Category Archives: R&D

Research and Development

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.”

SHAC Micro-Challenge – “Sustainable” office chair

  

A Sustainable Office Chair? $200 cash prize!

David McKay makes a convincing argument that 40% of our total energy use goes to make the products that we buy.

Announcing a SHAC Micro-Challenge – The “Sustainable Office Chair”

Please submit your sketch or photo of your practical and comfortable Sustainable Office Chair.

Is it one made from natural materials, or a durable and repairable chair that lasts for many years, or one made from entirely recycled products, or hand made, or made by a machine like a 3D printer, or a chair that is made from starch and dissolves when wet?

Judging: Chair must be practical, comfortable, suitable for your office, and “sustainable”

Please supply a photo or sketch and a short description, how to make the chair, and how is the chair “sustainable” – that is – supporting living well, with purpose, and with less reliance on resources.

Please email your submissions to tim@shac.org.nz by the 24 October 2012.  $200 cash prize for the best submission.  Other prizes too! The judges decision is final.  The best submissions will be exhibited publically.

SHAC Chair Challenge Poster [PDF]

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

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