Eco Solutions Limited - Eco property development & eco villages - Canterbury

Home  |  Sections for Sale  |  Ti Kouka Eco Lane  |  House Eco Upgrade  |  Contact Us

Page Contents


Ti Kouka Eco Lane Location and Introduction

Ti kouka Eco Lane is a distinctive residential development, created for those who want premium quality living in harmony with nature.

This secluded subdivision is located on a sheltered north-facing hillside above Redcliffs, Christchurch. Ti kouka Eco Lane's premium residential real estate provides expansive views of mountains, plains, city, ocean and estuary.

Ti kouka Eco Lane fosters permaculture i.e. an ecologically sustainable environment, including healthy and efficient buildings through use of natural, safe and sustainable materials incorporating solar design for space and water heating.

Located within easy access are the Summit Road and reserves, estuary and beaches, and Ferrymead, Redcliffs and Sumner shops, cafes and restaurants.

Ti kouka is the Maori name for cabbage tree, a common native tree in the locality, which will become a feature within the subdivision through additional plantings.


Council: Christchurch City
Sections: 12 (9 sold, Lots 5, 12 &13 presently available)
Houses: 5 at present ( 2 existing, 3 new)
Access: Private Road
Services: Fully reticulated
Sizes: 950 - 1420 m2
Prices: From $320,000 to $360,000

Compared with other developments Ti kouka Eco Lane offers more leisure and recreation opportunities, more neighbour compatibility, amenities, increased wildlife and quality of life, enhanced building health and efficiencies and more peace and security. It also offers reduced garden maintenance and lower power and general living costs. Overall, a more sustainable living environment.

"Ti kouka Eco Lane is a Christchurch, New Zealand eco village offering premium ocean view residential real estate in an ecologically sensitive permaculture subdivision. All the sections for sale are landscaped in harmony with the natural environment for unimpeded views, privacy, low maintenance, a favourable microclimate, and healthy, efficient, solar designed houses."



Ti Kouka Eco Lane Guiding Principles and Design Features

Guiding Principles  
Design Features

The design follows an analysis of the local environment and incorporates the foregoing ecological sustainability principles. The main features are:

These features taken together, create this special living environment. Ti kouka Eco Lane can be a sustainable environment for the benefit and enjoyment of like-minded residents, both present and future. It can also provide an example to others of how people can live comfortably in harmony with nature.


Ti Kouka Eco Lane Design Guide

1  Introduction

This Design Guide has been prepared to help you and your designer in selecting your lot and planning and developing your new home and garden. It also provides the basis for any consents required from the Vendor. It has been prepared in accordance with the accompanying Ti kouka Eco Lane Principles and Protective Covenants and provides greater detail on the accompanying Design Features. A further document Ti kouka Eco Lane Management Guidelines will be available for new residents. This will contain information which residents may find useful, e.g. cabbage tree leaves may be collected and used for paper-making.

2  Location

The vehicle entrance to Ti kouka Eco Lane is off Glenstrae Road about 100m down from its intersection with Moncks Spur Road. It has a cobbled road surface which leads up a short rise to arrive at the gates into the site.

Pedestrian entry to Ti kouka Eco Lane is provided from three locations: steps from Glenstrae Road, the Lane entrance and from the adjoining Drayton Gully Reserve.

3  Site Environment

The site environment had been extensively modified from its pre-settlement condition. Native plants had been replaced with pasture grasses and exotic shelter trees of mainly macrocarpa and pine. In recent decades most of the land has been cultivated mainly for the growing of commercial flower crops. Since the late 1970's much of the land has been organically managed. Under the Eco Lane development much of the site has been revegetated with original local native species, leaving pockets of open ground for building sites and gardens. These plantings are to be preserved and join onto the similar plantings in the Drayton Gully reserve.

4  Emphasis on Organic and Sustainable Management and Local Natural Features

Throughout the development, emphasis should be given to sustainability, organic management and the natural values and resources of the local environment. Thus preference should be given to the use of local native plants, volcanic rocks, loess clay, timber and other natural materials. The survey pegs on each site are native totara instead of treated pine.

5  Landform

The landform had been modified with drainage ditches, soil creep and terracing from motorised cultivation associated with past horticultural practice. These features have been removed or rectified and gentle swales have been formed above boundary plantings for stormwater to collect and soak into the ground for natural irrigation. These swales overflow into the piped stormwater reticulation and should be raked out annually to reduce silt and litter build up and preserve water retention volume.

6  Microclimate

Sites have been designed to be generally wider in the east-west direction and this, along with boundary plantings will create warm microclimates for all sites. Taller trees with denser form and foliage are sited in the southern parts of the site while shrubs and grasses and smaller trees with open form and lighter foliage are sited in the northern parts of sites. These plantings will protect houses from cold southerly and cool easterly winds while allowing maximum warming of sites with sunshine.

