Category Archives: Featured

The Pretty Good House

  

A Pretty Good House should:

  • Support the local economy. That means building with local labor, with locally available and/or produced materials, as much as possible.
  • Be commissioned following construction, and be monitored on an ongoing basis. If you don’t know, and to me it’s a strange use of the word, commissioning means testing how the house performs after it’s built.
  • Have operating costs that are minimal or reasonable.
  • Have R1.8-R3.6-R6-R10 insulation. Hopefully these numbers are obvious: they represent a “pretty good” level of insulation in a cold climate for sub-slab, foundation walls, framed walls, and roof or ceiling, respectively.
  • Measure 90-140-160-180 m2. These number are probably not as obvious; they represent an allotment of square feet of living space for 1, 2, 3, and 4+ inhabitants, respectively. It could be less — the national average is much more — but as a group we thought this was… pretty good.

What’s in and what’s out?

We came up with a list of what is in versus what is out of a pretty good house. What’s in:

  • Superinsulation.
  • 4 inches of rigid foam under the basement slab.
  • A service core for plumbing and wiring (à la Tedd Benson’s Bensonwood concept, also a feature of A Pattern Language (Alexandar, et. al.): keep services out of exterior walls, grouped for easy upgrades in the future.
  • Energy modeling (performed during the design process).
  • Adaptability/durability/recyclability. For more on this topic, see Alex Wilson’s blog, “Ensure Durability and Reuse Existing Buildings.”
  • An air leakage rate of no more than 2 ACH50. Not exactly Passivhaus, but… pretty good.
  • Good design. I was surprised it took so long for someone to mention this. A good house has to look good and feel good, not just function well.
  • An owners’ manual. I know that Michael Chandler has written about this. You get an owners’ manual with your car, DVD player, and electric toothbrush. Shouldn’t the biggest, most expensive, most complicated thing you own have an owners’ manual too?
  • Universal Design. Our population is getting older, and people are realizing that having a disability does not mean one’s lifestyle needs to be limited. For the most part, Universal Design is smart design.
  • Comfort. Recently I was at Chris Corson’s Passivhaus project on a cold day. There were no drafts, no cold spots in front of windows, and only a single Mr. Slim heat pump for the whole house. It was comfortable. I’ve been in $20 million dollar houses that were not comfortable (and probably insulated with fiberglass batts).

Keep it simple

What’s out:

  • Passivhaus under-slab insulation. 10 to 14 inches of foam? As great as many of us think the Passivhaus standard is, it’s still hard to imagine using that much foam under the slab.
  • Toxic/unhealthy materials. Duh.
  • Too much embodied energy. Spray foam is a great insulator, but it comes at a cost. Vinyl siding is cheap and (somewhat) effective, but it comes at a cost. Bamboo flooring comes at a (transportation) cost, and having installed quite a bit of it, I don’t think it’s all that great….
  • Diminished returns. The idea of the Pretty Good House is to find the sweet spot between expenditures and gains. When is enough insulation enough?
  • Complexity of structure. With modern living space “needs” and small lots come oversize houses. One way to reduce the apparent scale of the house is to chop up the roof with dormers, pepper the walls with bumpouts, and otherwise create places for ice dams, air leaks and extra construction labor and materials (see Martin’s blog,“Martin’s Ten Rules of Roof Design”). I’m guilty of frequently designing in dormers to the renovations and additions I work on, as a way to buy extra space while respecting the original architecture…but at least I’m aware that it’s a problem.

Source: The Pretty Good House

Energy and the Sustainable House

  
We think the point of sustainable housing is to support living without being locked in to a high rate of consumption of resources.  For example, energy is a big concern.  The chart below shows the average energy use of a New Zealander, per person, per day, in kWh. For conversion, 1 kWh of electricity is about $0.25, and there is 10kWh of heat energy in 1 L of petrol.
scaddenNZEnergyUse
This chart shows that for the average person, more energy goes into producing our food than in heating our houses. And consumption of goods (stuff), is the largest energy use.  On average, we each use 3.1 L of petrol per day in our car.  For a sustainable house, we must make reductions in each of these categories.  In the category, Home Energy: we could make the heating efficient with heat pumps, and make energy use low or positive with photovoltaics.  For car travel, pick a site that is bikeable, and make facilities for bicycles in the house. For stuff, pick a decorating style that does not require frequent refreshes. Make the house design flexible so it is not demolished and has a long life.  For food, design for a garden.  For plane travel, pick a frequent holiday destination that is within your country.

