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How to get a good home from a group builder

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Group or volume (project) builders get a bad rap sometimes for perpetuating bad building practise. But it is possible to get a good home from a group builder. I started out by asking Tim why he was building. Like anyone involved in Christchurch any time since 2011, he has quite a story. After being an [...]

Start with Why

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If you've listened to more than a few episodes of the Home Style Green podcast, you'll notice that I like to start with why? My favourite first question to designers and architects is 'why do you what you do'? Glen Murdoch is a Passive House designer and innovator, based in Christchurch. He's been a designer [...]

Designing Environmentally Functional Homes

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Duncan Firth feels 'compelled' to do what he does - designing environmentally functional homes. He's very conscious of humans taking more than giving from our environment and he sees the potential for architecture to be a positive influence in correcting this balance. Many architects (and people writing about houses) talk about buildings that 'respond to their [...]

How Much Does Homestar Cost?

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I read an article in Stuff yesterday that got my heart rate up. I strongly believe that tools like Homestar are needed to help make houses better. And I'm anxious to correct some misconceptions and to address the question of 'how much does Homestar cost?' Homestar is New Zealand's comprehensive environmental rating tool for homes. It's [...]

Q & A

Q&A

Something a little different this week. I've had some excellent questions sitting in my inbox for a while and I thought that many could benefit from them. Here's just a sample. Got similar questions? Please get in touch and if I can't help, we'll put the word out to find someone who can. Got a [...]

Design and Construction Project Management

PM for You

Cesar Abeid is a father, an engineer, a podcaster, mentor and a soon-to-be author. He's also an expert in design and construction project management. I was washing the dishes in my kitchen one winter evening, about 18 months ago. I'd given up on live radio years prior and was searching for some fresh podcasts - something similar to [...]

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 [...]

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