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Case Studies | Sunshine, sea views, and high-strength beams


How Hyne 21C made all the difference in one home build

When you're building a house overlooking Mangawhai's stunning white sand dunes, a standard out-of-the-box build just isn't going to cut it.

Glenys and Greg McBain wanted their new house to fit the beautiful Managawhai setting and showcase stunning views on all sides. They worked with builder Peter Oakden to develop a plan for a unique home, using natural materials and designed to stand up to the harsh weather conditions that come with living by the sea.

That's where IBuilt's Hyne Beam 21 came in. The high performance engineered hardwood was used for two huge internal roof beams that join external portals. Choosing the high-strength Hyne product gave the McBains the uninterrupted views and durability they were looking for – and they look fantastic as well.

Owner Glenys explains: "The beams are absolutely stunning, as is the entire house. Driving up the road, the exterior of the house makes a very bold statement. It can be seen for miles around."

Natural setting, natural materials

One of the key requirements for the build was that the new house needed to fit into the landscape. It also needed to be tough enough to stand up to the harsh winds, storms, and sea spray thrown at it from every direction.

That meant finding naturally strong, resilient materials – like wood. The builder and owners chose to go with natural wood for the exterior, in a range of timbers to suit.

Builder Peter Oakden explains: "We were looking for timbers that would work together and enhance each other, yet look great on their own."

The complex part was making sure these natural materials could stand up to the requirements of the house design and the oceanfront setting. The design involved large windows to maximise the sea views – but that meant the supporting beams needed to be particularly strong.

Peter had seen a sample of the Hyne 21C hardwood product during a work presentation, and thought that it could be the ideal material for the McBain house, performing as needed without compromising the aesthetic of his design. Hyne 21C is an engineered and glue-laminated wood product made of Australian hardwood, offering extremely high strength performance – in fact, it's often used as a replacement for steel.

He says: "The beauty of the Hyne 21 was that it provided the strength and stability we were looking for, yet was dimensionally not excessive."

Custom-made for a perfect fit

Ultimately, the Hyne engineered hardwood was used to create two huge custom internal beams that extend out of the house, and seven external 'portals' that extend to the ground in an inverted L shape. Project engineer Stephen Orchard explains that the external beams are not actually structural portals, but give the building a "robust timber feel."

The L joints are mitred internally with metal plates for strength, stability, and a clean finish, which made installation slightly more complicated – builder Peter explains that it would have been tricky to do onsite. Working with the IBuilt design team made it easier. The team worked with him to meet his design specifications and make sure the build went smoothly.

Peter says: "They were great to work with and very accommodating and helpful, not just producing the basic item but also preparing and mortising the knee joint, which would have been difficult to do onsite."

Practical – and stunning too

In a practical sense, the beams and portals support the roof from below, and add weight to strengthen the roof in high winds. Visually, the line of dramatic wooden L beams looks stunning in the finished product, giving the owners the impact they wanted.

Glenys explains: "We are exposed to all weather – wind, storms – and needed a product that would not only hold up the beams required for the uninterrupted sea view, but also needed to hold the roof down in the wind. The house is built with a view from every room, and regardless of wind direction, there is a sheltered side of the house for outdoor use. We went for the 'wow factor', and got it."

IBuilt Engineered Wood Products are the only supplier of Hyne Glulam in New Zealand. They find solutions to design problems, create custom beams for unique builds, and provide technical support during projects. They're always happy to help architects, builders, and homeowners achieve their design goals.

Want the wow factor for your next project? Talk to the IBuilt team now.