Home Style Green - Sustainable Design and Building

It was my pleasure to interview Verney Ryan this week. Verney has been influential in the field of sustainable building and design bother here in New Zealand and overseas. Listen in to see how Verney describes his 'job'.

Links mentioned in this cast include:

BRE: http://www.bre.co.uk/

Beacon NOW homes

http://www.beaconpathway.co.nz/new-homes

Homestar

http://homestar.org.nz

Direct download: 8_Introducing_Verney_Ryan.mp3
Category:Sustainable Design -- posted at: 9:15pm +13

Last week, an evaluation report on the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart Programme, was released. It makes for some interesting reading, including a cost benefit analysis of the programme. 

Check out http://www.healthyhousing.org.nz for more details

Other news to check out:

News real now online at http://www.homestylegreen.com

NZGBC Sustainable Housing Summit. Be there!

http://www.nzgbc.org.nz

Keynote speaker is Bill Dunster from ZEDfactory

Also, check out the most exciting roof in New Zealand and the flash new website of the Zero Energy House: http://www.zeroenergyhouse.co.nz

Direct download: 7_Evaluation_of_Warm_Up_New_Zealand.mp3
Category:Insulation -- posted at: 5:41am +13

This week I caught up with Alex Reiche for the very first Home Style Green expert interview. 

Alex Reiche is the Founder and Managing Director of EnviroSpec, an online register of 'Eco-Preferred' products. 

Check out EnviroSpec's interacitve house to find the best products for your building project. 

Alex is also an accredited Homestar and Green Star professional and offers design and certification advice for residential and commercial buildings. 

Direct download: 6_Envirospec.mp3
Category:Products and Materials -- posted at: 8:20pm +13

In today's cast, I complete our introduction to heating systems with a look at central heating. 

Common to all central heating systems are three main components:

1. The fuel

2. The engine or heater

3. The distribution system - pipes, ducts and outlets

There are two main mediums for transfering heat. Air is common with gas-fired heaters and large ducts but is not as effective as water based systems.

Air ducts can lose up to 1 degree per m of duct. 

Heating that is not true central heating includes inslab or undertile electric element heating, heat transfer and ventilation system. 

Direct download: 5_Central_Heating.mp3
Category:Heating -- posted at: 7:31am +13

After insulation, heating is the next thing most people look at when improving the comfort and warmth of their home. 

In this episode of Home Style Green, I discuss room heaters:

  • Standared electric heating: electric fan heaters, bar radiators, oil column, wall panel etc
  • Gas unflued heating: And why you should never use it!
  • Flued gas heating
  • Heat pumps or reverse cycle air conditioning

In the episode I refer to the 'carnot cycle'. This is the awesome thermodynamic principle behind air conditioning and refrigeration. Refer again to our trusty Wikipedia for a good article about the detailed physics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnot_cycle

Of course the best form of heating is free from the sun. But making the most of passive solar heating is a design challenge and there's usually not a lot that can be done to improve this once a house is built.

So if you're trying to heat an existing, cold home, what's the best option?

Direct download: 004_HSG_Heating.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21am +13

In part 2 of this insulation introduction, I discuss the main types of insulation used for ceilings, floors and wall. 

For more information about insulation materials, check out Level.org.nz from BRANZ:

http://www.level.org.nz/fileadmin/downloads/Materials/LevelMInsul.pdf

For more on the properties of wool, including great microscopic imagery, check out:

http://www.biotechlearn.org.nz/focus_stories/wool_innovations/wool_fibre_properties

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wool_insulation

Direct download: 003_Home_Style_Green.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm +13

In this episode of Home Style Green, I discuss the basic physics of insualation. I give an overview of the three main types of heat transfer, that is conduction, convection and radiation. Most bulk insulation products on the market rely almost entirely on reducing conduction. 

I discuss what 'R-Value' means and the common materials of household insulation products. 

For more information, visit our site at: 

http://www.homestylegreen.com

Also, for a more indepth discussion on insulation and 'R-Values', its hard to go past Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-value_(insulation)

Direct download: 002_Home_Style_Green_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45pm +13

Welcome to Episode 1 of Home Style Green, the podcast about how to live a healthy and happy lifestyle without it costing the Earth.

I'm Matthew Cutler-Welsh: Engineer, Dad, Homeowner and someone who's passionate about making urban environments more sustainable. 

This is my first podcast and my objective is to share ideas about building green homes, with style. 

Links in today's cast include:

  • The Home Style Green website: http://homestylegreen.com
  • EECA Energywise: http://www.energywise.govt.nz/
Direct download: 001HomeStyleGreen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:42pm +13