Wetting and Drying of Timber Framed Walls

  

walldrying

[Excerpted from Finch and Straube, 2007]

“It is well accepted that moisture is one of the primary
causes of premature building enclosure deterioration. Excess
moisture content combined with above-freezing temperatures
for long enough will cause rot, mold growth, corrosion, and
discoloration of many building materials. The four major
moisture sources and transport mechanisms that can damage
a building enclosure are (Figure 1, left side):

  1. Precipitation, largely driving rain or splash-back at grade
  2. Water vapor in the air transported by diffusion and/or air
    movement through the wall (both to interior and exterior)
  3. Built-in and stored moisture, particularly for concrete or
    wood products
  4. Liquid and bound ground water, driven by capillarity and
    gravity

At some time during the life of a building, wetting should
be expected at least in some locations. In the case of a bulk
water leak, drainage, if provided, will remove the majority of
the moisture from the wall cavity. However, a significant
amount of water will remain absorbed by materials and
adhered to surfaces. This remaining moisture can be removed
(dried) from the wall by the following mechanism (Figure 1,
right side):

  1. Evaporation (liquid water transported by capillarity to the
    inside or outside surfaces)
  2. Evaporation and vapor transport by diffusion, air leakage,
    or both either outward or inward
  3. Drainage of unabsorbed liquid water, driven by gravity
  4. Ventilation by convection through intentional (or unintentional) vented air cavities behind the cladding

A balance between wetting, drying, and storage is
required to ensure the long-term durability of the building
enclosure.”

2014 Challenge Winners

  

SHAC Popup Challenge 2014

2014 SHAC Popup Challenge winners have been announced!

studio56

The winners Mizu Tea House pops-up in busy, downtown Auckland to provide an escape from demanding daily life, and Studio56 is a Dunedin break-out space that provides a unique learning and collaboration environment.
Highly commended, Flowing Tyres is an urban garden like pavilion.

The teams are now working to build their projects. Which team will finish first?

Over 50 submissions were received from all over New Zealand. Teams worked to design a playful pop up structure to help designers, builders and the public better understand the art and science of sustainable building. Teams responded to the challenge to show how we all can live well with less need for resources. SHAC promotes design as a collaborative, playful process that generates and evolves good ideas. Winners receive a SHAC trophy, a mark of industry accolades.

About SHAC
[SHAC] is a network of designers, builders, engineers, and architects who want to build a better way. SHAC is addressing the need for a more sustainable built environment. We host competitions and workshops to find good ideas and connect people. We work on innovative small-scale building projects for clients and their community.

Contacts
Tim Bishop, Coordinator, SHAC | 021 705 346
Laura May, Team Coordinator, Mizu Tea House | 021 118 6039
Alice Perry, Team Coordinator, Studio56 | 027 335 1654 –> Press Release
Naomi Thompson, Team Coordinator, Flowing Tyres | 022 646 2818

PopUp! – Sustainable Habitat Challenge 2014 Call for Entries

  

Photos and/or drawings of your pop-up structure due 20 August 2014 12:00 noon.  On two or more A3 sheets.  Please email your submission to tim@shac.org.nz.

What Pop-Up structure will you create?  A sculpture, a shop, an office, a venue, a place to play?

Competition Objectives
* Provide a playful competition to help designers, builders and the public better understand the art and science of building.
* Promote design and build as a collaborative, evolutionary process
* Promote the re-use of materials
* Promote living well, with purpose, and with less reliance on money and resources
* Promote creative responses that do not require a large budget

Entry Requirements and Checklist
* Register for your number here
* Please email your submission to tim@shac.org.nz.
* Due Date – 21 Aug 2014 12:00 noon [NZ time] * 150 word description of the project in the body of the email [same as described below] * ProjectName-SubmissionNumber-A3.pdf
* ProjectName-SubmissionNumber-image.png   [or .jpg or .gif] * ProjectName-SubmissionNumber-any other file   [could be sketchup, pdf of photos, etc] * The PDF A3 presentation sheets are what explain the project. This may include sketches, plans, elevations, sections, and/or photos of the materials or techniques to be used.
* Entries not to include your names or logos, only your assigned submission number.
* In 150 words or less explain the following:
a) The project and its purpose, it’s present and potential future uses.
b) Possible methods of construction
* Submitted designs should be copyrighted by the author(s) under a Creative Commonslicense of your choice, suggested: “CC-Attribution” or “CC-Attribution-NonCommercial
* SHAC reserves the right to not accept any entries.
* Best entries will be honoured with awards and prizes.
* All entries may be published by SHAC on our web site or other medium.
* Thank you for your submission!

Earth Systems

  

Japan is fascinating. The Japanese are so respectful of everything -work, other people, the natural world. And they have so many rituals – for me it seems to be a way to relax. Together it makes for a human society that is synchronized with the natural environment. Their technology is very efficient and they husband their natural environment so as it produces so many useful things from urban land, rural land, and even the forests. Japan is about 130% the size of New Zealand. And they are worried that they only produce food for about 40% of their population. That is 48 million people!

Kyoto

In early February I visited Tokyo and Kyoto. Tokyo is the megalopolis – it has huge apartment buildings that extend as far as I could see from the 18th floor of my hostel. Kyoto on the other hand is largely 2 and 3 story buildings interspersed with many decorative gardens, temples, and productive fields.

I presented at the “Earth Systems Governance Conference Tokyo 2013” at the United Nations University. Yes I fell off my chair when I was accepted to speak at this conference!!

The conference is trying to raise the point that all of humanity is a system “governed” by written and unwritten, or formal and informal, rules and norms.

