Category Archives: MicroArchitecture

Household Moisture – Its in the Furnishings and Materials

  

Household moisture primarily resides in the building materials and furnishings in a house.  Think your big, damp mattress, for instance.

Damp materials in your house keep your relative humidity high.  And releasing humidity into the air means that moisture will eventually find its way inside your couch, or in other furnishings or building materials.

Here is a simple chart of the equilibrium relationship between moisture in the air (RH), and moisture in materials (MC), expressed as a percentage of the mass of the material.

This chart can be read as follows:  If you house averages 70% humidity, you can follow the 70% RH line and see that spruce wood (similar to pine), will have about 13% moisture content.  Given that your house will have thousands of kg of pine in it, this chart means there will be hundreds of kg of water in that material.  And the same with wallboard, insulation, soft furnishings, and your carpet.

For experimental purposes, or for learning with school kids, a simple hygrothermal (heat and moisture) model of a house can be built as so:

Read about our recent research with the Valley Community Workspace community group: ValleyWorkspace.org-BuildingMoistureStorage (PDF)

Also see “The Wetting and Drying of Timber Framed Walls

Damp Homes

  

Imagine, if you take a cold and damp house, and then wrap it in extra insulation and draughtproofing.  What do you get? A warm and damp house.  The extra insulation and draughtproofing reduce the air circulating in a house, which is a reduction of the ability for a house to dry itself.

How do we get a warm and dry house?  Capture the sun, add heating to the house, and add ventilation. This can be as simple as ensuring the windows of a house are open during the day, especially when it is sunny out.  Or you can add some sort of ventilation system that takes in outside air into the house.  Your heat pump does not do this – all a heat pump does is recirculate the damp air that is already inside your house.

On the whole, outside air is dryer than inside air, especially once it is heated to inside temperatures. This is why bringing outside air into the house helps to dry the house. There is some cost to heating outside air, but the benefit is a dryer, healthier house.  Also, if a ventilation system is used, this cost can be reduced if a heat recovery ventilation system is used. Of course using windows for ventilation is the cheapest option of all!

Psychrometric chart showing WHO recommended temperature and humidity (green+blue region), and room measurements for one week. Each point is average temperature and humidity for one hour. Different times of day are coloured differently.

Most of the moisture (>85%) in a house is in the furnishings and building materials in the house. Simply removing moist air once will not dry a house, as dampness will just evaporate from furnishings and building materials, and the air will quickly become damp again, within minutes. A damp house needs repeated flushing of the air within the house so that the furnishings and building materials within the house slowly begin to dry.

Read about our recent research with the Valley Community Workspace community group: ValleyWorkspace.org-BuildingMoistureStorage (PDF)

Also see “The Wetting and Drying of Timber Framed Walls

Addressing the challenge of climate change together, activists and designers

  

… Climate activism has primarily manifested as “Blockadia.”  Why? Blocking and shutting down bad projects is easier to organize around than efficiency or carbon pricing. And maybe that’s fine. Maybe it isn’t the role of activists to imagine and bring about a new world. Maybe that’s for policymakers, designers, engineers, artists, and entrepreneurs.

Source: Architecture and Climate – what critics misunderstand about climate activism

Sunset Stripes [2015-30]

  

Our project consists of rammed earth walls, Douglas fir panelling and seating, a concrete floor, and steel roofing. There are two entrances, the main one opening onto the road, and a smaller secondary entrance at the rear of the shelter allowing access from the resort. The walls at the back overlap at the entrance to stop the cold southerly winds entering the shelter. There is vertical panelling on part of the front entrance to deflect the chilly North Westerly winds while allowing in the morning sun from the East. The main opening faces North allowing sun to stream in all day and views of Mt Hutt. The rammed earth walls combined with timber panels and seating give the shelter a warm and cosy feel. The roof drains to a single point at the rear, then trickles down a chain drain into a small wishing well. It seats approximately 16 people.