7  Wildlife and Other Animals

One of the aims of the development is the nurturing of native wildlife. Such wildlife includes native birds, insects and lizards. The native ecology of the site has been documented and measures to enhance the number and variety of species include: the extensive native plantings, linking with the adjoining Council reserve, the water conservation swales and rock habitat in dry rock walling throughout the development. The covenant restricting pets to no more than two including cats and dogs, aims to limit predation of native wildlife. Cats and dogs should be discouraged by their owners, from preying on native wildlife, and dogs should be discouraged from barking by ensuring they are exercised daily and not left for extended periods without company. Other pests including opossum, may need to be controlled from time to time.

8  Roading, Rights of Way and Driveways

The Lane has been designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. While the sealed portion is narrow, the downhill footpath is designed to enable occasional car parking when required. The slope of the Lane is gentle and its alignment is curving and landscaped with native trees, shrubs and grasses.

The emphasis on the natural local character is further reflected in the use of volcanic-like chip-seal of both scoria and basalt. Ti kouka Eco Lane has been designed to be variable in width, no wider than necessary at any point. It is generally 3.5m wide, has a low kerb on one side and has a turning head alongside the Community Garden. This turning area is adequate for large vehicles. Overtaking areas have been provided at intervals by combining access driveways into pairs. Visitor parking is located by the entrance adjacent to Glenstrae Road and at the turnaround.

The main entrance and all entries to rights of way and driveways have been visually delineated by using cobbled surfaces.

Vehicle access has been specially designed and positioned for each lot - generally garaging will need to be positioned on the south side or upper slopes of the site. This minimises hard surface areas and allows landscape elements to frame the outlook from living areas. This also enables better use to be made of the site and provides for more north facing garden area.

A footpath and landscaped berms have been provided alongside the Lane.


Views are generally between W and ENE. These panoramas have been protected as much as possible in the design of the subdivision and the location of lots and building sites. The boundary planting has also been carefully designed to avoid tall, bulky and dense foliage trees within the view sector from building sites. Care should be taken in the actual location and design of buildings and other planting, so as to recognise and respect the outlook and views from other properties. Vehicle access has generally been positioned on the south side of building sites so that the views and outlook from living areas does not contain vehicles, drives, parking areas or garages.

10  Peace and Privacy

This is provided for in several ways. The Lane is a private cul-de-sac with no through-traffic, so traffic noise will be minimised. In addition, the provision of a parking area at the entrance to the Lane will encourage visitors to walk rather than drive within the development. The boundary plantings are native trees which will require little maintenance. They are not to be trimmed as hedges and will only need to be felled if they become a potential hazard. Power tools will be seldom needed. Further deep-rooted and perennial plant species are encouraged and lawn areas should be minimised. These measures will minimise use of lawn mowers and also reduce environmental noise levels.

11 Building Architecture

In addition to the comprehensive native plantings throughout the development, the quality of architecture and its arrangement on the site contributes to the sense of harmony, and the visual character of the development. Most successful living environments have a cohesive "feel" and the following guidelines define the special character for Ti kouka Eco Lane. As with other aspects of the development, emphasis will be placed on the selection of sustainable, natural, organic and locally occurring materials.

(a) Building Form

The primary visual aim of this development is to achieve an inter-related series of low-profile building elements that appear to "grow" out of the slopes of the site, yet remain subordinate to the surrounding landscape elements of re-created native forest. Achieving a visual cohesiveness of building design throughout the development is a wish of the vendors. This can be achieved if all buildings have similar shapes and materials but in different arrangements according to the "feel" of each specific site.

Transparency, appropriately scaled massing and articulation of solid form, and the clustering of rooms into low- key separate, yet inter-linked building forms, is an acceptable approach. Local volcanic stone in particular is encouraged to be used either close to the ground (foundations/basements/walls) and/or in solid vertical statements. Elements that create shadow and texture are preferred to smooth surfaces. Extending house walls into courtyard walls, hedging or vegetating solid walls are encouraged as devices to anchor the building mass into the ground and surrounding landscape.

It is important that building forms do not encroach visually upon the Lane's "spatial envelope", which is designed to feel more like a country lane, rather than resemble "urban mews or estate" development. The Lane provides for a series of unfolding spatial envelopes from which the character of "place" and opportunity of view is gradually revealed. The architectural form and associated garden, courtyard and access spatial envelopes should also emulate this design principle - one of a gradually unfolding sequence of interlinked spaces.

