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How big should eaves be?

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Eaves are the classic case of form following function. In this podcast I lay out my three key reasons for having them, but a key question is, 'how big should eaves be?' Radiation - They help shade you and your home from the summer sun, while still allowing light and warmth in during the winter [...]

Resilience vs Sustainability

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What's the difference between resilience and sustainability? Is there a place for both? Is it even really that important? The utter darkness while driving around east Auckland early last Sunday reminded me of the similarly eerie calm we experienced while driving around Christchurch on February 23rd, 2011. A 21st century city without electricity is a [...]

Map Wrap Gaps Taps and Apps

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Over the last few years, I've developed this model for good home design: Map, wrap, gaps, taps and apps. [Tweet "A model for good home design: Map, wrap, gaps, taps and apps. "] Map was an obvious (albeit later) addition to the original model. Good design starts with location. This is about where you plan to build [...]

Leaky Buildings 2.0

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Most of us are familiar with leaky buildings - the perfect storm of poor design, poor cladding systems and poor workmanship, culminating in allowing rain to get in. Now we've moved on and have cavities, more stringent weather-tightness checks and hopefully we like eaves again. So what's leaky buildings 2.0? If we've dealt to the [...]

Getting Started with Social Media

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  This week I had a very special guest in the studio, social media and networking expert Natalie Cutler-Welsh. Nat spends some of her time helping small business owners who are just getting started with social media. This can be a daunting task yet important step for your business. I wanted to get some tips [...]

How to get more of the right clients

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I'm always on the lookout for building professionals who are focussed on sustainable design and construction, so when Ian McHugh popped up in my LinkedIn and Twitter networks, I was keen to get in touch. Ian's specialisations include Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor, and 'Eco-Refurbisher'. I want to know how good designers and architects can do more [...]

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 [...]

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