2015-30 Sunset Stripes A3PNG_Page_2-small 2015-30 Sunset Stripes A3PNG_Page_1-small

Mountain View [2015-13]

  

Inspired by the beautiful mountain view of Mt. Hutt from the site, the Mountain View bus shelter allows people to enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery while waiting for the bus to arrive. The bus shelter also incorporates natural materials such as straw bale, local wood (Douglas fir), and green roofing to provide a sustainable and aesthetically pleasing shelter for both the tourists, and the local community of Methven.

Materials used are the following:
Strawbale plastered with lime for the south part of the bus shelter that functions as a load bearing wall, which withstands southwesterly prevailing winds.
Also a great natural and sustainable material that provide insulation
Untreated local (Douglas fir) wood used for the overall framing of the shelter.
Recycled glass are used for the visibility of the mountains, which also functions as a wind blocker for the North West cold wind.
Extensive green roofing for the flat roof of the shelter, which uses local small plants that could survive strong winds.

2015-13 Mountain view bus shelter2-small 2015-13 Mountain view bus shelter-small

Thermal Performance of Curtains, and other retrofit options

  

A couple common questions:

“What is thermal resistances of window film with an air gap, and curtains?”

  • Timber framed window, single glazed (baseline)
    • R0.2
  • Timber frame, single glazed, with drapes and pelmet
    • R0.3 $0-$150/m2
  • Timber frame, single glazed, with window film
    • R0.4 $5/m2
  • Alu frame, thermal break, double glazed, low-e
    • R0.4 $450/m2
  • (Higher R values mean less heat loss)

“What are good retrofit options for my home”?

Reducing heat loss is one important strategy.  (Another is maintaining ventilation)

Good strategies mean picking the most reduction in heat loss, for the least cost.  This chart can help.

References

Bishop, T. W. (2009). Heat Losses and Gains in Residential Housing in Southern New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/354

BRANZ, ALF

Nine single person units built by young homeless people for themselves

  

“The project was for 9 single person homes on a small plot adjacent to a disused canal in Peckham – to be self built by local young people in housing need. The build was linked to a local training centre where the self builders were trained up to NVQ level 2 Carpentry and Joinery.

Consortium, a local umbrella group of housing charities, employed a worker to research the project and get it off the ground. This worker stayed on for the build process and acted as a support worker to the self builders. The site was managed by a full time site/project manager who had built on a previous self build scheme and who had youth work experience.

On completion of the scheme the builders became tenants of South London Family Housing Association, who had acted as development agents for the project

A very thorough and honest review report on the project is available from CSBA”

Source: Consortium

BSHF | Learning from informality

  

The cities of the future, which is what many urbanism conferences talk about, those cities that grow fastest, are not constructed out of glass and steel, but out of straw, recycled plastic, scrap wood, and bricks made of construction waste. Housing there isn’t built by the building companies, developers and policy makers who attend the conferences, but by people building for themselves.

Source: BSHF | Learning from informality

Temporary projects leave long-lasting legacy

  

The temporary projects which popped up on newly vacant land around Christchurch after the earthquakes have a lot more value to a traumatised public than we may think.Dr Andreas Wesener, a lecturer in Urban Design at the School of Landscape Architecture has just published research on transitional community-initiated open spaces (CIOS) in Christchurch and says they have a range of benefits that might strengthen community resilience.His paper discusses benefits, possible long-term values and future challenges for community-initiated temporary urbanism in Christchurch.“Resilient people have been described as being able to find positive meaning and display positive emotions even in times of crisis, and introducing positive stimuli and engaging in positive activities have been considered vital in distressing post-disaster situations,” Dr Wesener says.There is evidence that people’s participation in temporary projects has encouraged positive emotions and creativity, strengthened social capital, such as community gardens, and fostered community empowerment within a challenging post-disaster situation, he says.“On an individual level, community members who lost jobs in the aftermath of the earthquakes reported that working on temporary projects had provided opportunities to cope with post-traumatic stress, remain active, learn new skills, establish new networks and in some cases job opportunities have been created.“Even passive passers-by without direct involvement in community-led activities may experience positive emotions solely by noticing that ordinary people are recreating and rebuilding structures within a destroyed urban landscape.”

