Cooking with gas is like idling a car in your kitchen

This story about the American Gas Association promoting gas cooking via Instagram influencers makes me cringe. “Every time you ignite a gas stove, you’re filling your home with many of the same pollutants in exhaust from cars—carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and formaldehyde, which are all associated with a range of chronic health problems like respiratory problems and cardiovascular …

iPHA Passive House tour time!

And this year it is virtual. OK, it’s not the same as getting our grubby fingers on everything but there are significant benefits to seeing inside Passive Houses around the world from the comfort of our living room. Good work on getting a range of videos shot in time; the quality (particularly sound) varies but all of them provide insights, …

Welcome media attention on improving NZ homes

Stuff ran an impressively long and well-researched story on Passive House and the need for net-zero buildings this week; it’s well worth a read in its entirety and a plug on your social media feed. Good to see the Dunedin co-housing build steadily progressing; wouldn’t it be great if all new homeowners could enjoy living somewhere that functioned as well as …

Choose gas for cooking? Please don’t.

I recommend against combustion devices in homes—all of them. Using gas to cook is particularly bad, with health impacts related to the indoor air pollution it causes. (American think tank RMI calls it a hidden health crisis). If a client specifies a gas hob, first I attempt to talk them out of it. After all, top chefs as Neil Perry, …

Leaking, mouldy classrooms are just the symptom

Mould can make kids sick, that’s the key takeaway here. It gets worse the more mould there is and the more time they are exposed to it. Kids are required to spend heaps of time in school. We need to fix their exposure to things that can make them sick—lifelong sick. The Ministry of Education has a huge challenge given …

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2019 November 5 Passive House Institute: districtPH – Assessing Energy-Saving Potentials at the District Level!

Sustainable Engineering just purchased the first license for new modelling software, districtPH. This was developed in Germany by Passive House International with funding from the EU. Think of it as PHPP for neighbourhoods. It enables simulations of energy use and interactions across a district or even an entire region, modelling not just the energy use of buildings, but any infrastructure …

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2019 November 4 University of Otago Wellington: Improving Housing Standards for Co-Benefits for Energy Efficiency, Carbon Mitigation and Health

The Public Health Summer School symposium on 11 February will be eye-opening and I recommend you attend. This is the team that made the Healthy Home Guidelines a political reality and now they have turned their attention to fixing the Building Code, exploring the mutual benefits that flow from designing for energy efficiency, carbon mitigation and health. I attended the …

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2019 October 31 Chapman Tripp: Climate Change Risk – Implications For New Zealand Company Directors And Managed Investment Scheme Providers

Chapman Tripp – Legal opinion – October 2019 This is pretty intense when you realise the implications of this legal opinion. Directors of companies and/or investment schemes have a ‘legal duty of care’ to the price in climate-related financial risk. This applies in the case where a business directly depends on the climate itself, like farming, as well as a …