The conference did attract many presenters on top-down international relations and nuclear energy policy, however the project is also about “bottom up”, grassroots changes in our human-made earth system.

It was a fascinating conference – I was astonished that the people that consider big global issues find what we are doing in Christchurch interesting.

Presently, in New Zealand, the current set of unwritten rules and norms say: “houses are very expensive; spending 5 times your annual income on your house is the best way to save for the future; building a house is best left to the experts; group action is ineffective; excellence and high performance is the sole realm of the highly trained professional; making positive change in your life is profoundly difficult and best left to the experts.”

I presented on the emerging network of groups in Christchurch that are showing other possibilities and suggesting new norms.  These groups are creating new possibilities and presenting new ideas that will likely lead to a more sustainable built environment.

One key idea is that we use volunteers and skilled people collaborating together. Another is that you don’t need to be a highly trained person to start something.

There is an informal network of groups in Christchurch that have responded to the earthquake are rewriting the informal rules, and creating new norms. These groups include Greening the Rubble – [gardens can be anywhere!], Gapfiller – [life is a stage!], CPIT – [we are learning by doing!], Live in Vacant Spaces [there are other ways to access land!], The Concert [volunteers are effective, and it is very fun!], Rekindle [we don’t have to throw those building materials away!], White Elephant [young people create and do!], Renew Brighton [a community can remake itself] Maybe one day the formal rules could change, in response.

Written rules also have an impact that was recently documented by Stu Donovan on transportblog.co.nz

The primary impact of local government regulations is not through the constraints they place on land supply (i.e. urban containment), but actually through the barriers they create to the development of more compact and affordable housing. Here’s some examples of regulations pursued by local governments in New Zealand that seem likely to restrict the supply of affordable housing:

  1. Minimum lot sizes – i.e. “all ye who have less money shall be forced to purchase land you don’t want.
  2. Minimum apartment sizes – i.e. “all ye who have less money shall be forced to purchase living space you don’t want.
  3. Minimum parking requirements – i.e. “all ye who have less money shall be forced to pay for vehicles you don’t own”.
  4. Maximum height limits – i.e. “all ye who chose to live like rats are consigned to perish like rats – on the street.
  5. Heritage protections – i.e. “all ye who don’t have the money to renovate a villa shall live elsewhere.

The Earth Systems Science Plan defines the five analytical problems of governance. The five A’s, for short: Agency – to what degree groups and individuals feel like they can act to create positive change. Allocation and Access – how individuals and groups are allocated or access needed resources like land, housing, food. Accountability – projects are legitimated – how do we know about, participate in the decision making around projects that affect or interest us? Adaptiveness – how do we change or reorganize in response to needs? And finally, Architecture – what structure of organization allows for good outcomes in the other areas? For example, what type of command and control, what processes or procedures, or what norms?

In Christchurch we have a loose network of groups that come together for various projects as suits each group. Each group thus retains its own agency – the ability to act. There are no formal contracts between groups that restrict or prohibit action.  Each group has a few energetic coordinators who harness the capacity of skilled professionals and keen volunteers/apprentices. No explicit coordination between groups is needed. Each group’s actions are coordinated by skilled and resourceful coordinators who keep the momentum going.

Projects are “legitimated” when people volunteer to do them. Good projects are supported by volunteers. Employees do what their bosses say, but volunteers only work on things they believe in.  More volunteers equals more legitimacy equals more impact. It is unlikely that an unpopular project will have a big impact, while popular projects will grow and grow.

And It seems that from this architecture of a loose affiliation of interacting groups, supported by a mix of volunteers and professionals, emerges a system that can support a more sustainable built environment.  In other words it supports supports multiple groups to have agency, to have legitimacy, and to demonstrate other ways of allocation and access to resources.

Will this hodge-podge of groups lead to a more sustainable built environment? This is still to be discovered. I had an intuition that this was the case, and the conference introduced me to the academic literature further supports this case:  That small, self-governing systems of local groups do effectively and fairly allocate limited resources. See, for example, the work of natural resource economist Elinor Ostrom.

We are prototyping possibilities for the future today!

Clean Energy Centre explores possibility of off-grid housing community

  

 

 

Taupo could be in for a new eco-sustainable housing community, reshaping the way houses receive heat, electricity, water, and use wastewater.

The New Zealand Clean Energy Centre (NZCEC) is currently investigating whether or not this would be feasible.

The community would use geothermal or biomass heat to heat homes; generate electricity from solar and wind sources; and reuse wastewater by drip-irrigating it to energy crops to provide future fuel for the community.

NZCEC said out of 75 people surveyed over the last two days, 33 had been in favour of the idea.

“The New Zealand public has demonstrated a keen interest in adapting their lifestyles to live in ways that are friendlier to the environment. They want to do their part to help maintain NZ’s 100% Pure, clean green image, they want to find ways of reducing their energy bills, and they want to increase their control over energy supply security,” says chief executive Rob McEwen.

He says the project would benefit  Taupo’s economy, enticing domestic and international migrants, especially Silicon Valley entrepreneurs looking to make New Zealand their home.