Source: Temporary projects leave long-lasting legacy

SHAC Challenge 2015 – Call for Entries

  

Submit your design and be in to win prizes valued at nearly $1000 each!

a

Submit your design for a Methven, New Zealand, community bus shelter for approx 10-20 snow skiers and boarders waiting for the mountain pick up.  The best designs using natural materials will win free entry to the March 2016 International Straw Building Conference to be held 3-9 March 2016, in Methven, New Zealand. See www.strawbuildconference.co.nz for conference details.

Natural Building means using minimally processed and locally available materials for building, examples include, untreated timber, rammed earth, adobe, earthen plasters, straw, hempcrete, and others. Natural Building also means using solar energy efficiently and effectively.

Submissions due: 2 November 2015, 5pm NZT
On one or two A3 sheets.

Please email your submission in pdf format (max 15MB) to tim@shac.org.nz.

Site

  • Either Skitime, Methven – https://goo.gl/MC3dwq
  • Or, next to Methven Resort and the High School – https://goo.gl/fU3sW8
    This site may have some high schoolers using the bus stop during term time.  This site may need to incorporate the Methven Resort sign as part of the bus stop.

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 and the use of natural materials
  • Promote living well, with purpose, and with less reliance on money and resources
  • Promote creative responses that do not require a large budget

Judging Criteria

  • Use of natural materials
  • Innovation
  • Meeting competition objectives

Entry Requirements and Checklist

  • Register for your submission number here (http://goo.gl/forms/mHp2mzsXe1)
  • E-mail your submission to tim@shac.org.nz.
  • Entries are individual or as a team of 2 people.
  • Due Date – 2 November 2015, 5pm NZT [NZ time]
  • Include a 150 word max description of the project in the body of the email
  • Name your submission ProjectName.pdf
  • 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.
  • Submitted designs should be copyrighted by the author(s) under a Creative Commons license 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.

Notes from Users of the Site – These requirements are advisory, not mandatory

  • Shelter from Southerly
  • Strong enough to withstand Nor Wester winds and the rain that follows.
  • Rack or similar for skis/snowboards
  • Blend in with existing buildings
  • Not to block views to the mountains.
  • Incorporate elements from their alpine and agricultural encounter.
  • A location for timetables and information to be displayed

Download Poster (2MB)

SHAC Natural Building Competition 2015

If Everyone Lived in an ‘Ecovillage’, the Earth Would Still Be in Trouble

  

We must swiftly transition to systems of renewable energy, recognising that the feasibility and affordability of this transition will demand that we consume significantly less energy than we have become accustomed to in the developed nations. Less energy means less producing and consuming.

An ecological footprint analysis was undertaken of this community. It was discovered that even the committed efforts of this ecovillage still left the Findhorn community consuming resources and emitting waste far in excess of what could be sustained if everyone lived in this way. (Part of the problem is that the community tends to fly as often as the ordinary Westerner, increasing their otherwise small footprint.)

Source: If Everyone Lived in an ‘Ecovillage’, the Earth Would Still Be in Trouble

Tiny home a true mansion

  

Her previous construction experience was a bookcase, but that has not stopped Lily Duval from building her own miniature house.

The 27-year-old is two months into the build, and is on track to have most of the construction finished in another couple of months. She is building her house directly on a trailer on communal land in central Christchurch. At 5.5 metres long, 2.5m wide and 4.2m high, Duval’s house fits under the New Zealand Transport Authority’s definition of a light simple trailer.

It requires no building consent.

Her house will cost $30,000 all up, which includes $8000 for the heavy-duty trailer.

via Tiny home a true mansion – news – the-press | Stuff.co.nz.

