Building history

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Agents of change

By Nigel Isaacs 1 June 2014, Build 142, Feature article

New Zealanders are a resourceful lot, always exploring new and better ways of doing things. We look back in time at two distinctly Kiwi twists on ways of building.

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Thermal insulation

By Nigel Isaacs 1 October 2007, Build 102

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.

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Resourceful timber

By Nigel Isaacs 1 October 2012, Build 132

Prone to earthquakes and with abundant native timber, New Zealand was quick to adopt timber as a building cladding. It could even replicate stone with design elements such as quoins.

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Iron before steel

By Nigel Isaacs 1 October 2010, Build 120

Steel is now widely used to support buildings – whether as reinforcing in concrete, hot rolled sections for multi-storey tower blocks or cold formed sections for smaller-scale buildings – but iron came first.

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Mastering meters

By Nigel Isaacs 1 December 2012, Build 133

Once electricity and then gas became available for public supply, meters were needed to measure how much people used. Prepaid options were a fairly early innovation.

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