Thu, 18 April 2013
At the Prefab HIVE event a couple of weekends ago, I caught up with Jamie Harrington from Ekokit. I've had the pleasure of assessing some of Jamie's Hybrid Homes in Nelson, which are not only very high performing, they're also aesthetically stunning.
WIth Ekokit, Jamie's team have applied the same sustainable philosophies to a modular, cost effective set of house plans.
Their features include:
For more information and to contact Jamie, go to http://www.ekokit.co.nz
Tue, 9 April 2013
A few weeks ago now, I got up at 5 am to interview Ben, who lives in Hertfordshire in the UK. Ben has a blog and podcast called HousePlanningHelp.com and he shared with me his motivation, vision and plans for learning to build a good home in the UK.
Listen in to find out what we have in common with people building and renovating houses on the other side of the world. What are some of the biggest issues for housing in the UK and how is it similar or different to NZ? And why should we all be following Wolfgang Feist?
Ben's own very good blog site can be found at: http://www.houseplanninghelp.com
You can also find Ben all over the web:
Resources that Ben mentioned
The Sustainable Building Association: http://www.aecb.net/
Fri, 5 April 2013
Part 2 of my interviews from the Rebuild and Renovate Christchurch Home Show. This week I catch up again with Bob Burnett. Bob is Homestar trained Architectural Designer who I interviewed about thermal modelling in episode 14.
I also speak with Thomas van Raamsdonk from Pro Clima about airtightness, blower doors and how to seal a three dimensional joint in framing around a window sill, using one piece of tape.
Direct download: 26_Efficient_Design_and_Airtightness_-_Home_Show_Highlights_Part_2.mp3
Category:Industryhttp://www.proclima.co.nz -- posted at: 9:46pm +13
Wed, 27 March 2013
Last week I had the priviledge to attend some of the sessions at the Green Property Summit, jointly hosted by NZGBC and the Property Council.
A highlight for me was Wade Lange, Director of the Lloyd Ecodistrict in Portland, Oregon.
Later in the week, while in Christchurch, I attended a great lecture by Associate Professor Susan Krumdeik. Aside from being fun to go back to my old University at Canterbury, this was an inspiring lecture, with some great similarities to the vision that has now become a reality in Portland.
The main event in Christchurch was of course, the rebuld and renovate show. This week I report on my interview with Lifemark and Metro Glasstech.
Direct download: 25_Portland_New_Riccarton_Lifemark__Double_Glazing_-_Home_Show_Highlights_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:55am +13
Wed, 20 March 2013
Monique Alfris and her team sell solar powered lights to people in India. She does this through an organisation called Pollinate Energy, which Monique co-founded in 2012.
I was inspired by Monique's story after hearing her presentation at the recent Green Cities conference in Sydney, Australia. I really wanted to ask Monique about why Pollinate Energy was created and to see what learning might be applied to housing in Australia and New Zealand.
Also in this week's show:
Big shout out to JMore36. Thanks very much for your iTunes review! Love it.
Thu, 14 March 2013
Sian Taylor trained to be an architect in Cardiff, Wales. When she arrived here in New Zealand, like many others who have experienced homes in colder climates, Sian was pretty appalled at the state of New Zealand houses.
Since then Sian has gained experience working in prestigious firms such as Warren and Mahoney Architects and joined Queenstown firm, Green Being in March 2012. Sian has been heavily involved in a number of Passive House projects in and around Queenstown.
Demand for high performing homes has grown rapidly and now Sian and her own team of dedicated architects have formed the specialist practice, Team Green Architects.
At the time of publishing, Team Green is still awaiting their website, but you can find Sian through Green Being. http://greenbeing.co.nz/2013/03/architecture-spreads-its-wings/
In this interview, Sian discusses, among other things, how it's easy to justify spending a bit more up front, on the things that really matter. In some cases, houses they design in Queenstown may require only as little as 10% of the heating cost of a regular (code compliant) house of the same size. This adds up to huge electricity savings right from year 1 of living in the home.
