Lakestone Lodge has made a commitment to environmental sustainability and endeavours to keep its environmental impact to an absolute minimum.
The Lodge is off-grid and self-sufficient for power (solar PV), water (rain and bore) and sewage treatment.
The north facing building ensures natural daylight throughout the property, thereby reducing the need for artificial lights. The passive heating/cooling design includes overhanging eaves to avoid overheating in summer and let in the full winter sun to ensure rooms remain cosy.
The Lodge has been architecturally designed to blend in with the beautiful natural environment of the Mackenzie Country, using a palette of natural colours.
The surrounding grounds have been planted with a beautiful collection of over 1,000 native trees, grasses and shrubs, which attract native bird life. The gardens also include plants native specifically to the Mt Cook region. Earth bunding has been placed around the Lodge to make sure the Lodge blends into the surrounding landscape as much as possible. The bunds help deflect the strong winds that can roar down the Lake.
The Lodge is mainly heated through passive design with large north facing windows that allow the full low angle winter sun to heat the inside of the building (whilst the eve design doesn't allow high angle summer sun to enter the rooms). When the winter sun enters the rooms it warms dark floor tiles near the doors and the internal tilt panel concrete walls. The walls are each attached to the 10-ton under-floor insulated thermal mass that moderates the temperature between day and night.
As external temperatures in winter can drop to approximately -20 C (-4F) other means of heating are also required. This is addressed by under-floor heating giving a base heat and radiators to give quickly adjustable heating in the guestrooms. Solar powered heat pumps generate this system. A large "clean-air" approved wood fire is located in the main lounge.
Guestroom insulation is substantially superior than building code requirements and all windows use high spec thermally broken double glazing to hold in the warmth. All guestrooms have fresh air quietly pumped into them and the stale air extracted through a heat exchanger that warms the fresh air coming in, eliminating the need for air-conditioning.
Although the Lodge has been designed to maximise natural light, where artificial lighting is necessary long lasting, energy efficient LED bulbs have been used. Motion sensor lighting has been installed on the interior and exterior to ensure that it is only being used when required. Lights and electrical equipment are turned off when they are not in use to conserve energy. Energy efficient appliances are used throughout the Lodge. When the weather allows washing is air dried on a clothes line.
All rainwater is harvested from the large roof and stored in a 30,000 litre tank. As backup, the property has its own artesian water bore that sources water from 46m below the surface. Despite water being an abundant resource in the area, usage is reduced through certified tap ware, shower heads, certified low water use guest room toilets and reusing bath towels and linen where appropriate.
The Lodge has an in-house custom-recycling centre enabling separation of waste at source and a compost for organic material.
All liquid waste is dealt with onsite and material is broken down by natural micro-organisms.