McEwen believes the pitch to these potential residents would go something like this:

“Taupo generates 75 times more clean energy than we consume (and thanks to geothermal, that ratio is growing). We have magnificent natural beauty (think of Taupo as the Tahoe of NZ), we have world class fibre optic internet, we have ample water, we are central to 75 percent of NZ’s population, we are home to the NZ Clean Energy Centre and oh, by the way … Taupo is developing a comprehensive off grid sustainable lifestyle community.”

 He says the next steps are to further quantify interest, then develop the concept to include drawings of the proposed community, a 3D animated walkthrough, and costings.

One way to make it feasible would be to use  semi-rural land on the outskirts of town so that homeowners’ investment in the land would be lower.

“Another way is to negotiate reduced development contributions with council. Unlike a typical subdivision where council needs to put in a lot of infrastructure such as water, waste water, power reticulation and phone connections, none of those services would be required in an off-grid community,” says McEwen.

>>> Clean Energy Centre explores possibility of off-grid housing community :: Idealog 

Office to rise from the rubble

  

One person’s rubble might be potential material for Gap Filler’s new office.

Sustainable Habitat Challenge (SHAC) and ReGeneration Trust New Zealand are collaborating to build an office for Gap Filler in Colombo St, Sydenham, with the help of volunteers and as many recycled or sustainable materials as possible.

Gap Filler project co-ordinator Coralie Winn said she was humbled by the plan.

“It’s a very generous gesture that they are doing this for us and also teaching young people building and design skills,” she said.

Gap Filler, which emerged after the September 2010 earthquake, has overseen several urban regeneration projects, such as the Lyttelton Petanque Club, the “book fridge” and the painted-piano project.

It has been based in Winn’s front room.

“Since November, we’ve hired a part-time helper, and people have been coming and going,” she said.

“It will be great to have an office that’s not at home. It would be quite nice to fill a gap with our own office.”

SHAC’s Tim Bishop said the frame of the 10-square-metre office would be built from recycled timber from demolished buildings, and the windows would also be recycled.

Waste polystyrene would be used for insulation, while the external walls would be constructed from wooden pallets usually used for transporting heavy goods.

“We want to show how to creatively reuse material left over from the earthquake. It’s a bit of a test. A few things are going to be new, like nails and building paper,” he said.

The project also aims to show young people that it can be easy and fun to build small buildings with sustainable materials.

Demolition and salvage yards, including Southern Demolition & Salvage, Musgroves and the Window Market Place, are also involved in the project.

The Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology is contributing equipment and helping to find a licensed builder.

The build will take a week, from January 23 to January 28.

Volunteers can sign up here.

 

via Office to rise from the rubble – the-press | Stuff.co.nz.

Electric Bicycle – BMX

  

Tim Bishop, Electric BMX Bicycle

24″ wheels, nine continents motor, kelly controller, 48V, 350Watt-hour LiFePO4 battery pack

Range: 12km.  Top speed: 37km/hr

 

Parts List

www.evassemble.com
1 x Capacitor-16S-30A-BMS (Capacitor-16S-30A-BMS)  = $69.00
1 x KP-J(240W) Charger (KP-J(240W))  = $36.00
1 x Kelly KBS48121,50A,24-48V BLDC Motor Speed Controller
(KBS48121,50A,24-48V)  = $146.00

www.e-bikekit.com
nine continents motor via Ebike-kit distributor  US $152.00
EBK-SYS-REAR-DD-MOTOR

Emissions-free.com
Batteries Emissions-free.com 48x US$6  + shipping (let’s ignore shipping) = US$288 = NZ$390

ebikes.ca
Spokes $35 + 25 shp. $60 usd

Hobbyking.com and others
Fiberglass  NZ$20
Connectors (10 andersons connectors) 10x US$0.25 = NZ$3.50
Black adhesive foam tape  (Super cheap auto)  NZ$8.17
Brake cable and brake outer (Bike Otago) NZ$24.00
KMC Chain (Bike Otago) NZ$19.90
Super glue, LED and Heatshrink NZ$9.70
Charging socket (Jaycar)NZ$4.90
Charging Plug (Jaycar)  NZ$5.50
Handlebar On/off switch mount = NZ$12

Kevin McClouds grand design for British housing [The Observer]

  

“Anyone can build an eco-home,” he says, “but it doesn’t solve anything. There is nothing to stop them turning up the thermostat. What’s more interesting is the way people live and behave.” So the Triangle has allotments and polytunnels where people can grow their own food, and a car club and a scooter club that make their use of transport less wasteful. He sees such things as more important than the design features of individual houses.

via Kevin McClouds grand design for British housing [The Observer]

 

Rural Southern Studio: Small Space, Small Budget

  

 

Baltimorean Will Homan, along with Pernilla Hagberth from Sweden and Clementine Blakemore from England, took on the Auburn University Rural Studio challenge: plan, design, and build a $20K house in Hale County, Alabama that could potentially be produced as a viable alternative to trailers in the area and purchased with a 502 Direct Loan. Above you see the project, from beginning sketches to one finished house. After the inaugural project in 2005, this structure marks the program’s ninth iteration. Now for the details…

 

 

 

Read more at Rural Southern Studio: Small Space, Small Budget.

