Inspiring people to make a better place to live


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]

Chris Hays likes to think of Architecture as 'the mother art', encompassing sculpture, mathematics, engineering, anthropology, ecology and more. Above all though, Chris likes the fact that architecture can help people create a better life. Glazing - how much is too much and where can you put it? The value of design competitions for architects How ... [Read more]

Overhead, the rain pelted down on the metal roof just above my head. I later found out that it was a record rain storm for Auckland. I believed it. The roof of the circa 1920s house I was crouched in bore an almost identical resemblance to the construction and thermal performance of the simple corrugated steel ... [Read more]

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 ... [Read more]

Dean Buckeridge has been designing energy efficient homes for nearly two decades. Along with Russell Devlin, and now also Bob Burnett, I've regarded Dean for long time as one of the prominent house designers in Christchurch who has been leading the way in good, solar design. It was a privilege to talk with Dean and ... [Read more]

When creating a building design, how do you calculate the R-Value of building elements and check the design for code compliance? As Albrecht Stoecklein, creator of Design Navigator describes, getting this right in construction design can be tricky. Albrecht Stoecklein is a building physicist and has an Energy Management Diploma as well as vast experience ... [Read more]

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]

If you're reading this, then you're interested in building a home that performs well. And if you want a home that performs well, you can't rely on the Building Code to achieve this. This is because, in my opinion, the Building Code has very little to do with sustainability or actually building a good home. ... [Read more]

How do you store stuff in your roof space without it affecting your insulation? Attic Island is a simple solution that provides a sturdy platform for roof storage and access above your insulation. Picture this; you or your clients have just paid to have a good amount of insulation installed in the ceiling, but then ... [Read more]

In my second podcast, I discussed heat transfer and the the types and styles of insulation. I talked about 'R-value' and the technical meaning of thermal resistance. Well, without a full transcript (or even detailed show notes at this stage), I thought it might be worth doing quick follow-up entry with some of the content. ... [Read more]

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