New thermal performance data for NZ timber window profiles

Consulting with building component manufacturers to help them make good products even better is a favourite activity for the Sustainable Engineering team. Lunds Joinery, a highly-regarded family-owned company in Timaru, approached us to do some window calculations for their standard timber profiles.  Lunds incorporated the fRSI calculations and Uf data into a new publication, the LJT Timber Window Guide, which …

Loopholes in H1 changes?

To be clear folks: H1/AS1 housing changes apply to all housing, even huge retirement communities and apartment buildings of any size. BPI (Building Performance Index) is no longer a permitted compliance method. Curtain walls are included in the R-value requirements (no change) per either H1/AS1 or H1/AS2—but need to be calculated by ISO12631. Lots of folks seem to be focused …

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 …

2019 November 20 “Architects Declare”: NZ Profession Takes a Stand on Combating Climate Change

“Architects Declare”: NZ profession takes a stand on combatting climate change “We have a New Zealand version of Architects Declare, an international set of guidelines that signatories pledge to follow to help prevent irreversible damage from the global heating climate crisis.” It is good to see the architectural profession in NZ wake up and realise they can make a difference. …

20191105_PasiveHouseInstitute_DistrictPH-AssessingEnergy-SavingPotentialsAtTheDistrictLevel

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 …