A couple of references from Sian include:
Thu, 7 March 2013
Amanda Magnus is the Exhibition Director for Exhibitions & Events New Zealand, and is responsible for organising the inaugural Rebuild and Renovate Christchurch Home Show. http://www.canterburyhomeshow.
The show, which is on from Friday 22nd - Sunday 24th March at CBS Canterbury Arena, is a response to huge demand in Christchurch for information about building a home.
I spoke with Amanda about why there's room in the exhibition calendar for another show in Canterbury and how you, as someone interested in building, can get the most out of the show, including how to get a great discount on the entry!
Also in this week's show:
Check out Ben Adam-Smith's site: http://www.houseplanninghelp.
Ben and I compared notes recently about eco-building and also podcasting. I look forward to bring you an interview with him soon. (Thanks also Ben for mentioned Home Style Green on your show!)
James Schramko: http://www.superfastbusiness.
Anyone interested in online business and marketing probably knows James already. And if you don't check him out online. He's not hard to find. I tune in to James for tips on podcasting and all things internet and really appreciate the advice on using https://auphonic.com/.
What do you think of the sound quality of this show? Write and let me know: email@example.com
Breathe - The new urban village project
Awesome event with Kevin McCloud as one of the judges. I was privileged to be at the announcement of the four finalists last week with Mayor Bob Parker and Minister for Building and Construction, Hon Maurice Williamson. Check out all the entries here: http://www.futurechristchurch.
Green Cities I'm looking forward to reporting back on the latest from Sydney, where I've got a small speaking slot! http://greencities.org.au/
As always, I'd love to get your comments, questions and feedback:
Contact me on, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wed, 27 February 2013
I'm a sustainable homes expert and I want to create healthy, efficient homes that don't cost the Earth.
This week, I answer a couple of listener questions about the cost effectiveness and red tape associated with building green.
Following up on last week, I also discuss if concrete slab edge insulation is important in a hot climate for keeping cool.
Upcoming events mentioned in the show:
You can find me at:
Direct download: 21_Upcoming_Events_Red_Tape_and_the_Value_of_Being_Green.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36pm +13
Fri, 22 February 2013
Why should you insulate the edges of your concrete slab?
I was amazed when I discovered how much of the heat loss from a concrete floor can occur out the side of the slab, as opposed to down into the ground under the slab.
It's as much as 80%.
That means that most of the heat loss (the energy that you're paying for) goes straight out through the narrow bit of exposed concrete around the edge at the base of the house.
Why is this so? Well there are two main reasons and I go into a bit of detail on the blog. Check out http://homestylegreen.com/insulated-concrete-floor
In this podcast we talk solutions. I interview Craig Lonsdale, a Quantity Surveyor with Maxraft.
Maxraft is a great solution for insulating the whole of a concrete floor, not just underneath.
Other resources include BRANZ: http://www.branz.co.nz/cms_display.php?sn=123&st=1. Check out their Bulletin number 552 'Edge insulation of concrete floor slabs'.
Please take two minutes to give the show a rating over in iTunes. I'd also love it if you could write a quite review: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/home-style-green/id513213105
For comments and questions, write to me: email@example.com
Fri, 15 February 2013
Ingo Ratsdorf is a registered architect with Babbage Consultants based in Auckland.
Having grown up and been trained in Germany, Ingo is very aware of how poorly most New Zealand homes stack up against international standards.
When Ingo and his family were hunting for their dream renovation project, they were continually overwhelmed with the size of the job they saw. It seemed each house they looked at would need far too much work to bring up to a level of quality and comfort that would satisfy them.
And so it was that they ultimately realised they would have to build from scratch.
Listen in to our conversation as Ingo explains the inspiration and challenges of building and completing (almost) their dream in Riverhead.
He shares some sound advice for anyone looking at start a building project.
This podcast is best accompanied by a great slideshow of the build available here on slideshare:
I hope this finished product will be an inspiration for your project!
The inspiring book Ingo referred to and which I also highly recommend for anyone interested in design, 'Cradle to Cradle' can be found here: http://amzn.to/VVbBBr