This new build which featured in the 2022 season of Grand Designs NZ was designed by Josefine Watterson, a designer with an architecture degree from Sweden who aimed to create a Passive House for her family of five. The home was built in Featherston in the Wairarapa — a big change from Auckland that would offer the family a more peaceful and nature-filled lifestyle. The ambition was to create a warm, high-performance home with a mechanical ventilation system, so it would barely need heating in winter — much more like the homes Josefine was used to, than what she’d experienced since moving to New Zealand.
The interior design of the home has also taken inspiration from the designer’s Scandinavian background, with light, airy spaces featuring pale timbers and whites creating a calm, relaxing atmosphere. The bathrooms are no exception, where high-performing KAPO Board wall linings, with the addition of a microtopped finish, provide robust performance and a beautiful, soft aesthetic.
“For the bathroom, the client was looking for a unique finish and landed on a microtopping product that would produce a smoothed textured plaster finish,” explains Zac Prestidge, Director of Maple Build Ltd. “We needed a backing board that was stable and strong to support that system.”
Originally fibre cement board was specified, but long lead times left the construction team looking for an alternative. KAPO Board — a hardwearing calcium silicate board — came recommended by the microtopping subcontractor, and was readily available, helping to keep the project on track.
KAPO Board is a robust wall lining that offers a smart alternative to plaster-based and fibre cement boards. Featuring excellent moisture and mould resistance, in addition to acoustic properties, it is particularly suited to bathroom applications.
KAPO Board suppliers, Enviro Square, were happy to set aside product for the project while the contractor waited for the on-site variation. The construction team appreciated this level of support and the help the Enviro Square team provided throughout the project. “They were helpful with any technical questions and really responsive,” says Zac.
Installation of the KAPO Board was straightforward. “It was nice and simple to install, it cut easily, and you didn’t need to pre-drill,” says Zac. “It was the first time using KAPO Board and it felt superior to other products. From an install perspective, it was a little nicer to work with — and we also found the front face was a nice smooth face compared to others.”
The microtopping finish, Beccrete Micro, was applied by Bruce Cameron, the developer of the system. Having used KAPO Board on previous projects, Bruce was confident in working with the system. “If I compare KAPO Board against regular fibre cement, I've got a lot more confidence in the performance of KAPO — that's why I recommended it for the project.”
The end result is a stunning bright and airy bathroom — the microtopping finish adds a subtle touch of texture, while the KAPO Board beneath works to ensure long-term performance and resistance against moisture. “I’m really happy with how it came out,” says Zac. “The KAPO Board felt really strong, looked good and was a good substrate for microtopping. Overall we’re really happy with it.”
Designer: Josefine Watterson
Main Contractor: Zac Prestidge, Maple Build
Microtopping Contractor: Bruce Cameron, Beccrete