Interest growing for tiny homes

  

Christchurch man Bevan Thomas built his own “tiny house” from scratch last year and had seen “hundreds” through it over the past few months.

He believed the tiny house movement was becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand as people looked for ways to live with less impact on the planet, or to avoid being “tied to a half a million dollar mortgage”.

“There’s been phenomenal interest in it. It’s surprising actually how well the concept is taking off.”

Thomas built his moveable house after returning to Christchurch to look after family and finding himself at a loose end.

via Interest growing for tiny homes | Stuff.co.nz.

Tiny home at a tiny price | Stuff.co.nz

  

Stefan Cook is revelling in the fact his new home cost $438,000 less than the average Christchurch house price.

Cook has now finished building his 3.4-tonne home, complete with a mezzanine bedroom, living area, kitchen and bathroom. The house measures 8 metres by 2.45m and is 4.1m high.

It was built on top of a custom-built trailer so it could be moved and did not require a building consent.

Cook did not have experience in building but it took him only 12 weeks to get it to a ”liveable” standard.

The building cost $22,000 – an amount he would save within two-and-a-half years by not having to pay rent – and most of the materials were salvaged from demolition sites, which helped keep costs down.

via Tiny home at a tiny price | Stuff.co.nz.

Student thinks small to beat rental trap

  

Christchurch student fed up with high rental costs is building his own “cottage on wheels”.

Stefan Cook is constructing the 2.5 metre by 8m transportable house in a bid to beat the rising cost of student housing and survive the Government’s withdrawal of student allowances for those undertaking post-graduate study.

The 34-year-old geology student at the University of Canterbury said he had been paying up to $160 for a room in a Christchurch flat during the first two years of his bachelor’s degree and expected his $15,000 project would pay for itself within two years.

via Student thinks small to beat rental trap | Stuff.co.nz.

Dunedin: Test drive a Tesla roadster electric car

  

Range and Power – Tesla convoy comes to Dunedin

Otago Polytechnic this Sunday 11th Jan at noon.  0-100km in 4 seconds.tesla

See https://www.facebook.com/LeadingTheCharge for other locations around New Zealand.

A new kind of kiwi road trip is amp’ing up, as four kiwi blokes: Steve, Jay, Carl and Nick travel from Cape Reinga to the Bluff in a convoy of sustainable prowess.

The group #leadingthecharge are highlighting the practical and sustainable benefits of using electric cars. To drive home their message they’re cruising the length of the country in New Zealand’s first Tesla Model S car, and its only Telsa Roadster. Va va vroom!

According to the group New Zealand is ideally situated to benefit from the uptake of electric cars. “After the dairy industry, the next biggest source of emissions is our vehicle fleet, and since over 70 per cent of our electrical power is from renewable sources, there’re even bigger emissions savings with an electric fleet here than overseas.”

On their way South the foursome are stopping in to charge up at Otago Polytechnic’s workSpace. “We’re delighted to support the initiative and vision of these four kiwi men,” said workSpace spokesperson, Veronica Stevenson and “given our work in the sustainability and tech transformation space, workSpace is the ideal place for a meet, greet and test drive.”

The goals of #leadingthecharge are three fold

  • Charging – We aim to encourage private and public entities to roll out charging infrastructure all through New Zealand.
  • Driving – We want people to get into Electric Vehicles. Test-drives, car sharing, renting, owning. We don’t care how you do it; we just want people in these cars.
  • Teaching – There are so many untruths circulating about EV (electric vehicle) technology. We want to share true, well-researched and transparent messages about EV and all the benefits of EV ownership for individuals and New Zealand as a whole

All members of the public are warmly invited to attend this unprecedented event. Bring a friend, or the whole family – it isn’t often an event comes along that appeals to car enthusiasts and greenies alike.

