Keith Huntington of EcoRate Ltd is a registered architect involved in passive solar design and the objective analysis of buildings using thermal simulation modelling.
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The thermal performance of a house is determined by the complex interaction of a variety of major influences. With higher performance being desired, and demanded, it becomes more important that an objective measure is used for an assessment to be meaningful.
Recently there seems to be a developing interest in locating domestic aluminium windows to align with the thermal insulation zone of exterior walls. This interest seems to be focused on thermally broken window frames and the by-passing of the thermal break which occurs with current window installation details.
When there is talk of thermal insulation 'R-values' soon come into the conversation, but how do they relate to the actual thermal comfort of a building? And are they the primary determinant of the thermal comfort of a home?
Ensuring that medium-density low-rise apartment complexes comply with NZBC-H1 (Energy Efficiency) is more involved than for stand-alone dwellings.
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.