10m2 Challenge

Enter the SHAC 10m2 Challenge!
Design a 10m2 building that you would use as a music practice room, office, bedroom, house, shelter, or any other use.
Can incorporate awnings, eaves, decking, carports, conservatories, etc, as long as the entire structure does not require building consent.
Exact requirements for building work that does not require a consent can be found at the DBH:
Entering this challenge is an easy and fun way to become familiar with what building work requires a building consent.  Learn today and save yourself cost and difficulties in the future.
Designs due 20 August at 12:00 noon.
Exhibition and presentation of awards in Christchurch, at the Festival
 of Transitional
Architecture, Design and Building in Christchurch (Oct 19-27 2012)
* Provide a playful competition to help designers, builders and the public better understand the art and science of building.
* Promote design and build as a collaborative, evolutionary process
* Promote the re-use of building materials
* Promote living well, with less reliance on resources
* For the cost of a year’s rent (say) – what can our designs inspire young people create?
* The building must not require building consent, as per the DBH discussion document
* The building will provide for any such use as is envisaged by the design team: music practice room, office, bedroom, house, shelter.  It must be a building.
* The building has a use that the team argues contributes or promotes living well, with purpose, and with less reliance on resources.
* The building may make use of recycled building materials.
* Submit your design, and an explanation about the building, how it is to be used, and how the building does not require a building consent.
* Explain the project and its purpose, it’s present and potential future uses.
* How it will be constructed
* What maintenance will be required
* How will it be supplied with any electrical power, if needed.
* A preliminary budget
* Please supply two A3 presentation sheets that explain the project. These sheets will be used for exhibition.  This may include 3D sketches, plans, elevations, sections, and/or photos of the materials or techniques to be used.
* Further details to aid in the construction will be helpful.  You may attach this additional information, eg budget, details, and further description as additional sheets. These additional sheets may be exhibited as space allows.
* You may choose to include a sketchup file.  Photos of projects underway are acceptable.
* Please submit the A3 sheets as PDFs.  Please submit all files electronically to  Designs due 20 August at 12:00 noon. Maximum size about 15 MB per email.
* Submitted designs may be copyrighted by the author(s) under a Creative Commons license of your choice, suggested: “CC-Attribution” or “CC-Attribution-NonCommercial”
* The building must be legal to build and must not require building consent as per rules published by the DBH
* Questions can be sent to
* SHAC reserves the right to not accept any entries.
* Best entries will be honoured with awards and prizes
* All entries will be published on our web site.
* Please have fun with this and give it a go!
10m2 maximum internal floor area – walls can be as thick as you like.
Must be single storey, can have a steeply pitched roof and loft.
Submit your entry by email to by 12 noon 20 August 2012
Win Awards and Prizes!
$500 cash prize available to help you build your design.
Exhibition and presentation of awards in Christchurch, at the FESTA Design, Architecture and Building Festival in Christchurch (Oct 19-27 2012)
All entries will be presented to the public and potential clients who may help you realise your vision.  There is a student/young people category of the challenge.
[Optional] Register at to received updates about the challenge and any clarification of rules

[note, not all of these buildings are less than 10m2 in size]
  1. Kevin Low’s Small Projects
  2. Chris and Ben’s SPACE MoveableRooms
  3. GapFiller’s Tati Design Competition and Temporary 10m2 Office
  4. DesignBoom’s Small Houses
  5. Dwelle
  6. F3 Design’s ArtBox
  7. The Marlborough Snug Sauna
  8. Bomun’s Awhi Farms projects
  9. Bruce Thomson and ModPreFab’s “Wood Cutters’ Paradise
  10. Chris Moller’s Click-Raft, and
  11. Daiman Otto’s Analog Structures

Thank you and have fun with this!
Tim Bishop
SHAC – The Sustainable Habita Challenge
0800 762 786
021 705 346
Skype: twbishop

5 replies on “10m2 Challenge”

Having read the govt guidelines on consent exemptions, I’m still unsure as to whether the 10m2 limit refers only the the interior floor space or to the total footprint of the building. We may have the opportunity to place a 20ft container on our property for use as a garden shed/ hangout. Would recessing the front wall of the container so that the interior floor was no more than 10m2 make it exempt to consent?

I cannot find anything conclusive on this. However the guidelines do say “floor area” and not “building footprint”. Other people have built structures with 10m2 floor area and thick straw bale walls, and have not run into any trouble.

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