Inspiring people to make a better place to live

Podcasts

When you're designing a new home, or getting one built, you should invest as much as you can to upgrade the thermal envelope. Put in as much insulation as you can, and invest in the best windows you can afford. In this episode, I walk through the minimum requirements of the New Zealand building code ... [Read more]

I usually interview designers and builders about what's going on overseas, with a focus on what the New Zealand industry could learn from them. In this episode, I speak with Damon Gray and Andrew Chapman of NZ Builders. They've turned this idea on it's head and have taken some NZ techniques to British Columbia, with ... [Read more]

I love it when I find new companies that are looking at the design and building process a bit differently and who want to provide healthy, energy efficient homes. That's what Nook is all about - low energy homes. I caught up with their designer, Warren Clarke recently and asked him why he does what ... [Read more]

Walls (and roofs and floors) of buildings have become complicated. As we've increased the level of insulation, we've created some new problems, like condensation. This has been aggravated by the addition of layers into the wall that reduce air movement. So how do you create a wall that keeps you warm but will also stay dry? I ... [Read more]

When I first saw the LUNOS, I was skeptical. How could this be a ventilation solution with true heat recovery, when it's so small? I particularly weary of systems claiming to be 'heat recovery ventilation', because so much of what's typically sold and installed as such in New Zealand, simply is not. Worse than that, ... [Read more]

Imagine having a Fitbit for your home and being able to see, in real time, how it's performing. You could also be notified of any hazards like high levels of CO2 and VOCs as they occur - before you start to get a headache or start having respiratory problems. I spoke with Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng, cofounder ... [Read more]

Caroline Blazovsky is America's Healthy Home Expert. She makes it easy for people to find out what might be the cause of an unhealthy home and therefore, how to fix it. My Healthy Home mainly checks houses in the US. If you're in New Zealand, get in touch to find out more about getting your ... [Read more]

Darryl originally chose engineering as his profession, but seeking to combine his creativity with his analytical skills, he eventually followed his father's footsteps into architecture. A growing number of Darryl's clients have been wanting to invest more in their properties in order to use fewer resources and have a truely comfortable home. Involvement with his local Steiner ... [Read more]

One of the most surprising aspects of the recent 20th International Passive House Conference in Darmstadt, was the Chinese presence. Elrond Burrell estimates that nearly 200 of the 1,000 delegates were from China. Why the sudden uptake of Passive House in Asia, and what does this mean for the rest of us? Elrond Burrell is ... [Read more]

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 Hitesh Mehta ... [Read more]

FREE 4 PAGE GUIDE reveals how to design a sustainable home…



The Building Guide is NZ’s independent step-by-step guide for home owners who are building new or renovating, with a comprehensive building product and services gallery.