Maximising Thermal Efficiency

with Keith Huntington

Keith Huntington of EcoRate Ltd is a registered architect involved in passive solar design and the objective analysis of buildings using thermal simulation modelling.

28 August 2017

Thermally Broken Window Frames

Thermally broken window frames have been available for a number of years, but for some reason their uptake has not been as rapid as might be expected from the promotion given to them.

18 May 2017

Eco Design Advisors Conference

There are city councils in New Zealand which offer their citizens and local designers free advice on how to improve the quality and comfort of both new and existing homes.

19 April 2017

Thermal Performance Aspects of Low-Rise Apartment Design

Ensuring that medium-density low-rise apartment complexes comply with NZBC-H1 (Energy Efficiency) is more involved than for stand-alone dwellings.

23 March 2017

Selecting Home Heating Systems that Meet Occupant Liveability Requirements

Heating a house is not as simple as just fitting a heat pump to a convenient wall. The most important first step is to develop a heating and cooling Performance Brief for the residence.

24 February 2017

New Amendment to NZBC H1 Energy Efficiency

A new edition (Fourth) of the New Zealand Building Code Clause H1 (Energy Efficiency) has been published. It became effective on 1st January 2017.

23 November 2016

Is Technology or Forestry the Answer?

Perhaps neither when it comes to attempting to control climate change. Perhaps it will only be by the sum of the small actions of individuals that there may be some hope of progress.

18 August 2016

Do Internal Walls Need Insulation?

The New Zealand Building Code clause H1 (Energy Efficiency) requires minimum levels of insulation only to the exterior of the inhabited areas of a house. Is this enough?

24 June 2016

More Sophisticated Thermal Performance Ratings for Windows

The original WERS (Energy Efficiency Rating Scheme) for windows has been supplemented with WEERS — a more targeted system which considers, in more detail, the factors which influence the performance of the 'window element' of an exterior wall.

26 April 2016

How Can 'Network Energy' Heated Concrete Floors Be insulated?

When the thermal mass of a concrete floor is being used to assist with the heating (or cooling) of a house, in my opinion there are two distinct approaches to designing the insulation of the slab.

20 January 2016

The Paris Summit: Implications for the NZ Building Industry

Will the aspirational global temperature rise targets agreed to at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference have any implications for the future, or will it just be 'business as usual'?

19 November 2015

Homestar Expands Range of Homes Assessed

Apartments and terrace buildings are now included in this comprehensive residential sustainability rating scheme which is rapidly being adopted throughout the country. 

17 September 2015

Does More Thermal Mass Mean a Warmer Building?

Thermal Mass is often presented as the magic ingredient to ensure that the passive solar gain within a building is maximised, but the importance and usefulness of Thermal Mass can vary depending on the purpose and location of a space, along with glazing and insulation. 

21 August 2015

Thermal Drapes: Do They Work As Insulation?

Why is it that single drop 'Thermal Drapes' are considered to be the solution to retaining heat within a house during winter, when lined curtains of ordinary fabrics have been used in the past?

19 June 2015

To Improve a Thermal Envelope, Tackle the Easy Items First

Before worrying about slab-edge, start with thermal bridging fabric above the ground floor with timber floor insulation and appropriate joinery detail.

22 May 2015

Slab Edge Insulation: An Interesting Experiment

Last November I wrote of thoughts I have had for a very long time regarding the possibility of there being negatives in fitting thermal insulation to the exterior face of an un-heated slab-on-ground concrete floor.

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