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 …

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 …

121: The Sociable Kitchen

Ever noticed how people always seem to ‘turn up’ in the kitchen? Chris Larson definitely noticed this and has developed the concept of the sociable kitchen as a principle of his house design philosophy. He’s also in to making passive solar homes beautiful, which I love. Check out Chris Larson Architecture.   Thanks to Pro Read More …

109: How to have fun while creating a spectacular home

  Marnie Oursler used to sell houses. Now she designs and builds stunning homes that delight her clients. And in doing so, Marnie has learnt how to run a successful business. Marnie knows how to have fun while creating a spectacular home.  It starts with an attitude of believing in what she’s doing, having a passion for it, and thinking Read More …

108: How to make a sustainable house

How do you make a house sustainable? Talking to the team at Sustainability House would be a good start. Sustainability House believe that all buildings should aim to have low embodied energy, use energy efficiently, generate electricity, collect and recycle water, be passively thermally comfortable and provide safe indoor air quality. Sounds reasonable. But how Read More …

Earth Building

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 Read More …

Improving Home Performance with Curtains

How important are curtains when it comes to improving the performance of your home? Curtains and Curtain Tracks As Chad Keven from Heavy Duty Curtains explains, it’s not just about the drapes, the curtain track that supports the curtain can also play a big role in improving the insulation properties. The alternative to a track Read More …

What’s a Building Whisperer?

What’s a ‘Building Whisperer’ and what do they have to do with making better homes? This is something I wanted to find out when I got the opportunity to talk with David Bartlett, Vice President IBM Smarter Buildings. David Bartlett is passionate not just about making buildings better in their own right, but improving how Read More …

Four Good Reasons to use Aridon

According to kiwi inventor Stephen Pinkney and his partner Christina Gomes, there are four good reasons to use Aridon when building a house. At the most fundamental level, Aridon is a new type of wall insulation made from moulded expanded polystyrene. But there’s more to this inovation. Click here to listen to the interview in Read More …