Building Science Soup
Building science terminology varies between all countries, even those where the specialisation is just emerging among the fields of architecture, engineering and construction.
When Air Leaks Become a Critical Failure Risk: Aquatic Centres
The new aquatic centre was the pride of the council — a shimmering new facility that was meant to keep active people healthy and provide a safe place for kids. But the new council owners noticed odd things about the building as soon as they…
Specifying for Airtightness and Testing
The goal of the guide specification is simple. Help you define what you want (a demonstrated level of airtightness), and to get a fair price to prove it. You’d be surprised how often these seemingly obvious requirements are poorly defined in project specifications. So here’s…
‘Airtight’ vs ‘Breathable: What’s it all about?
This month we look at ‘airtight’ vs ‘breathable’ building. Is it possible to achieve both within the same build? John, a homeowner customer called me the other day to say he was planning to build a new home, and after doing a bit of reading…
Designing for Steam in Modern Buildings
We pipe water inside buildings, so what happens when we turn it into steam? Below is a quote from two young radio announcers last week that got me thinking: “Everyone understands how steam engines work using steam.” “Do they?” “Yeah, it’s a basic analogy, it’s…
Renovation Opportunity and R-Values
In this article, I’m tackling real-estate adverts, renovation by paint, and discussing one area of cost for whole-house renovation and the connection between health and wealth. In the previous article, ‘Achieving Winter Warmth in New Zealand homes’, I made claims about house performance for renovations — making…
Where Does the Airtightness Layer Go?
Getting layering right in New Zealand buildings for summer and winter. Following on from the previous article, one of the ingredients in modern buildings is the creation of a deliberately airtight shell to conserve energy (warm or cool). We often hear about attempts to achieve…
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