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Duncan Firth posted a blog post

‘Low energy houses for the NZ climate ’.

Not until the 1950’s with the wide spread development of roads, global infrastructure ,fossil fuel distribution, and industrialisation were we able to turn our backs on the sun and wind as providers of light, heat and air for the houses and buildings we occupy. As a consequence, in just a few decades we have experienced an exponential growth in consumption of natural resources, production of pollution and waste. Fortunately, for New Zealand 60% of energy required to run our country comes from…See More
Mar 14, 2011
Duncan Firth is now a member of Sustainable Habitat Construction
Mar 14, 2011

Profile Information

How would I like to participate in SHAC?
As an Architect, To Participate in Design Review, To give a lecture
About Me:
Duncan brings together a broad range of experiences ranging from interior design, house design, commercial building design, resort design, embassy design and master planning. Having worked on projects throughout China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and New Zealand he is able to offer clients a unique background of international and life experiences. A strong conviction for sustainable design, people, economy and beauty inform each project he works on.
My Vision for Sustainable Living
Solarei, Design by Nature, was founded on the philosophy that sustainability should govern how we design buildings. This idea then becomes the beginning point of our discussion about design.
By designing buildings that respond to the local climates, many resources can be saved or used more efficiently. The way this is achieved is by using passive design principles which use sun and wind for natural heating and cooling.

Passive solar and passive cooling design principles maximize the benefits of good orientation to sun and wind in temperate climates. By designing homes which trap radiant energy (the suns heat) in thermal mass (concrete) we are able to sufficiently heat a house naturally over winter. During summer time we design for natural ventilation and passive cooling. A passive solar home can reduce it’s energy consumption by up to 40%. This will be higher for some home owners who really commit to the principles of energy efficiency.

Passive cooling design principles use natural air flow, reduced sunlight, natural materials and optimise shade in tropical climates. Correctly orientating houses to prevailing winds and preventing extreme solar penetration into homes becomes fundamental. The use of shade becomes extremely important through use of correct eaves design, feature walls, cooling ponds and local indigenous plants to shade houses.

Commercial projects begin by proposing an environmental design strategy to clients that works with the economic nature of the project and practical application of sustainable design ideas.

Other aspects of sustainability we focus on are material selection and correctly understanding the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ life-cycle processes of all materials used to construct houses and buildings.

We work on projects throughout Australasia and Asia.

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Duncan Firth's Blog

‘Low energy houses for the NZ climate ’.

Posted on March 14, 2011 at 22:22 0 Comments

Not until the 1950’s with the wide spread development of roads, global infrastructure ,fossil fuel distribution, and industrialisation were we able to turn our backs on the sun and wind as providers of light, heat and air for the houses and buildings we occupy. As a consequence, in just a few decades we have experienced an exponential growth in consumption of natural resources, production of pollution and waste. Fortunately, for New Zealand 60% of energy required to run our country comes…

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Comment Wall (2 comments)

At 0:23 on March 14, 2011, Tim Bishop said…

Welcome, Duncan.

-Tim

At 0:23 on March 14, 2011, Tim Bishop said…
Do you have any concept images that you could link to here?

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