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Earth Building

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When she was 16, Verena Maeder came to New Zealand from Switzerland for a working holiday and fell in love, but not with a kiwi. Verena fell in love with earth buildings. So much so, that she returned to Switzerland and started training as an architect with the specific goal of learning how to design [...]

Concrete Slab Edge Insulation Update

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BRANZ recently released their fifth edition of the House Insulation Guide. Changes in this edition include 'waffle pod' concrete slab systems, and a concrete slab edge insulation update. I discussed the importance of insulating the edge of concrete slabs in this video (just moved from it's previous location here). Since recording this video, I've been amazing at three things: [...]

How to Design Eco Friendly Homes

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Lesley England knows how to design eco friendly homes and importantly for her, she knows how to attract the right clients who want her to design eco friendly homes. It's all in the name - ecohabitats. Actually, that's not completely true. The name ecohabitats does attract a lot of clients, but her great design work [...]

Warm Windows

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What exactly is 'PVC'? And is this really a good material for window framing in New Zealand, Australia, or anywhere else in the World? These are some of the questions I put to Oleg Tolmachev, Sales Manager at Warm Windows - Cascade International. PVC is the abbreviation for poly(vinyl chloride) which is a white powder [...]

Building Guide

Building Guide

Through his company, Aim High Publishing, Mark Graham owns and runs the Building Guide, the Design Guide and Bob - the Business of Building. But as Mark openly admits in our interview, he used to hate advertising - the very industry he worked in and now relies on. The difference today is that he knows he's helping [...]

Self-Help Housing

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Self-help housing is not your typical DIY. I continually comment on the poor standard of the New Zealand housing stock, but we can't ignore the fact that there are people in even worse housing situations. At least 1 billion of them in fact. Canopy Housing Project is a self-help housing organisation based in Leeds, U.K., creating decent homes by renovating derelict [...]

Ecotech Homes

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Is it just me, or is there a lot more talk about prefabricated, affordable homes lately? Oh, and good quality ones too. This is what Ecotech Homes is all about and I caught up with their Major Project Director, Craig Nisbet just before he took off to Ghana to talk about, well... prefabricated, affordable, quality [...]

Affordable Housing


I've tried to avoid the issue of affordable housing. It's a term that gets used a lot and in all likelihood, the provision of affordable housing is going to be an election issue. I avoid it because it's often brought up as a negative issue. As a problem. But when someone such as Daiman Otto [...]

Green Building Design with Jessica Eyers

Jessica Eyers

Jessica Eyers is a passionate advocate for sustainable, green design. As I discovered during this interview, Jessica is also really interested in the science of green building and understanding what works and what doesn't work. Jessica completed a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Sheffield in the U.K. But it was when visiting the amazing [...]

Our New Homecoach

Our New Homecoach

  Jennifer Crawford started posting to her Our New Homecoach Facebook page in March 2014. The aim of Our New Homecoach is to give people confidence in the house buying process and to help people make good decisions. I love this idea. I've had a suspicion for a while that home buyers may often end [...]


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