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Latest Forum Posts

Author Post

14 posts
Posted Yesterday, 9:27 AM
More infomation at

14 posts
Posted Yesterday, 9:26 AM
Listen to Passive House experts from around the globe. Get a one day introduction into Passive Houses beforehand (Passive House Primer), or get burning questions answered by an expert panel (Passive House Clinic), sail the Hauraki Gulf with fellow Passivistas and enjoy a sumptuous dinner at a Waiheke vineyard, take the ferry to Beachlands to explore a Passive House. All concentrated on one weekend in February 2015 - not to be missed!

14 posts
Posted Yesterday, 9:24 AM
Topics often confused are vapour tightness and air tightness. skamp is correct in saying that the importance of vapour tightness is tied to temperature differences. Diffusion (vapour) however is a secondary consideration. The moisture load transported by convection far exceeds the fraction that diffuses through materials. However: for an air barrier or a vapour barrier to be useful with regard to preventing moisture build-up in cavities, it needs to be on the warm side of the construction. The warm air has the ability to keep H2O suspended in air, where it will be harmless. If the vapour gets to the cold side, however, it is likely to become liquid. Yes, this is more of a danger in cold climates, but as soon as you insulate well, i.e. make your external layers colder, this is a concern. The RAB board helps with preventing wind-wash, and is useful for that reason, but a building wrap, properly installed, will do the same.

1 posts
Posted 12 Dec 14 8:29 AM
yes there are underlays on the market that are suitable for underfloor heating. they are 6.10 mm thick and vary for .50 to .75 tog ratings which gives the R values of .050 to .075.
obviously the total rating for efficiency is also determined by the carpet you put over it.

3 posts
Posted 12 Dec 14 8:00 AM
See how we make sewage system

3 posts
Posted 12 Dec 14 7:56 AM
See how we make sewage system

3 posts
Posted 12 Dec 14 7:14 AM
Get rid of bad smell sewerage


1 posts
Posted 12 Dec 14 3:32 AM
Check out for infrared heaters

1 posts
Posted 11 Dec 14 8:39 PM
We have a small (108sqm) 1920s bungalow we are about to start renovating.
After the house is insulated, I want to install radiator heaters. But I’m having trouble deciding how to heat the water for the radiators.

We have gas on the street, although we are not connected. I really like the idea of a pellet boiler that could sit in the garage, and do all our water heating, but I am amazed how expensive pellets are, and how quickly they have gone up in price ($717t in wellington).

What are peoples thoughts?

1 posts
Posted 11 Dec 14 9:32 AM
Does anyone know any electrician in Auckland who can install Solar PV system – install only? We buy a complete Solar PV system kit by ourselves.

After done some research, Solar PV system in NZ are relatively still expensive because of the middle man who imports them from overseas.
I am thinking to buy and import the system from overseas and ask a local registered electrician to install it for us.

According to my research, if we import the full system by ourselves , the cost (including freight + GST) – excluding the installation:

- Chinese brand, import from china : 1 W = NZD 1.00 NZ – NZD 1.50

- Branded products ( Invereter: SMA, enphase, Solar Panel: yingli , Trina, Canadian) , import from Australia or US: 1 W = NZD 2.00 – NZD 3.00

Of course there are some risks doing this – warranty claim in the future , etc

Has anyone thought about this ? Is it worthed doing this ?

89 posts
Posted 9 Dec 14 7:40 AM
The tricky thing with this type of load is that you don't want to be flicking the heatpump on/off rapidly as the PV generation varies.

I have something which pulses my HWC element if PV generation exceeds usage, based on the great work done over at

It is Arduino based and monitors the feed from/to the grid, and whenever it goes negative, i.e. exporting to the grid, it begins switching my HWC element on/off quickly to bring the grid feed back to zero.

Works pretty well, and I have it hooked up to my home automation system so that it is only enabled after 150kWh of PV has been exported each month - since I am with Merdian and get 25c/kWh for the first 150.

1 posts
Posted 8 Dec 14 10:48 PM
I never faced this type of problem because I am hiring water heater maintenance company like all week heating( for regular maintenance of water heater.

9 posts
Posted 8 Dec 14 8:39 PM
The 18 doors/windows are:
entry door 2150x1410. alu door side light + cat door
lounge 2150x600 non-opening
lounge 2150x600 non-opening
lounge 2400x2150 slider
dining 2600x1350 2 opening
dining 1800x2150 slider
living 2600x1350 2 opening
living 2400x2150 slider
master 2600x1350 2 opening
ensuite 1200x1050 opening obscured
wardrobe 500x1350 opening
laundry door,window 2000x1450
bathroom 1200x1050 1 opening obscure
bedroom 2,3 2100x1350 2 opening
bedroom 2,3 2100x1350 2 opening
bedroom 4 1350x1200 1 opening 2 pane
garage 600x2000 non opening single glaze
garage 600x2000 non opening single glaze

These builder supplied windows come in at $21k inc fitting. The local uPVC supplier quoted the budget range at about $30k equivalent. I got a rival aluminium quote and it was the same as the builders.

