If you live in an historic home, any energy efficiency improvements need to be in keeping with the character of the house.
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Earth is truly the ubiquitous building material, making earth buildings seem an obvious option for early settlers. However, its use was limited.
The recent building of a full-sized house made of Lego by James May, a presenter of the television programme Top Gear and, more recently, his own series Toy Stories, showed that the world of toy bricks and real bricks might not be too far apart.
Building legislation was first introduced into New Zealand’s provincial councils in the 1840s, and its progression provides an insight into the building problems and aspirations of early European settlers.
With electricity costs on the increase and air pollution a serious issue, thermal insulation has an essential role in keeping a building warm, dry and comfortable for its occupants while helping to preserve the environment.
As with many building inventions, corrugated iron traces its origins back to the coming together of the right raw material, idea and machinery.
To simplify the consenting process for structural insulated panels (SIPs), we need to know how they perform locally. A BRANZ research project is helping by examining SIP durability, earthquake and fire performance.
The Build series on prefab continues, focusing this time on panel or two-dimensional systems. Both cost and time-effective, prefab panels can also have excellent thermal characteristics.
Building systems that include higher levels of prefabrication and off-site manufacture are potential solutions to New Zealand’s urgent housing need. Current research will give a better overall understanding of the performance of sips in New Zealand.
Winters past used to be scented by the smell of burning coal and timber. By 2005, though, only 10% of New Zealand homes were heated this way as clean air regulations discouraged the use of these smog-creating fuels.
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