Local builder goes platinum

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A Queenstown builder has joined select company after his latest Registered Master Builders House of the Year award. 

Allister Saville received an exclusive platinum award after winning the ‘sustainable home over $2 million’ category at the annual awards in Auckland this month. 

A platinum gong is given to builders who have won five or more national House of the Year awards. 

Saville says he’s only the seventh builder to receive this award and the first south of Christchurch. 

His AJ Saville Builder firm won its first three national awards between 2006-2010 for homes at Arrowtown’s exclusive Millbrook Resort. 

Last year the firm won the over-$2m category for a Crown Range home. 

The latest national award is for a $2m-plus home immediately next door. 

Saville says the award-winning home’s sustainable features include renewable materials, rain water retention, a design to capture the sun, the facility for ground-water heating, and double glazing for solar gain. 

“They even count the number of trucks you bring on site.” 

Clients increasingly want sustainable and energy-efficient homes, Saville says. 

“There’s a bit of a myth that it comes at a price but it’s not that much dearer to go eco-friendly. 

“You can build sustainability into any home over $2m or as little as $200,000,” he says. 

Saville also intends launching an eco-friendly housing brand next year. 

As for his award-winning streak at national as well as regional level, Saville says the secret comes down to good staff and subcontractors – and consistency. 

“What happens in Queenstown is you’ll get subcontractors selected only on price.” 

Saville says there are no short-cuts in top-end builds, which usually take 12-18 months. 

His dearest build to date has been $4.8m. 

“You start putting in an $18,000 bath and $3000 taps and that makes a bathroom very expensive,” he says. 

“I went to India to source tiles for a client once and that’s all added into the cost.” 

Saville has built almost 40 houses at Millbrook but he’s also delighted to be winning awards for homes elsewhere.
“It’s good to do the big Millbrook housing but people start narrowing you down saying that’s all you do.” 

He’s confident looking forward: “A lot of stuff that’s been in planning for years is finally starting to come to fruition.