Home Style Green - Sustainable Design and Building

Last week, February 22nd rolled around. This was a significant date in the Cutler-Welsh household thirteen years ago when our house was located close to the Avon River in Christchurch. While it was a life-changing day for us, life has gone on. We ultimately lost our recently renovated home in Richmond as a result of the Canterbury Earthquakes, but many lost so much more. 

What would a moratorium on consenting new buildings in known floodplains, tsunami or fire risk areas, look like? How would the resulting plummet in land values impact the economy and further inflate the cost of housing?

But if not now, when? The risks are likely to get higher and ultimately we have to ask ourselves if we're prepared to keep making our stop-banks higher or retreat to higher, less shaky ground.

Direct download: Build_Aotearoa_on_Safeish_Ground.MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm NZST

There are fundamental gaps in what the New Zealand Building Code covers and how well it covers the aspects that are included. These reasons should be enough to justify using standards like Passive House or Homestar to go above and beyond the building code.

In this series, I'll be looking at reasons why it's better to ask about the value and risk minisation resulting from higher performance standards rather than focussing only on perceived upfront cost. 

Direct download: Build_Aotearoa_2_Principles_and_Performance.MP3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:56pm NZST

As I draft this episode, there's a chorus of cicadas outside my window. The sun is shining and there's a faint breath of a breeze. It seems calm where I live, here in a relatively leafy part of Tāmaki Makaurau. 

But all is not calm everywhere in Aotearoa today, Waitangi Day 2024.

Direct download: Build_Aotearoa.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:21pm NZST