Home Style Green - Sustainable Design and Building

How do you build a code 4 house for the price of code 3? And how do you get industry to solve the problem themselves?

Richard Buchanan is an Associate Director at BRE and Founder of Green Building Consultancy Ltd. I met Richard recently inside a LinkedIn group during a discussion about housing affordability. 

It turns out that while we're all looking around for policy solutions and government intervention here in New Zealand, the UK building industry has already figured out how to build better homes, for less. And they did it by collaborating together. 

Richard explains what a Code 3 and a Code 4 home is and describes the aimc4.com project that successfully helped the industry produce more efficient and healthier homes, without any additional upfront cost.

Some links that Richard mentions in this episode include:

Direct download: 18_How_to_Build_to_Code_4_for_the_Price_of_Code_3.mp3
Category:Building -- posted at: 9:06pm +13

One of the most common questions I get asked is "what's the best form of heating?"
Much to the frustration of most people, I usually answer "it depends…" The best type of heater for you and your home does depend on many factors, however there are some guiding principles that apply to all cases.
  1. The most sustainable form of heating is passive
  2. The second most sustainable form of heating is wood
  3. Heat pumps (split-system, reverse-cycle air conditioners) are single room heaters
  4. Homes with solid fuel burners are generally warmer than those with electric heating
  5. Your roof won't heat your home
  6. Water is much better at moving heat around then air it
  7. Insulation is always the first step
  8. Insulation is not heating
Useful links:
CCANZ design guide:
Otago Univserity study on heating potential of home ventilation systems:
Direct download: 17_Heating_Guidelines.mp3
Category:Heating -- posted at: 12:55pm +13

Throwing food scraps away is something that most of us do, because it's convenient. 

But there are so many reasons why throwing nutrients away is a bad idea. So what are the best ways to make it easy and effective to compost at home?

In this episode I also mention:

Direct download: 16_Thats_not_Rubbish.mp3
Category:Waste -- posted at: 11:17pm +13

Eion Scott is an Eco Design Advisor with the Auckland Council. Eco Design Advisors around the country offer free, in home, independent advice on how to improve the warmth, health and comfort of your home. 

For more information go to the Eco Design Advisor website. 

Direct download: 15_Who_do_you_call_for_free_eco_advice.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:24pm +13

An architectural designer sits somewhere between a draughter and an architect. 

Bob Burnett is an experienced architectural designer in Christchurch and he explained to me some of the reasons why it's a good idea to consult with a designer if you're planning a new build or a renovation. 

Bob is also an experienced energy modeller using ArchiCAD's Eco Designer and he shares a great story about how he saved a client by redesigning their roof.

Bob's website is at: http://www.bbarc.com

In this show we also mention:

  • Architectural Designers New Zealand; http://www.adnz.org.nz
  • New Zealand Institute of Architects; http://www.nzia.co.nz
  • Homestar; http://homestar.org.nz

Remember, you can contact me at comments@homestylegreen.com

Direct download: 14_Bob_Burnett.mp3
Category:Sustainable Design -- posted at: 8:49pm +13

About 10% of New Zealand homes invest in some form of retrofitted ventilation system. But do you really need one, and if so, what for?

In this cast I talk about how to tell if your house is leaky or air-tight depending on it's age, two basic types of ventilation systems and the common symptoms that cause people to want to install a ventilation system. 

Steps to take when considering ventilation are:

  1. What's your problem?
  2. What's your house type?
  3. Insulation
  4. Draughts 
  5. Adequate heating
  6. Extraction of moisture at the source
  7. Whole-house ventilation

To get independent advice, talk to a Homestar Practitioner: http://homestar.org.nz/services

Also, check out two of my other favourite podcasts:

  • Tim Reid at Small Business Big Marketing
    • http://smallbusinessbigmarketing.com/
  • Natalie Cutler-Welsh and Jacqui Lockington at If Only They'd Told Me
    • http://www.ifonlytheytoldme.com/

Would you like to be part of Home Style Green?

Contact me: comments@homestylegreen.com

Direct download: 13_Do_you_need_a_ventilation_system.mp3
Category:Ventilation -- posted at: 10:54pm +13

Part 2 of our wrap of the NZGBC event in June. 

This week, Verney and I discuss LED lighting, ventilation, 3D thermal modelling in CAD, construction waste management and other highlights from the Master Class day that followed on from the NZGBC Sustainable Housing Summit.

Selected pdfs of some presentations are available on the NZGBC website

Direct download: 12_NZGBC_Master_Classes.mp3
Category:Industry -- posted at: 11:33pm +13

11 Sustainable Housing Summit

The inaugural Sustainable Housing Summit, hosted by the New Zealand Green Building Council, took place at the Auckland Viaduct Events Centre on June 27th 2012. 

It was a great event with over 120 attendees, a very promising sign for similar events in the future. 

I caught up with Verney Ryan via Skype to discuss the highlights. 

For more information, check out NZGBC where you can now find pdf downloads of most of the presentations.

Some of the people and organisations we discussed during this cast include:

Direct download: 11_Sustainable_Housing_Summit.mp3
Category:Industry -- posted at: 9:11pm +13

I was lucky enough to first meet Carlin Archer in Chrstchurch a few years ago.

Carlin was interested in building an 'ecohome', but didn't know the first thing about building houses. He did know a lot about building websites thought. So he and his brother sat down and reated Ecobob.co.nz

Direct download: 10_Carlin_Archer_Ecobob.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49pm +13

Barb Cooper is a real estate agent with a difference. 

In this interview, Barb shares some of the strategies she uses to build her network and how she's involved in the local community. It's refreshing to hear from someone who loves what they do. Barb shares her passion and her belief in the role that the real estate industry can play in improving the environment. 

Barb can be found at: http://www.downtoearthre.co.nz/

Barb also mentions:

Direct download: 9_Down_to_Earth_Real_Estate.mp3
Category:Real Estate -- posted at: 10:55pm +13