Te Urewera materials and Tūhoe hands. Under the expert tuition and guidance of Alan Drayton of Biobuild Ltd and Verena Maeder Chair of the Earth Building Association of NZ Inc Tūhoe learnt how to extract clay, test and mould earth bricks. 6000 earth bricks were completed for Te Kura Whare. The earth bricks provide a thermal mass to regulate humidity and air temperature in Te Kura Whare.
A natural and renewable resource, clay from Ruatāhuna, Ōwhakatoro, Taneatua and Awakeri was extracted and tested to meet building standards. A core group of 7 Tūhoe were selected to help drive the project by learning the art of brick making and passing this knowledge on to others. Over 100 Tūhoe from across the rohe volunteered to make earth bricks. In addition our partners ASB, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Whakatāne District Council volunteered their time to make bricks alongside Tūhoe.
Check out their hard work on the walls of the office, the meeting rooms and Te Whare Puri – you may even recognise a few of the names etched into the bricks!