Category: Health

‘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…

Renovating and Insulating Masonry Walls

Why strapping and lining masonry walls on the inside is not a good idea, not for renovation, not for new builds. In my previous article ‘Adding Insulation and Wall Underlay to Existing Walls’ I referred only to timber-framed walls, but many renovations also include block walls;…

Adding Insulation and Wall Underlay to Existing Walls

How can we safely add insulation to existing walls without risking trapped moisture and compromising durability? Whether you design for renovation work on a daily basis or you need to renovate your own house, it’s a very rare opportunity to make great improvements to the…

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…

Achieving Winter Warmth in New Zealand Homes

Common themes with comfortable high performance houses are insulation, airtightness, ventilation and heating.  Escaping the winter cold by getting a fix in Fiji is pretty good, but this winter I know a few people who have relished winter arriving, and not just because of the…

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