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Design Energy-Efficient Buildings with Clay Block Construction

Thermal efficiency needs thermal mass. One of the simplest and fastest ways to achieve thermal efficiency in a home is to build with solid single leaf walls — this means no complex cavity or cladding system requiring extra insulation and energy.

Porotherm and CLIMAmur Clay blocks by Wienerberger offer excellent thermal mass efficiency. Designed to retain heat evenly, it takes 12 hours without sun or interior heating for the blocks to lose their warmth. Retaining an even temperature of 20-26°C throughout the winter means homes stay healthier and drier with minimal heating required.

Porotherm clay construction blocks create a home where the temperature retains a passive consistency to provide a 100% natural, healthy way to live. Given the issues around heating homes and retaining a non-toxic, healthy living environment, Porotherm is fast becoming the first choice of many New Zealanders to build. It is simple and economical to erect, with virtually no maintenance adding to the significant savings on heating bills.

First-hand testimonials from homeowners who have built and lived in a Porotherm block home describe a totally different living experience from timber frame construction. Minimal heating and cooling are required with the added advantage of a permeable exterior wall.

Porotherm offers one of the most advanced eco-construction systems worldwide and is especially suited to Solar Passive Design principles. By facilitating a building’s ability to passively heat and cool itself, clay blocks act as its own thermometric regulator through this natural ‘breathability’. For greater living comfort and a truly clean, green living/working environment, Porotherm is an ideal option for retirement developments, commercial offices, apartment buildings and homes,

CLIMAmur is a block with integrated thermal insulation. Mineral wool-filled blocks create an ecological, sustainable option for building. For extra insulation, the R-value reaches up to 5 in the building envelope — especially suited for Queenstown.

Passive Solar Design (PSD) optimises a building’s form, fabric and orientation to maximise solar gain through winter and control that through summer. PSD costs very little to implement and can make a large contribution to the energy efficiency of a new build as well as renovations. It requires a ‘whole-building’ approach to design where the envelope (particularly the glazing) is designed in unison with the structure’s thermal mass to ensure optimal admission and absorption of solar gains during the heating season and maximum control in summer.

The basic design philosophy of passive solar construction uses the sun to warm the house. Heat is absorbed into the building and slowly released back into the house as it cools. A home can be kept cool in summer without the need for air-conditioning, by correct placement of shading, ventilation and insulation (although flexibility needs to be built into systems to allow for unusual weather conditions, eg hot winters or cool summers).

The most important feature of a passive solar house is good insulation. The second most important feature is orientation — to ensure principal windows face the sun. Window sizing, placement and shading to minimise summer exposure are key principles of PSD. Considering how to store solar heat while maintaining a balance of heating and cooling throughout the house is crucial. Lastly, heavy thermal mass is essential in order to achieve this effectively and economically.

This simple design philosophy if correctly applied has the potential to greatly reduce NZ gas emissions. Housing consumes nearly 35% of all electricity generated in NZ. These basic principles can produce year-round comfort in your home for minimal cost and can be applied to existing houses as well as renovations.

Clay block construction technology offers one of the most advanced eco-construction systems worldwide and is especially suited to these principles. By facilitating a building’s ability to passively heat and cool itself, clay blocks act as its own thermometric regulator through this natural ‘breathability’. For greater living comfort and a true clean, green living/working environment, clay block construction is an ideal option for retirement homes as well as commercial office and apartment buildings.

Porotherm products are sustainable, highly insulating and innovative brick solutions from Wienerberger for environmentally conscious customers.

View more information on Stellaria, including contact details.
August 2019 EBOSSNOW Product News
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