The acclaimed and well-documented Hawke's Bay bach First Light is on the market.

Named after New Zealand being the first country in the world to see the light each day, the eco-home was designed by a team of architecture students from Victoria University as the New Zealand entrant in the United States Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011.

Marketed by Sotheby's International Realty, it was inspired by the classic Kiwi bach and designed to reflect the relaxed New Zealand lifestyle where socialising and a connection with the outdoors are central to living.

It was the first-ever finalist from the Southern Hemisphere, achieving third place, and during its construction was on public display in Wellington and in Washington DC where more than 10,000 people walked through it over a three-day period.


It was built in modules, making it easy to transport it from the docks of Wellington to its current location - a hill-top site overlooking Bare Island and the coastline stretching northwards at the popular Hawke's Bay beach Waimarama.

Current owner Les Holland said that when he purchased the property he was looking for the quintessential Kiwi bach experience.

"Coming from the United Kingdom, I was looking for a place where we could escape to in the weekends and spend time together as a family in a communal space - play board games, read books and talk to one another - get back to basics. Not a huge, high-maintenance second home," he said.

The bach has a tiny footprint, a zero-energy design, triple-glazed windows and a host of power, heating, cooling and energy-monitoring technology, designed to produce at least as much energy as it uses.

Mr Holland said that even in the wildest weather it was a warm, safe haven. "You can be tucked inside and watch the world blow by without even hearing so much as a whistle because of the triple glazing.

"It is pretty spectacular up there - the views are incredible, it could be anywhere in the world," Mr Holland said.

Selling agent Nic Goodman said that the layout provided functional, flexible social spaces that were perfect for a couple as a one-bedroom batch.

However, because of the "ingenious" system of bunks and fold-down beds in the living room, it could sleep up to six people.

The home, which will feature on TV One's The New Zealand Home on Friday, August 19, will sell by tender closing at noon on Thursday September 1, unless sold prior.