Materials for Architects and Builders

  

Materials for Architects and Builders is written as an introductory text to inform students at undergraduate degree and national diploma level of the relevant visual and physical properties of a wide range of building materials. The third edition has been significantly enhanced by the incorporation of full colour images throughout, illustrating the materials and in many cases their use in buildings of architectural merit. The text includes the broad environmental debate with sections on energy saving and recycled materials. There are seventeen chapters covering the wide range of materials under standard headings. Each chapter describes the manufacture, salient prop- erties and typical uses of the various materials, with the aim of ensuring their appropriate application within an awareness of their ecological impact. 

This ebook is an excellent resource.

Materials for Architects and Builders.

New Zealand Climate Data for Building Simulation

  

The New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has developed a Home Energy Rating Scheme (HERS) for New Zealand households based on software simulation of energy loss and demand. The software requires hourly data to represent the differentclimates zones around New Zealand, especially for larger population centres. These climate data consist of hourly records for an artificial year created from twelve representative months.

Please note: The data is publicly-funded data provided by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited (NIWA) and no person or entity may charge for its supply or use. While NIWA has exercised reasonable care and skill in the preparation and collation of the data files, the data is supplied on an ‘as is’ basis, without warranty of any kind. NIWA accepts no liability for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages, loss, damage or cost arising from and relating to, any use of the data and/or the information associated with it. Full terms and conditions governing the use of the data can be found at: http://edenz.niwa.co.nz/about/terms.

Liley, J Ben, Hisako Shiona, James Sturman, David S Wratt. 2008. Typical Meteorological Years for the New Zealand Home Energy R ating Scheme. Prepared for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. NIWA Client Report: LAU2008-01-JBL. NIWA, Omakau, New Zealand.

Files for New Zealand are available in EPW format directly from the DOE site below:
Click on the blue marker to download the efw weather file direct from the DOE Energy Plus web site.


View Larger Map

Files in the TM2 format – for TRNSYS, TRANSOL, etc, have been converted from the EPW files using  CCWorldWeatherGen without performing any climate projections. NZL_TMY_WeatherFiles_TM2

 

 

Build your own home – Wairarapa Times-Age

  

 

 

Masterton home eco-aware – Local News – Wairarapa Times-Age.

In 2007, Steven, an industrial design engineer, began work on the eco-friendly house he would take three years to build with his own hands.

He even built the kitchen and every piece of furniture from the shelving to the beds, and fitted solar panels, which store 2000 watts of energy.

“When building our house, there were moments in the process when we had choices, like when we were deciding on our insulation. We decided to go with recycled insulation because it’s better for the environment, and it’s a nice material to work with – you’re not working with things like fibreglass.

“We also positioned the house to the north, so the sun shines through the big windows and warms up the place.”

He said building an eco-friendly house is “not rocket science”, it is just about thinking more carefully about your choices and how they affect your wallet as well as the environment.

“These ideas have been around for ages, it’s just being aware of them when you’re building a house, or doing anything else in life, like driving. If you drive 90km/h instead of 100km/h, you can save about 15 per cent of fuel, and you also have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery instead of rushing.”

Provide office space from re-used shipping containers?

  

12 office/studio spaces constructed from 32 recycled shipping containers on an abandoned strip in Providence, Rhode Island.

There are also links to many notable container projects such as Container CityIlly CafePuma City, and Adam Kalkin’s 12 Container House

But the devil may be in the details – how are the windows be installed and flashed? And how will the gaps between containers sealed?

>>> More From Stack Design Build.

Install Urban Water Tanks

  

Lyndall Hancock has spent a lifetime with a rainwater tank beside the house.

Over the years, the Dunedin woman has used water collected from the roof – running down through pipes to a tank beside the house – for cooking, cleaning and even drinking, once strained and boiled.

Now aged 80, Miss Hancock lives in Waverley and still uses rainwater harvested from her latest tank to water the garden.

She told the Otago Daily Times the time was right for the Dunedin City Council to consider offering incentives to urban homeowners wanting to invest in similar schemes.

As well as everyday uses, the tanks promoted water conservation and could help ease pressure on council water services, Miss Hancock said.

The tanks would also be useful as an emergency supply, should earthquake damage in Christchurch ever occur in Dunedin.

“It used to be that houses all had a rainwater barrel. When I was a child, we had that at home. I can’t remember what the water was used for, except that when there was a drought there was always water there for the vegetable patch.

“It’s sensible. We could run out of water as quick as look at you,” she said.

via Water-tank advocate calls for incentives. {Otago Daily Times}

 

Craig Brown of CBConsult.co.nz contributed this diagram showing a safer configuration for water capture.  He mentioned he forgot to include the block of concrete at the bottom of the tank to keep the water slightly alkaline:

There are various options for water tanks, including oval and rounded rectangular tanks as seen in this SHAC(2009) Team Housewise retrofit:

Build community around neighbourhood churchs

  

VisionWest has seen one church grow to provide holistic care and support for all people physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.

