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People – both locals and travellers – play key roles in this relationship and one of our core values is to create a project that is respectful, welcoming and inclusive in all ways possible.

One way in which sought to build this in from the start is through human-centred design. We are designing buildings that blend in with the local architecture and backdrop of the mountains, keeping cars out of the main core of the property and creating pedestrian-welcoming walking paths that are accessible to all visitors, regardless of physical ability. Signage will make path-finding easy and offer interpretive and educational information. Signage will follow all applicable regulations and be designed to be an important part of enhancing the experience of our guests.

Universal access to nature

The lodge sits in one of the most stunning settings in the world.  Ringed by rugged mountains, turquoise blue Lake Wakatipu and the verdant forest and farmlands at what locals call the “head of the lake, the heart of the mountains.” The Living Building Challenge advocates for universal access to sunlight, clean air, water and soil, all abundant in Glenorchy. Our project has been designed from the start to take in natural light, protect the night sky, reuse water as a precious resource, and protect the soil beneath our feet. We will use resources efficiently, respect and protect our neighbours’ access to sunlight and views, and plant native plants and trees that contribute to air quality while attracting native birds, bats and bees.

The site will be open to the public and the community to ensure everyone can enjoy and benefit from the project. Workshops and events will be organised for our guests and the community to inspire learning and discovery, and to provide them with opportunities for engagement with each other. 

Economy & Community

At the heart of the project’s vision is environmental, community and financial sustainability. Our goal is to create a positive impact on the local economy so that it can provide opportunities for people who live in Glenorchy.  All profits from the operation of The Headwaters Eco Lodge, Mrs. Woolly’s General Store and other offerings will go to the Glenorchy Community Trust.  The Trust is led by the residents of Glenorchy, and they will decide where funds will be invested for the good of the community as a whole.

We also aim to establish community within the project’s team by hiring local companies and contractors, buying locally where possible, supporting New Zealand businesses, running workshops and taking an integrated approach to design. Some of the companies that make up our project team are pursuing certifications that acknowledge demonstrated transparency in their own operations, helping redefine what running a healthy, sustainable, successful business means.

There's so much more to find out...

Beauty can be expressed in many forms and is a very personal experience.
Celebrating design that uplifts the human spirit
The Headwaters Eco Lodge has been designed to achieve Net Zero Energy Building Certification (NZEB) 
in accordance with the requirements of the Living Building Challenge
Harnessing energy from the sun for operation
The Headwaters Eco Lodge seeks to foster a healthy relationship with the entirety of its surrounding environment.
Supporting a just equitable world
Health & Happiness
Human health, comfort and happiness are deeply affected by many aspects of our environment, including the air we breathe, the surfaces we touch, the noises we hear, and the views we see.
Creating spaces that optimise health and wellbeing
The building industry is a significant user of chemicals and products which are considered “worst in class” for their impact on human and environmental health.
Using products that are safe for all species through time
The site will feature a variety of elements that are designed to reduce effects on our local environment – including the air, waterways and soil.
Restoring a healthy relationship with nature
The Headwaters has been designed, built and operated to allow us to provide for our own water needs as much as possible.
Operating within the local water balance