166: How to Upgrade Your Thermal Envelope Above the Building Code

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 …

127: How Architecture can Help People Create a Better Life

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. In this episode, we discuss: Glazing – how much is too much and where can you put it? The value of Read More …

My Insulation Experiment

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 …

Map Wrap Gaps Taps and Apps

Over the last few years, I’ve developed this model for good home design: Map, wrap, gaps, taps and apps. A model for good home design: Map, wrap, gaps, taps and apps.  Click To Tweet Map Map was an obvious (albeit later) addition to the original model. Good design starts with location. This is about where you Read More …

Energy Efficient Homes with Dean Buckeridge

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 …

Using Design Navigator to Calculate R-Value and Check for Code Compliance

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 …

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 …

Why You Can’t Rely on the Building Code

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 …