The Trust provides housing, a kindergarten, opshop, community care, for the Henderson community in Auckland.

VisionWest Community Trust has been offering community-based services to people in West Auckland since the 1980’s. The Trust was formally incorporated as the Friendship Centre Trust in 1988 in response to a growing desire of the Glen Eden Baptist Church to help those in need in the local community. The Trust started out small with a drop-in centre at the Glen Eden Railway Station as a place where friendships were formed. The Trust responded to the needs present in the community and grew to be one of the largest community based Trusts in West Auckland.

In 2010 the Friendship Centre Trust became VisionWest Community Trust. The name evolved from the Trust’s passion and vision of hope and transformation for families living in West Auckland. VisionWest Community Trust now provides a range of community services to around 7000 individuals and families every year, with a wonderful staff and volunteer base of over 450 people. The Trust is still based out of Glen Eden Baptist Church and continues to grow and respond to needs in the West, with a mission of building hope together.

“At VisionWest we believe that we all need to have a vision and hope for the future. As a community development based organisation, our vision is to build a place of trust and openness where people feel valued and loved.

We believe in the value of holistic care and support and offer an integrated range of services and supports that care for all people physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.”

via Welcome to VisionWest Community Trust – Community Development – Holistic Care and Support – Integrated Services and Support.

VisionWest is part of the Community Housing Aotearoa Network (CHA)

To get started building a community around your church contact: 09 818 0700

Build a resilient house [NZ Herald]

  

“It is not enough to design purely for life safety,” says Auckland architect Barry Copeland. “A resilient house, as well as surviving structurally through an earthquake, needs to continue its function as a family home.”

In response to the Christchurch earthquake, Copeland, working with seismic engineer Barry Davidson and wastewater systems engineer Ian Gunn has developed a concept design for a house providing a high degree of self-reliance in terms of basic essential services – water, energy, drainage.

via The resilient house – National – NZ Herald News.

Victory Community

  

Victory, Nelson is a long established inner city suburb. The Victory Community centre combines a school hall, health centre, recreation and social services. The school started out with a vision that to educate a child the entire family must be involved.

“Victory Village, comprising Victory Community Health Centre and Victory Primary School, is a unique example of a community-based support group achieving positive health, social and educational outcomes.

After evolving from a number of health and social services operating randomly out of school meeting rooms in a disadvantaged area of Nelson, Victory Village and the wider Victory community have gone on to attract national attention for the way in which they respond and relate to their community’s needs and aspirations. This has resulted in a more sustainable community, with more effective service provision and families that are more stable and resilient.

Victory Community Health Centre actively promotes and provides accessible health services and programmes to residents, acting as an information and referral hub for 13 different agencies and groups.” >>>

Post#13_Victory_GardenCrew

Post#13_Victory_schoolFor more information:

Post#13_Victory_KindraKindra Douglas, communityhealth@victory.school.nz


The Marsden Park master Plan

  
[wp_geo_map]

The Marsden Park master Plan.

John wants to see Nelson attract talented people who have a passion for their work and the lifestyle. He is a developer of a large subdivision in Marsden Valley, Nelson, and I have come to get an idea of what he is trying to achieve.

“Nelson’s industries are the four Fs – Farming, Forestry, Fishing, and Foreigners/Tourists”  He believes his new subdivision will provide high quality housing to attract and retain the talented workers that are important to help regenerate these industries.

View from Marsden Park His new subdivision is in sunny Marsden Valley, close to Richmond and Nelson.  It is a high quality, higher density development that includes sections for single family homes and sections for multi-unit “comprehensive housing” for seniors.

“People will move to Nelson for work”  His development seeks to provide a high quality suburb with rural surrounds.  Quantity has been traded for quality, and he has taken pains to develop a utility and roading infrastructure that will be tidy for many years into the future.

“I just had to accept the idea that as a developer I would be seen as money hungry”  He has taken a large risk by paying for expense of resource consent, surveying, roading, and utilities.  The design had to be carefully considered up front. While a developer might hope for flexibility to change plans midstream to reduce the risk of failure, once a resource consent is obtained, there is little room to move in light of new information or market situations.

And strangely, some ideas generally recognised as good can be received poorly when motives are questioned.  Urban design practice generally recommends higher density living, like smaller lot sizes or multi-unit developments.  And higher density can be more profitable as well for developers.  But for this reason, John feels, plans for higher density living tend to be declined.

John would like to see more testing and advice for developers. “What plants should I have in the swales?” he asks.  He wants to do the right thing, but with so many decisions to make, it is impossible to always know what is the best decision.

I thank John for his tour and leave him to lock the gate.  He is still waiting for someone to begin to build.

Read More:

Residential sections and land for sale at Marsden Park, in Nelson, New Zealand.