WHERE: workSpace – A Block, Otago Polytechnic (across the road and up the grassy bank from the hockey turf on Harbor Tce)

WHEN: 1130am Sunday the 11th January

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Veronica Stevenson: Story Strategist at workSpace, 027 4483036 veronica.stevenson@op.ac.nz

Tim Bishop
SHAC | The Sustainable Habitat Challenge
www.shac.org.nz
021 705 346

How traffic engineering standards can break our cities « transportblog.co.nz

  

It would not be too factitious to suggest that many traffic engineering standards seem to presume that land is free. It’s as is if there are dutch pixies at the bottom of the garden who are manufacturing land from the sea.

One example of such a standard is the concept of the “design vehicle”, which I will focus on for the remainder of this post. Of course there are many other examples of traffic engineering standards, such as minimum parking requirements, which have been discussed before on this blog and that also have hugely negative consequences. The reason I want to focus on the “design vehicle” concept is because it does not receive much attention. And also because it has a fundamental impact on so many things.

For those who are not familiar with the “design vehicle” concept let me briefly explain. The “design vehicle” is a phrase that typically describes the largest, heaviest (per axle), and/or least maneuverable vehicle that is expected to use a particular part of the road network. Naturally, the physical footprint required to accommodate this design vehicle subsequently defines most aspects of the physical road geometry, such as turning radii and pavement design. For this reason, the shape of our road networks is very much defined by the design vehicle that is chosen.

You can read up on some of the design vehicle standards recommended by the NZTA here. The design vehicle for the standard street is typically some form of medium rigid truck, such as what is commonly used to move furniture. I’ve illustrated the physical dimensions of this vehicle below.

Read more at: How traffic engineering standards can break our cities « transportblog.co.nz.

Students win national design award for 10sqm building | Scoop News

  

Students win national design award for 10sqm building

The design brief was simple – create a breakout space that didn’t require consent and incorporated sustainability, and now four Otago Polytechnic Design students have won the national Sustainable Habitat Construction (SHAC) Pop-up Challenge for their design of an innovative and efficient ten square metre building.

Studio56 was conceived by third-year Design students, Dean Griffiths, Alice Perry, Nina Daniels and Charlotte McKirdy, and was developed to provide a unique learning and collaboration environment for both students and staff, within Otago Polytechnic’s Living Campus – a vibrant community garden and a sustainable model of urban agriculture.

via Students win national design award for 10sqm building | Scoop News.

Students win national design award for 10sqm building | Scoop News

Where do you start a sustainable house?

  

So, you know you want a sustainable (healthy, efficient, affordable and desirable) home, but where do you start? I’ve covered the fundamentals  of what makes a good energy efficient home, but these are details. What’s the big picture? Where do you start a sustainable house?

Why…what?

Before getting too specific about your plan, here are some questions I recommend being able to answer:

  • Why are you renovating/building/remodelling/looking for a new home?
  • What are you most dissatisfied with at the moment?
  • How many people are you building for?
  • How much time are all these people actually going to spend in your home each day, each week, each month…?
  • What do you want your weekends to look like?
  • Describe your ‘perfect day’. Who are you with? Where are you? What are you doing?
  • Does you perfect day involve any of the following:
    • Mowing the lawn
    • Fixing a fence
    • Painting a fence
    • Cleaning windows
    • Cleaning a pool
    • Walking a dog
    • Vacuuming
    • Cleaning three bathrooms
    • Painting the house
    • Cleaning the house
    • Going on adventures with your family
    • Oiling a deck
    • Blowing/sweeping leaves
    • Gardening
    • Relaxing by the pool
    • Working a second job
    • Being at the beach
    • Harvesting vegetables and fruit from your own garden
    • Watching someone else do any of the above

What’s all this got to do with the location and layout of your dream home? A lot. Creating a better, sustainable place to live is about lifestyle. This is where you need to start.

