104: Architecture in Harmony with the Earth

Can you imagine meeting someone at university with similar interests, falling in love with them, then starting a practice together offering complementary design services to provide beautiful, functional architecture in harmony with the Earth? Sounds pretty idillic. And it’s what Matthew Swett and Sarah Birger have done to create Taproot Architects. Throw in the fact that they Read More …

Start with Why

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‘? Simon Sinek – Start with Why Glen Murdoch is a Passive House designer and innovator, based Read More …

Self-Help Housing

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 Read More …

EcoFest 2014

Louisa Chase is the Project Manager for EcoFest 2014. The festival runs from March 15th through to April 13th and has everything from films, to gardening and composting seminars, eco-house tours and even a sustainable fashion show. From Native Plants to ‘Nana Technology’ Kaipatiki started 15 years ago with one person planting some native trees Read More …

Homes People Can Afford

We are not building enough homes people can afford. This was the focus of a workshop organised by He Kainga Oranga – The Housing and Health Research Programme, from the University of Otago in mid 2012. Since then,  Sarah Bierre, Professsor Philippa Howden-Chapman and Lisa Early have been busy compiling written contributions from a number of Read More …

Buildnz Designex

I’m just back from three days at Buildnz Designex, working on the Homestar stand and I’m fairly exhausted after talking to so many interesting designers, architects, builders and loads of product suppliers. Trade shows and expos can be a gamble. They’re expensive to attend as an exhibitor, they take time out of ‘productive work’ and Read More …

Is Christchurch in the process of making a big mistake?

Is Christchurch in the process of making a big mistake? Surely not intentionally. But the front page of the Press last Friday did look a lot like urban sprawl. Is there another way to describe 40,000 homes being built outside the current city boundary? This is the vision of the Land Use Recovery Plan. Affectionately known Read More …