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Design Advice

NZ Building Code: Clause H1 (Energy Efficiency) 5th Edition

At present MBIE is considering extending the transition period for the implementation of the insulation requirements of the 5th Edition of NZBC clause H1 (Energy Efficiency) so as to allow industry more time to ready the supply chain. Perhaps this time could also be productively used to re-visit the Acceptable Solution minimum construction R-values requirements for the perimeter of roofs to consider if they make sense when the principles of heat transfer are applied.

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27 June 2022
30 May 2022

What is the Missing Middle?

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While we are now building individual homes at greater density, we need to go much further. Not just two-storey townhouses, but building a minimum of three storeys, everywhere. This is where the art of the missing middle, multi-storey, multi-unit design comes into play.

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26 April 2022

From White Picket Fences to Medium Density Housing

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As New Zealand finally embraces medium density housing, it's time to resolve key issues, design well, and build better. 

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20 April 2022

Will New Zealand’s Energy Supplies Need to Go Nuclear?

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Aside from the, (continually and largely ignored), urgent warnings from climate scientists, the current rapid and dramatic changing political upheaval in Europe has caused society to finally face the reality of, and need for, swift and fundamental changes to the usage, sources and security of its existing energy supplies.

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28 March 2022

Don’t Look Back in Anger

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New Zealand cities, especially Auckland, have traditionally been very low density, but it is now time to stop the sprawl.

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21 February 2022

Are New Zealanders to Become Electricity Paupers?

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Over the past few months there have been reports of multinationals and others coming to New Zealand to set themselves up to make use of our precious supply of green electricity. Are we asleep at the wheel?

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21 February 2022

Modern Apartment Design on Fire

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Clause C of the NZBC has become extremely complex to navigate.

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22 November 2021

The Building Code System: Is It Ready for Mandatory Product Information? Part Two: A Case Study

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In this blog post I look at a common product where there is a range of product information available to compare approaches — flexible wall underlays. 

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26 October 2021

Summer Cooling for Medium Density Housing

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With a growing proportion of our new housing being constructed as medium-density dwellings, this former niche market is rapidly expanding to take in purchasers and occupiers whose primary experience is with the standalone residences they grew up in. This new form of living brings with it a need for a significant degree of re-setting of expectations, both desirable and undesirable.

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27 September 2021

The Building Code System: Is it Ready for Mandatory Product Information?

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With potentially thousands of product suppliers needing to provide mandatory information, we need to develop some consensus on how to approach issues so as not to create confusion. In this first blog post in a series on preparing for mandatory product information, I will describe the code and how it relates to products.

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27 September 2021

IPCC: A Re-Evaluation of Building Methods and Materials is Required

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Following on from last month’s general thoughts, I consider that there is an urgent need, as an important part of adapting for the future, for the building industry to go back to basics and revaluate the unquestioned assumptions upon which standard design and construction solutions were originally derived from.

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