Master Builders House of the Year 2016

The speed of construction, coupled with the huge insulative qualities that are achieved with Formance Panels are what convinced Ben and Kylie to use this superior building method. Find out more about Ben and Kylie's project at


MasterBuilder GoldAward

Haven Renovations went on to win a Gold Award at Master Builders House of the Year in 2016 for their work on Ben's House. In the words of Master Builders:

"This Castor Bay beauty is the first home in Auckland to be built with Formance Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). And after word gets out about the finished product, it’s hard to imagine it will be the last."


Ben and Kylie were very interested in the concept of prefabrication as he wanted to step as lightly on the section as possible to maintain the natural beauty of the native forest and stream. His builders told him that it would not be possible to get fully built structures down the driveway and into position but were definitely keen on the idea of prefabrication! Ben approached us with his amazing concepts asking if it was possible - which of course it was! Their unique design features a living pod and a sleeping pod on either sides of the creek, connected by a glass corridor.


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A beautiful solution to a tricky site

Even though many would write the project off as being mission impossible, the Crawfords were enamoured by their dream of what could be. “The section was surrounded by the most beautiful native bush: kauri, kanuka, nikau and ferns,” says Ben. “We saw the opportunity to build our dream home in an amazing location and create a home we could raise a family in, with a country-style lifestyle in the middle of suburbia. Coming from a sheep farm in Southland, this really appealed to me. To top it off, it was only a five-minute walk to the beach in an area well above our pay grade.”

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“We wanted the house to be light on the land and decided to prefabricate it to allow this,” says Ben. “Ours was the first house in Auckland to be built from Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs), which are expanded polystyrene sandwiched together by strand board and structurally laminated. Replacing traditional framing and batts, they have superior insulation properties, which is a huge pro given our valley location and volume of glazing.

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Ben and Kylie Crawford Our Dream Home House Haven Renovation Builders DSC 0698 900x598