Manukau Institute of Technology helps with Sir Edmund Hillary House Rebuild

  

Students from the School of Construction at Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) are helping with the rebuilding of Sir Edmund Hillary’s house as part of their entry into this year’s Sustainable Habitat Challenge.

The old homestead is being relocated to Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate in Otara, Auckland, where it will be rebuilt and become the home for the Sir Edmund Hillary Leadership Institute.  The renovated structure will incorporate a number of eco-friendly and sustainable building systems such as rainwater harvesting, double glazing, insulation and solar heating.

MIT students training in construction, electrical, plumbing and landscaping will work on the project that is expected to be completed by mid-2011.

onemana bach

  

onemana bach

real client, real project, real world

via onemana bach.

This project deeply implements SHAC principles.  Students and young people collaborating and communicating to build a better way.

Innovative features to note:

  1. Off-site build and use of prefab component
  2. Kitchen and wet areas are very close to each other, minimising pipe length and keeping complexity in one place.
  3. Windows are nice but a major source of heat loss, and cost.  Good design has given this batch an open and airy feeling with only moderate use of windows.
  4. Plywood internal lining gives several improvements – better acoustics, some thermal storage, and humidity buffering because of the porous surface
  5. Careful insulation installation – no gaps! – means good performance.  Few wires or pipes are disturbing the outside, insulated walls.
  6. Good choice of durable, long-lasting appliances and furniture

Waikato Regenerative Student Neighbourhood

  

A brief history on the Journey so far

Wintec have been building two to three bedroom houses with students for the last 24 years these houses are then on sold into the community as affordable housing.
The houses were standard transportable gable or hip roofed hardie blank weather board homes.

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These houses were great to build with the students covering all aspects of their learning criteria. The houses were also a popular item within the community requiring a waiting list for perspective buyers.
However Wintec wanted to create a new design that embraced the latest building technologies and current building design trends.
This project and philosophy was shared with the students who designed and built the new mono pitch design.

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This was a very inspiring project that fed Wintecs build environment and carpentry department’s philosophy of constant improvement.

Reflection of design and materials was constantly discussed and shared with the students and improvements were implemented and constructed.

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These changes were a reflection of what was happening in industry i.e. insulation improvements, double glazing, product changes etc.

Moving forward

It became apparent – and some thing as a school we were very interested in – embracing was the growth and awareness of sustainability and energy consumption within the construction industry.
This interest grew and from that interest two projects evolved within Wintec; The Eco Village and our first entry into the SHAC challenge 09.
SHAC house 09 was a one of design designed within the Built environment school by Trevor Wyatt and built environment students. The project journey was shared within the Shac competition website, students, industry and the community.

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Eco Village

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The Eco village is another sustainable initiative taking place at Wintec and one we are very excited about. Wintec would like to further develop the eco village house design as our entry into the Shac Challenge 2010.

Further reflecting on the Eco Village house design, as a base model, and making ongoing design, material selection and energy consumption improvements will be part of our continuous improvement philosophy.

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Goals

With our involvement in the shac project we would like to showcase some of the exciting developments we have made in regards to imbedding sustainable practices in the construction of the eco village and eco houses. We would also like to:

  • Make improvements to these developments, (current Eco house design), with student, industry and shac team input. Reflect on the developments made, what was good what was not so good.
  • Form closer relationships within the trade departments by sharing an overall goal of sustainable design and practices and imbedding this within are current teaching curriculum.
  • Constantly reviewing materials and product use and investigating more sustainable options.
  • Creating regenerative communities by;
  1. Demonstrating new residential house technologies re energy consumption.
  2. Contributing an improved house design to the student village community. With emphasis on improved material selection bathroom, WC and laundry layout and better use of internal layout where possible.
  3. Monitoring the Energy consumption of the improved house design and sharing this information for the benefit of the wider community and Shac teams.
  4. Creating a delightful building with emphasis on its surroundings, colours function and creative use of space.
  5. Work with industry and community in achieving our goals.

Vision of regenerative neighbourhood

A regenerative community is a sustainably aware community. The power of education and knowledge is the energy source that will regenerate and power communities for a better future.
Creating a student village as a base model for sustainability, energy consumption research, discussion and debate will ultimately promote the awareness and knowledge required to educate communities and the work force of tomorrow.
Creating an ongoing educational process that promotes the benefits and skills required in the regenerative use of energy, waste, water, fuels, construction materials and techniques are all an integral part of building these communities

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Site

The construction of the house will be by Wintec pre trade carpentry plumbing and electrical students at the Avalon campus.
The house will be constructed under cover and transportable. Once completed the house will be relocated to the Eco village site to provide student accommodation and to be monitored for its energy consumption

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Proposed site location

The site has good orientation to the north with the length of the house located on a east to west axis. The ground profile is soft with a high water table requiring a driven pile foundation.

