Home Style Green - Sustainable Design and Building

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.

Matthew Cutler-Welsh

comments@homestylegreen.com

Direct download: 24_Pollinate_Energy_-_Monique_Alfris.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:39pm +12

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:

  • The Lorax, by Dr Zeuss, Click here for Amazon link.
  • Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, Click here for Amazon link.
Direct download: 23_Sian_Taylor_-_Being_a_Green_Architect.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:26pm +12

22 Rebuild and Renovate Christchurch

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.co.nz/index.htm  

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.com/ 

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 Schramkohttp://www.superfastbusiness.com/ 

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: comments@homestylegreen.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.co.nz/breathe 

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, comments@homestylegreen.com 

https://www.facebook.com/HomeStyleGreen

Direct download: 22_Rebuild_and_Renovate_Christchurch.mp3
Category:Industry -- posted at: 8:59pm +12

21 Upcoming Events Red Tape and the Value of Being Green

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:

Thanks to James Schramko over at Superfastbusiness.com for recommending Auphonic. I've tried it out this week with this episode. Can you tell the difference?

Direct download: 21_Upcoming_Events_Red_Tape_and_the_Value_of_Being_Green.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36pm +12

20: How to Insulate a Concrete Floor Slab

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. 

http://maxr.co.nz/

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: comments@homestylegreen.com

Cheers,

Matthew Cutler-Welsh

Direct download: 20_How_to_insulate_a_concrete_floor_slab.mp3
Category:Insulation -- posted at: 9:35pm +12

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:

http://www.slideshare.net/IngoRatsdorf/riverhead-passive-solar-design-house

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

Direct download: 19_Riverhead_passive_solar_design_house.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42pm +12

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 +12