(b)  Roofs

Roof architecture should appear visually simple and emphasise the ground slope. Flat roofs, whilst acceptable as terraces or patios, are considered not be appropriate as main roof structures. Hipped roofs should be avoided where possible. Roof structures should be used as devices to assist the buildings in appearing to visually "sit down into the site so as to feel part of the ground element". Roof planes should be used to capture water, support solar collectors (visually flush or concealed) and can be used as terraces. Roof surfaces should be finished in dark tones and appropriate hues (colour). They should have low reflective values in order to visually compress the building into the hillside. Roof heights should also not obstruct panoramic views from other sites.


(c)  Walls

Walls create enclosure thus defining spatial volume. House walls, when extended beyond the internal living parameters, stretch the appearance of a building visually by making it appear longer and flatter. As enclosing elements, they provide outdoor shelter, courtyard garden enclosure or retaining structures.

Natural local stone is a desirable material for wall finishes within this development as it creates a wall with "solid feel", of something permanent and extending up from the underlying bedrock material. Other suggested materials that produce a visually solid feel are rammed earth, plastered or honed concrete block and specifically selected brick.

Naturally weathered untreated timber as an appropriate cladding is also encouraged. The "feel" of timber is lighter and visually more related to the surrounding forest of vegetation.

Acceptable colours are specified in the attached palette, and range from neutrals to warm landscape hues. Generally it is preferred that wall colours are at least two tones lighter than roof tones, unless otherwise agreed.



Articulation of form through the use of chimneys, balconies, verandahs, setbacks, pillars etc and other methods of breaking the flatness of a wall, are also encouraged - solidity and thermal efficiency is the theme.

(d) Wall Openings

Whilst solid walls provide the enclosing element to spatial volume, windows and doors provide transparency and access by connecting inside and outside, here and there and framing vistas and views. The design and positioning of doors and windows can make a wall look either "solid" or "weak". Where possible it is encouraged to emphasise the "solid feel" of walls by placing the emphasis on visually narrower/taller openings. Large horizontal openings could be concealed behind garden walls or set back under overhangs and pergola structures, or divided visually with vertical elements such as bifold doors/windows, columns, shutters etc. Deep setbacks around windows and doors are encouraged.

These elements also allow the sunlight and warmth to penetrate the spatial volumes of a building.

(e) Energy Efficiency

All sites are north facing with protection from the cold southerly winds. Energy conservation is an integral aspect of this development and should be a feature of the architecture. Solar passive systems for "solar gain" and "heat sink retention" should be incorporated within the design of individual dwelling units by using solid floors and locating most windows and overhead glazing on north facing walls.

Additional energy conservation measures such as environmentally friendly wall and roof insulation, double glazing, solar collector walls, solar water heating panels and wind generators could also be incorporated.

(f)  Garages and Outbuildings

Garages and outbuildings should be designed and finished to be similar to the house. Enclosing vertical or horizontal elements should visually relate to the house and garden and form part of the overall wall and spatial structure.

(g)  Views

Care should be taken in the location and design of buildings and other structures, to recognise and respect the outlook and views from other properties.

12  Common Area

The central reserve is the focal point of the development and comprises a community fruit, herb and vegetable garden, petanque court, picnic area, childrens' playground, native plantings and a walkway to the adjoining Council reserve. Car parking is provided at the turnaround and there is space for community equipment and facilities including trailer and composting/recycling centre.

13  Walkways

A footpath winds through the community reserve to the Council's Drayton Gully Reserve, connecting to the network of walkways in that Reserve. Other walkways follow rights of way and link with the Lane, thus connecting each site with the community reserve. Native plantings enhance these walkways.

14  Healthy and Efficient Buildings

As set out under Building Architecture, buildings are to be constructed of sustainable and natural organic materials (to avoid unhealthy emissions within buildings and into the environment) and are also to be designed to incorporate energy conservation and efficiency measures.

15 History

The site had significance to Maori as forest land for hunting birds. It was settled by pakeha as a freehold pastoral farm. After the First World War it was acquired by the Government, subdivided into horticultural units and balloted to returned soldiers. Strawberries and flowers were cultivated and some of the previous commercial flowers have been retained within native plantings in recognition of the long history of horticulture in this locality. These flowers include sol d'or (jonquils) and nerines.

16  Boundaries

Boundaries are to appear as natural as possible, and have been pre-planted with appropriate native species. These areas are to be maintained in native plantings in perpetuity. No visible solid fences are permitted on legal boundaries. Enclosure for the safety of children, animals or security, has been provided in the form of post and open wire fencing, on the legal boundaries within the native plantings. Walls and fences may be established around the house curtilege, as long as the design, materials and colours used are compatible with the landform and building materials and form. These elements should also be softened with trees, shrubs and grasses. Hedges and vegetated fences/walls are acceptable in these locations.

