut

First Light house nears completion and gets set for Wellington debut

The Meridian First Light house has undergone a major transformation since the last update. For a start, it has undergone a name change to acknowledge our new principle sponsor Meridian. It has also come a long way in the construction process and will be moved from the shed out in Lyall Bay and assembled on Wellington’s Frank Kitts Park this week. 

To get to this point a huge number of elements have come into place in the last few weeks. In the last update the Herman Pacific Western Red Cedar was going up and we were looking forward to the glazing and linings going into the house.

After the cladding went up it was all go with a number of products arriving ready to be installed. Bjorn from EcoWindows came down from Raglan to help install the windows and bi-fold doors. All of the exterior glazing in the house is triple glazed and argon filled glazing supplied by Metro Glasstech. The windows and doors have Cedar frames crafted by EcoWindows and the skylight has an aluminium frame provided by Thermosash.

EcoWindows and the team installing bi-fold doors

The skylight illuminates the central section of the house and is broken into 3 130kg panels. It took seven strong Thermosash team members to install the skylight, while our student team looked on and made plans to visit the gym before they would have to lift the glazing themselves. With all of the glazing in place the house was really taking shape.

Thermosash team install the skylight

The next step was for the team at Premier Roofing systems to come out and install the membrane roof. While all of this was going on the polycrystaline photovoltaic panels from Mitsubishi Electric arrived from Black Diamond Technologies. Hayley, our hard working electrician from Harding Electrical, worked with the student technologies team to install the Mitsubishi heat pump and the Lossnay ERV system into the services shed. 

Hayley from Harding Electrical installing cabinets

Our recycled Rimu panelling from Beechmark arrived and the guys at Mainzeal took a great deal of care to make sure it looked fantastic. With the Rimu and Radiata Pine tongue and groove linings from Build Pro the interiors were looking great.

Rimu panelling from Beechmark and kitchen cabinets from Jones and Sanford

While the house was taking shape it was still missing a major design element – the canopy. The Glulam posts and beams from McIntosh Timber Laminates had arrived and were assembled to form the support for the canopy. Next, the Herman Pacific Western Red Cedar canopy was constructed with spaces left for the PV panels. Those panels will be installed on site at Frank Kitts Park. 

There were a few custom made items to be installed next, with the kitchen cabinets arriving from Jones and Sandford and becoming the first part of the house’s kitchen. LEAP’s innovative new hot water drying cupboard, especially created for the house, has turned up and the team can’t wait to see how it performs. 

Gavin from Verda decking has been working closely with the team on the design of the decking which will virtually surround the house. He came down to deliver the heat-treated Radiata pine timber decking and to help the landscape team work out a few more details about how it would work. The decking is looking fantastic and is in prefabricated sections which will to be connected together and assembled for the first time on Frank Kitts Park. While the initial assembly of the house modules is due to take just one day it will be the decking and landscaping which will take the team more time. 

With the house just about complete it will be taken apart and sent in trucks to Frank Kitts Park where the modules will be assembled by crane in one exciting day. To make it ready for public display, smaller interior elements and details will be completed after the modules have been put together.

The Meridian First Light house will be open to the public for tours from May 7 – 24, Weekends 10am – 5:30pm and weekdays 12pm – 4pm.

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