New ideas

By - , Build 152

A GREAT WAY TO START ANY NEW YEAR is by reflecting on lessons from the past and looking forward to future opportunities. That is exactly what we are doing in this first Build for 2016.

The key to healthy, warm, dry homes is ventilation, heating and insulation. Improved insulation levels has been successfully addressed in recent years with subsidies and a widespread push by government and community groups.

Now it’s time to rethink our approach to ventilation. As BRANZ’s 6-year WAVE (Weathertightness, Air quality and Ventilation Engineering) programme moves on to its next stage, we reflect on insights gained from this extensive research programme.

WAVE found our houses are becoming more airtight due to changes in how we build and use them. People are opening windows less, although Building Code clause G4 Ventilation still relies on windows being opened for air changes. It’s time for this clause to be revisited.

Passive and mechanical ventilation options are available, and we look at the pros and cons of these on pages 44–45. Getting passive ventilation right in homes is a cost-effective place to start for good ventilation. Then, add efficient extractors in high moisture generating areas like the bathroom and the cooktop. Check out our findings and advice for specific areas, such as roof cavities (pages 54–55) and subfloors (pages 49–50).

We also had a bit of fun this Build looking at technology for use in buildings and other technology to aid in the design and build processes (see 62). From drones carrying payloads on site to brick-laying robots to learning smart home controls systems, the future promises many innovations both at work and at home.

I, for one, can’t wait.

Annemarie Crampton

Build Editor

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