17  Plantings & Gardens

The establishment and maintenance of plantings and gardens should be done using organic and permacultural methods. Some of the site has been organically managed for over 30 years, while other parts have been organically managed for lesser periods. A detailed landscape plan provides the structure of contouring, Lane alignment, service corridors, lot access and boundary planting. Locally occurring native plants have been established in all common areas as well as around the perimeter of all lots. These plantings will provide shelter creating microclimates and site amenity, while ensuring that large trees intrude as little as possible into the views from other sites. Purchasers are encouraged to contribute to the expansion and expression of this ecological theme with the addition of edible and ornamental species through their own garden planting. Species to be planted should be selected so that they will not exceed the height of perimeter trees. Lawn areas should be minimised, since lawns are ecologically less productive, require regular maintenance and consume time and energy and since mowers generate noise in the community.

Existing large trees and historic daffodil and nerine beds, where deemed suitable, have been retained and enhanced with additional planting. Shrub and groundcover plantings under trees will provide the "native bush" feel to some areas, whilst the dryer slopes have been planted with shrubs and tussock grasses. The recommended native plants have been selected, not only to relate to the original flora of the area, but also to encourage more native birds.

To assist purchasers, a list of local native, eco-friendly and suitable edible trees, shrubs, hedge plants, groundcovers and climbers are offered. With the protection afforded by perimeter native plantings, locally grown edible plants include temperate fruits and nuts, citrus, tamarillo, feijoa, olive, avocado, mountain pawpaw, macadamia and even banana.

The garden is seen as an extension of the living spaces of the house and as part of the wider landscape concept for the development. In this regard, the lots have been designed to provide for generous north facing garden space with views, shelter and favourable microclimates for the growing of a wide range of temperate and sub-tropical plants.

Purchasers are reminded that they are responsible for the maintenance and perpetuation of local native plants around their boundaries.

18  Water Conservation

The local environment normally experiences water deficiency (less rainfall than evapotranspiration) from September to March (7 months) each year. The established native vegetation and mulch will retain soil moisture into this period and landscape swales provide for replenishment of soil moisture instead of the total run-off going to the piped reticulation. Residents are encouraged to install tanks to store roof water (3 cubic metres ideal) for use on gardens, with the overflow directed into the swales. The swales are designed to overflow into the piped reticulation in major storms. Hard surface areas such as driveways should also be designed to direct stormwater to the swales.

Vehicle parking areas should drain to a filtered sump (to catch oil pollutants etc.), and vehicle washing should be limited to fresh clean water.

Residents are also encouraged to conserve water use in their houses. Internal systems which could be considered include storage of "grey water" (from washhouse, kitchen and bathrooms) for use in toilet flushing (thus becoming "black water").

19  Colours

As discussed under Building Architecture, a colour palette is attached (providing a range from neutrals to warm landscape hues) from which to choose for building and structure finishing. The range is restricted so that an overall theme for all building will be achieved for greater compatibility and harmony within the Lane environment.

20  Services

It was originally intended that more sustainable methods of servicing the development be provided, but Council has required conventional services as provided in all other subdivisions (high pressure reticulated water supply, sewer and stormwater piped to public reticulation, underground power and telephone cabling). Residents are nevertheless encouraged to use more sustainable alternative methods if they can obtain or do not require Council approval. Such methods could include solar power, wind power, roof water supply, composting toilets and grey-water toilet flushing.

Letterboxes for all lots have been supplied and specially designed as a group of boxes near Glenstrae Road inside the entrance to the Lane.

21  Refuse

Household recycling and rubbish bins can be left at the entrance to the Lane. All household, garden and other organic material should be shredded and composted on-site and used in gardens.

22  Planning Criteria

The following information is provided to help purchasers assess the development potential of any lot. The information is a selected summary of the main relevant rules in the Proposed City Plan as at March 2003. Reference should be made to the current full detail of the District Plan before preparing any design. Compliance with the following rules results in a permitted development which does not require a Resource Consent. The property covenants must be complied with as well as the rules below, and in some cases the covenants are more restrictive

  1. Maximum coverage of the net area (excluding access legs) of any site by buildings (including garage) shall be 35% ( covenants - all hard surface coverage - 40% max )

  2. Maximum height of any building shall be 7m above the ground level ( level after subdivision works).

  3. Buildings shall not project beyond a building envelope constructed by recession planes from points 2.3m above internal boundaries.

  4. Minimum building setback from Glenstrae road boundary shall be 4.5m.

  5. Minimum building setback from internal boundaries shall be 1.8m, or 3m for a window of a living area ( covenants require protection of the 3m deep boundary plantings ).

  6. No continuous wall of a building shall exceed 20m without a 2m step in plan.

  7. Minimum dimension of outdoor living space shall be 4.5m, minimum area shall be 75sqm(including decking)

  8. Minimum net area of any site shall be 800sqm



Concept Plan of Ti Kouka Eco Lane

Concept Plan

Typical Site Layout

Typical site layout