When Natalie and I moved to Auckland our criteria for a place to live included:

  1. Walking distance to a primary school with a good reputation
  2. Walking distance to a train station and a train commute of 30 minutes or less
  3. At least three bedrooms, ideally four (Xavier, our third child had just been born, and we wanted to the option of a home office)

Money

The next big question is about budget. There are two big questions here:

  1. How much do you want to pay each month to own and operate a healthy, safe home?
  2. How much money do have to design, consent, building and finish your project?

They’re both related. The more you borrow, the more your monthly expenses are going to be. The more you invest on good design, insulation and solar power, the less your monthly running costs are going to be.

As painful, boring or frustrating as it might be, it’s worth spending some time here. Most of the designers I speak to say that a client’s true budget is one of the hardest things to pin down. Knowing exactly how much money you’re wanting to spend and being honest about this upfront will save time money and disappointment by avoiding uneasy scope changes when you do start talking to a designer.

Read more at the excellent “Where do you start a sustainable house?.”

How to: Get resource consent

  

What’s it for?

A resource consent gives approval for things like the use or subdivision of land, the taking of water, the discharge of contaminants in water, soil or air, or the use or occupation of coastal space.

So you could say it’s to look after the resources that will support not only your home, but the area you live in.

How do you get it?

You write an application that says why your project falls within the bounds of the Resource Management Act and relevant local regulations and policies, and you pay a fee.

In practice, most people get someone else to do that for them and according to Dr Roger Blakeley (chief planning officer for Auckland Council) there is an “expectation that you would employ a professional” for this process.

But when I looked into it, it was going to cost between $10,000 and $15,000 to get someone to write our application, so I wrote it myself.

via How to: Get resource consent | Stuff.co.nz.

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.”

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!

Prefab | Modular | SIPS | Working Bee

  


Prefab | Modular | SIPS | Working Bee

Help us build a new home for Christchurch community organisations. Working bee this weekend [30 Nov and 1 Dec]. Sat 10-1, Sun 10-1, BBQ 1-3. 24 Walker St, CBD.Building using Structural Insulated Panels – workshop

Walker St Building Community – SHAC fromTim Bishop on Vimeo.

OPEN SOURCE: Overview
Specifications [Coming Soon]

Come help us make the Walker St Hub at 24 Walker st.
A new home for the following community organisations who want to help you realise your dream for your small business or social enterprise.

 

Sustainable Habitat Challenge 2013 – Call for Entries

  
Richard Horden "Beach Point" 1997

Richard Horden “Beach Point” 1997

Design a subconsent Surf Lifesaving Tower.

Two or more A3 sheets due 30 Aug 2013 12:00 noon.

Background

How are we going to live well, with purpose, with more community, and with less reliance on resources like materials and energy?

The SHAC Challenge is a way to learn about the building code, experiment with buildings, and to develop prototypes for our new built environment. We designers, engineers, architects, builders, and others will be creating our new built environment for the rest of our lives.

This challenge has entrants considering a a key future design need: structures that sit off of the ground, on potentially adjustable supports.  How is the structure anchored to the ground?  Are the anchors durable? When will the structure overturn?

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 building materials
* Promote living well, with purpose, and with less reliance on money and resources
* Promote creative responses that do not require a large budget

Design Requirements
* The building must not require building consent, as per the DBH discussion document.  Example exemptions (daawalls fences), (gadecks), (i10m2 buildings), (jveranda/patio/porch/awnings), (jb – pergola), (je – shade sail), (jf – carport), and (k – low cost / consequence).  Exemptions can be combined.
* The building will provide for use as a surf life saving tower. It may also provide other use(s) now or in the future.
* The building may make use of recycled building materials.
* The building may make use of solar energy: eg, passive solar, solar electric, or solar thermal technology.