Building Design

The building design is a 100m2 transportable residential home constructed from building materials readily available and common to the current building market.
Emphasis will be on a multipurpose floor plan a design that can; comfortably accommodate a family of four, be used for shared accommodation purposes’, holiday homes, or be adaptable for class room or community type buildings.
One of the key ingredients in the construction of the house will be the services and facilities we will fit the house out with. This is an area essential to energy consumption and an area we would like to research and monitor.
The building design will be true to its roots with its main objective been to ensure we keep with the fundamentals of our current teaching curriculum in light timber frame construction.
The skills and ability required for the construction of the house are to be associated with the student profile and community type labour resource.

Housing Demand


The ultimate goal is to create a building that is affordable energy efficient and have the ability for multipurpose use.The construction process and material selection will be simple to construct .This will allow small rural community; groups with a small amount of skilled labour and collaborative community know how the ability to; be able to afford and construct houses for families, class rooms for schools, and small community buildings.
Another essential ingredient will be the information and educational resources created by reflecting on the journey travelled in creating the house and student village.
This reflection will continue the philosophy of self improvement and will help advice communities on the what, how and why of creating regenerative communities.

Funding the house build

The estimated cost of the house dependent of foundation design is $1.500 – $1.800 per m2
The majority of the construction labour is to be done by students.
Partial sponsorship by eco village industry partners ECCA and WEL energy.
Supplier sponsorship, (currently) Rinnai hot water systems.
Design support from Rod Yeoman, Ros Epsom, Tina Booth .

Design & Build time lines for short term goals

Working drawings Started 26th July and completed by 13th August. Please note any amendments to design may re start the 20 day consent process and delay stamped approval.
Consented drawings completed by 6th September.
Drawings and construction time schedule to suppliers, sub contractors &, associated tutors 6th September.
16th September start ordering house material for a 4th October construction start.

Design & Build time lines for long term goals

Wintec has a long term goal to continue reflecting on current designs and to further improve current eco house designs and shac 2010 entry.

  1. Concept drawings and collaborative design process completed 08.Sept.2010.
  2. Working drawings completed 08.Oct.2010, sent to council.
  3. Working drawings approved 08.Nov.2010
  4. Working drawings priced, time scheduled and material deliveries programmed by 06.12.2010.

Core Team Members

Tom Malpass – Team coordinator,
E-mail thomas.malpass@wintec.co.nz Ph 07 8348800 ext 8594
Peter Orchard – Construction coordinator, advisor, quality control
E-mail peter.orchard@wintec.ac.nz Ph 07 8348800 ext 8594
Nathan Collins – Design coordinator.
Werner Eisenhower – Plumber & plumbing waste water system coordinator
Tina Booth – Team Architectural Draughts person
Ros Epsom – Team Architect,
Annette Vincent – Team Quantity surveyor embedding sustainability into current curriculum
Rob Sweet – Student village spokesman
Lukas Maree – Team electrician & electrical coordinator
Ian Mayes –Eco house advisor and Hamilton council representative
Students

Otago Polytechnic Living Campus Retrofit

  
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We are starting the design process to retrofit one of our small, transportable office buildings.  As it is nearly house-sized, the aim of the retrofit is to showcase a range upgrades possible for Dunedin homeowners to adapt their house to be warmer, more efficient, and to support a range of behaviours.
I work at the Otago Polytechnic, and am interested in discovering the good life.  I want to live a delightful, more connected life, enjoying the company of my friends and family.  For me living the good life means not feeling the drag of a long term mortgage, or knowing that I will always need to commute far distances in a car, or paying to heat an entire large empty house when I can’t have people over for a party.  It means having the time and energy to help others and contribute to my community.  Big ups to my friends who are spending heaps of personal energy running for city council or being a leader at their church or community board.  The more we see people contributing in those ways, the more we are prosperous as a community.
The building is known as “B-Block” – for the large B on the wall.  We will show a few good ideas, and display boards will explain other good options.  It will integrate with the Otago Polytechnic Living Campus that shows food production, good transport options, and efficient water use.
Specifically, we want to show good use of sun and renewable energy for heating, good use of durable materials, low energy use in the building, support local food production, and promote water conservation.  It will also promote lower overall resource with good design practices.  Most importantly, we have to provide a good working space for the Campus Services people who work in the building.
Key to the design process is collaboration and communication.  I’ve been advocating collaboration for awhile, but now I hope to practice it a bit more successfully.
“B-block” is the hub on campus for staff, housing the mail room and the
  • Demonstrate best-practice sustainable design for Dunedin homeowners and builders
  • Show good systems
  • Extend OP Living Campus – An outdoor exhibit exploring more sustainable living
So far we have approached a few people on campus, but we don’t have your input yet!  If you make a comment below, we will be sure to invite you to our next design review and include your ideas into the mix.
A local Architect graduate, Maria Callau of Puca Designs, has been working with us to help visualise some options for the upgrade.
Based on our initial ideas, she came up with some sketches.
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Our current topics for the display boards will focus on these areas:
  • Financing
  • Consenting – What needs a consent and what doesn’t
  • Alternative / Acceptable / Determination
  • Preparing documents for the council
  • Value – intrinsic, health, re-sale.
  • Heating and Warmth
  • Windows
  • Insulation
  • Appliances
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Transport
  • Beauty
  • Ownership
What else do we need?