12 Steps to Planning a Dream Bathroom

When you’ve designed more than 200 bathrooms, you know a thing or two about the ins and outs of layout, fittings and features. Interior designer Sam Elliot works at Box Living, a combined design, architecture, and construction company, and is adept at fitting oodles of convenience into a compact floor plan. Sam teams practical thinking Read More …

157: Sustainable Landscapes with Hitesh Mehta

Hitesh Mehta I originally contacted Hitesh Mehta to talk about sustainable landscape architecture, but he offers a lot more than that. Hitesh has travelled the world advising and helping designers of ecolodges. He enjoys all aspects of architecture as well as photography, environmental planning and writing. To find out more about his recent work, visit Read More …

154: Adaptive Architecture

For Matthew Baran of Baran Studio Architecture, California, Adaptive architecture means much more than just designing for the local climate. We create cities in places where maybe they’re not supposed to be. This, combined with continued pressure on natural resources and climate change creates a need for adaptive architecture. Matthew Baran Matthew  was drawn to architecture Read More …

151: Passive House is Here

  There’s so much that could be said about two days of great Passive House presentations in Melbourne, but I’ve challenged myself to boil it down to one point per presentation. If there was one takeaway from the second South Pacific Passive House Conference, it was that Passive House has arrived in the Southern Hemisphere Read More …

150: Energy Efficient Homes in Canterbury

Glenn Harley is a builder of energy efficient homes in Canterbury. After being attracted to the natural, healthy feel of strawbale construction, Glenn now produces high performance homes with lots of insulation and airtight envelopes. Among his recent achievements is building Christchurch’s first Passive House. The Cost of Building Glenn points to the cost of Read More …

144: A System for High Performance Homes

Beattie Passive is a complete system for high performance homes. I love the concept of ‘a house as a system’. I also love the idea of making it simple and easy to get right, and that’s exactly what Ron Beattie has done. As explained in their technical information, “The Beattie Passive system achieves superior levels of Read More …

139: The Future of Green Design

The terms ‘sustainability’ and ‘eco’ are not obvious on Adam Taylor’s website. They are there (see if you can find them). But perhaps the future of green design is embedded in good design. Not something separate. Homestar Practitioner Among other things, Adam is a Homestar Practitioner. There’s nothing particularly special about this nowadays, except when you Read More …

136: Thermal Mass Is Not That Useful

I recall visiting one of the fist 8 Homestar homes in Christchurch and being surprised that this new show home had a suspended timber floor. The double layer of insulation gave the floor a very impressive R-value, far better than any concrete floor slab I’d seen recently. All well-and-good, I thought. But thermally, surely it couldn’t be Read More …