August 19, 2008

Work the last few months has mostly been dreaming and then making into reality (well at least the web reality) a project I have had in mind for a couple of years. I love the many dimensioned inventive space the internet offers and ability to rapidly develop and test ideas…today was a break from Eclipse…I got to draw some vehicles instead…

vehicles for Cooreea

vehicles for Cooreea


German strawbales and over zealous bureaucracy in NZ

August 17, 2008

I figure it must be about time…to do this blog thing properly. So.

Just went into the German hinterland to see a strawbale house under construction. The future house of a German couple, both architects.

What is interesting about that? Well I met a German, who had never been to NZ but shared my confused feeling about BRANZ – I gained valuable ūüôā further proof that they are crippling the ability of Kiwis to enjoy comfortable and safe housing while purporting to do the opposite.

I’ve been convinced for a while that in NZ we could be open to adopting building standards from developed countries who have more to spend on investigating building physics.¬† I was initially¬† thinking of alternative (or old) building methods like strawbale which don’t enjoy the same level of support by the commercial sector – which seems to dictate ‘acceptable’ solutions in NZ.

It was interesting to meet somebody from the other side of the globe and the industry who agreed. Lothar Moll is part of a large building technology concern, Proclima,  manufacturing high-tech building sealing solutions which are installed on over 50,000 houses a year in Germany.

Lothar¬† has been working to export his products and he rates New Zealand as the country with the worst housing and the most closed approval process on the planet. He was astonished to find that NZ insists on re-approving products and processes which are already proven with a more rigorous process in Europe on the grounds that NZ conditions are different – in his (roughly quoted) words “what planet do they think they are living on – Mars? Venus? Isn’t weather and physics the same in all countries?”. Impressively he reeled off NZ statistics linking internal moisture/temperature/asthma rates (our houses are too damp, too cold and we lead the world in asthma) – nice to know somebody cares about us. He did say he could solve all those problems too…if we let him…

Hello world!

August 17, 2008

Yep – it’s gotta be the 4th blog I’ve started…maybe this one will go somewhere? At least as a live notepad of my musings which is all I can promise…