Entry Requirements and Checklist

* Register for your number here
* Please email your submission to tim@shac.org.nz.
* Due Date – 30 Aug 2013 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
c) List the exemptions used from Schedule 1 of the building Act.
d) How the project will be supplied with any electrical power, and water, if needed.
* You may choose to include a sketchup file. Or photos of projects underway are acceptable.
* Please submit all files electronically to tim@shac.org.nz.
* Maximum size about 20MB per email.
* Submitted designs should be copyrighted under a Creative Commons license of your choice, suggested: “CC-Attribution” or “CC-Attribution-NonCommercial”
* Judging will take place in September-November.
* Best entries will be honoured with awards and prizes
* Submitted designs should be copyrighted by the author(s) under a Creative Commons license of your choice, suggested: “CC-Attribution” or “CC-Attribution-NonCommercial”* Questions can be sent to tim@shac.org.nz, and answers will be sent to all registered teams.
* 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!

8eccbbe79bfb202f35afbb465356ba2a

 

The Chair - Wilson and Hill Architects

The Chair – Wilson and Hill Architects

More on Surf Life Saving Towers from Surf Life Saving New Zealand >>> (PDF)

Help us advertise – please put up a poster for us:  A3-PDF, A4-PDF

2012 Entries >>>

Surf life saving tower and bouldering cave [2013-33]

  

Surf life saving tower and Recreational bouldering cave-2013-33-image-small
The aim of this project was to embody the essence of what it takes to be a life guard. Observation, Strength, and Endurance. To utilize the often wasted and forgotten space under the observation tower we have incorporated a recreational bouldering facility into our design. This also provides a suitable shaded area for emergencies and an excellent strength training facility for the life guards. The best thing a lifeguard can do is talk to the public on safety and keep them informed on beach conditions. Whilst this space encourages recreational use and the interaction between life guards and the public, we have separated it from the most important service of the life guard tower which is observation. The angle and projection of the walls on the tower and open roof immediately force the lifeguards to look out over the beach and onto the ocean. We have also made careful considerations for services and lockable storage facilities.
Surf life saving tower and Recreational bouldering cave-2013-33-A3 PDF

Surf Life Saving Towers

  

There are a range of surf lifeguard patrol towers currently in use throughout New Zealand, including:

· Patrol towers incorporated within clubhouse’s (e.g. Titahi Bay); these are typically rooms which protrude from the clubhouse. They are common where the clubhouse has been built on the active beach or foredune.

· Standalone fixed structures (e.g. Muriwai Beach); these are solid structures, which are often built into the foredune. They have typically been used where the clubhouse is situated a considerable distance back from the beach (as such have limited view of the beach).

· Semi-mobile structures (e.g. Takapuna Beach); these structures are placed on the beach, and are self-supporting. They have typically been used where there is a surf lifeguarding service, but no club or clubhouse. These towers are removed from the beach (via crane) and stored during the off-season.

· Mobile structures (e.g. Piha Beach); these are driven on/off the beach daily.

The key functional requirements and intended benefits differ with each type of patrol tower. The particular tower a club/surf lifeguard service choose will depend on the need of the service and the funding available.

There are a range of different designs for each type of patrol tower, with many different examples throughout New Zealand. Surf Life Saving clubs have traditionally engaged a designer and/or manufacturer to produce their tower based on their needs and requirements.

Intensive Urban Agriculture

  

I seem to get confused often by the word garden. I always think vegetables, but sometimes I later realise that people mean decorative gardens! When I was in Japan last month I specifically went to Kyoto because I heard it was called a garden city.

The Japanese were very hungry at the end of the second world war. Vast areas of the urban landscape had been destroyed. In the first 7 postwar years, three large earthquakes also contributed to the difficulties.

Intensive gardening and farming fills the suburban neighbourhoods of Kyoto. Groups of two and three story houses with private decorative gardens are surrounded by paddocks of vegetables and rice.

For a peppercorn rent, residents let a few furrows for their own use, or larger areas to sell to local shops.

The lack of fencing allows for small tractors and other machinery to be used and shared by many.

Kyoto is known for the garden city – for its decorative gardens – but I like the productive vegetable gardens.

Titahi Bay, Porirua City

  

Matthew ter Borg
Registered Architect
Box 30904
LOWER HUTT
(04)565-1119