According to online data the uPVC provides a step up from R0.31 to R0.36. We could get Low-e glazing in aluminium frames to about R0.4 (?) for around $2.5k extra, though I am wary of visual clarity. This is still cheaper than uPVC so it depends on how much you want to pay for the more useful opening style.

I am from the UK so know a bit about uPVC and was serious about upgrading but at the end of the day the whole house project has a lot of costs and we have a budget to stick to so it wasn't deemed enough value-add in the relatively mild climate.

Our last house was 5 years old with single glazed aluminium and with gas central and water heating our elec/gas bills were no more than $3000 per year. If thermally broken alu reduced that by 20% to $2400, I doubt uPVC would drop it by much more than another $200 per year. These are unscientific numbers but on a $2400 bill it would need to be a $1000 a year reduction to justify the additional cost with a 10 year payback.

The new house also has uprated wall/ceiling insulation and a wood burner so will be even better than the old house.

And lastly, silver window frames suited our colour scheme far better than white. :-)


34 posts
Posted 7 Dec 14 4:55 PM
I know a builder who claimed he would install NZ style aluminium windows in a huge house for 1400.- plus Gst.
The owner of the project wanted to use European style timber-aluminum joinery for which the installation was about 9 K which is very realistic if the installation is done correctly.
Aluminium windows are often just banged in with some nails, not plumb, not straight and no properly working draft seal around.
The owner went still for the timber/aluminium and later he found out that the builder shuffled the costs around to make the NZ "standard" aluminium joinery look much cheaper.
Like I said most builders are somewhat obsessed with aluminum joinery no matter how poor the performance is. And at smoko time and with customers they are fast to tell the fairy tales about any European joinery (especially uPVC) the aluminium joiners and their suppliers love to spread.

42 posts
Posted 7 Dec 14 3:01 PM
I got quotes from post, but hvc and 1 aluminum company and prices were $27K TO $35k aluminium at $27k the PVC company we went with was $31k. That $31k gives us tilt and turn, and LowE and argon gas. the aluminum was none thermally broken standard glass. Heat savings from the windows are 85watts per Deg.

to give you and idea. going r2.8 wall batts over r1.8 gives a heat saving of 29watts per Deg.

Dan $8k install seems a bit much. as it seems I got more yet paid less in installation. also how much was the builder going to charge to install aluminum windows

34 posts
Posted 7 Dec 14 12:08 PM
How many windows and doors for 21 K ?
I would say that good uPVC windows cost more but it is not extra cost. It is the realistic cost for windows which perform well in strong wind, come with good and functional hardware and good thermal insulation/ The "thermally broken" aluminium is cheaper due to many cut corners in hardware, performance and the way it is installed. And most builders have a blind love affair with aluminium windows without really considering the performance.

9 posts
Posted 7 Dec 14 8:35 AM
Not much help to you but I've had a quote from CHNZ in Wellington for underfloor heating, just based off the plan of a new build. They responded well but in your case I too would be hesitant to deal with someone so unprofessional - it is a big financial commitment.

What has surprised me in the process of building a house is that so many other companies have not even bothered to respond to requests for quotes, from house builders to underfloor heating, windows, flooring, septic systems...

These are all big budget items so I can only think that they have enough work on not to need to quote!

9 posts
Posted 7 Dec 14 8:20 AM
Regarding uPVC windows, I am doing a new build which has double glazed aluminium as standard spec. I got quotes for thermally broken aluminium - around $21k fitted by the builder. The best quote for uPVC was $22k excluding fitting, which turned into $30k delivered and fitted - the builder and I agreed they need specialist fitment. The windows do have extra functionality but the extra cost couldn't be justified in the Wellington climate.

1 posts
Posted 6 Dec 14 8:31 PM
Hi All,

We intend to install central heating in our 1930s villa during this coming summer. After some initial research, including this forum, I decided to contact Central Heating NZ for a design and quote. I had formed the view that CHNZ were probably the foremost central heating specialist company in NZ. I am now wondering if my view was flawed.

I sent CHNZ a sketch of the floor plan with room volumes and window areas but not actual LxWxH dimensions. I had also included details of house construction, insulation, floor coverings etc. All of this was provided because I asked for a range of price that I could expect the project to fall between before asking them to visit the site. Subsequently a site visit was agreed.

The heating assessor, for want of a term, arrived without a tape measure and also asked for the paper copy of the house sketch I had drawn up because he had not printed it out. He also asked that I send the actual room dimensions, which I did following his visit.

During the tour he asked where we wanted radiators and boiler positioned. These being noted with minor comment. We also discussed concurrently replacing the DHW which I had previously raised. There were no discussions regarding radiator style or positioning i.e. why a particular radiator should be positioned so.

A quote for the project was emailed to me the next day. I was impressed with the prompt turnaround. However now having had time to digest what I received I am no longer impressed.

The quote consists of a list of major components, the payment terms and total price excluding any electrical work. The second page in considerable detail contains their terms and conditions some of which are totally unreasonable including their total reliance on my sketch drawing and dimensions.
The price quoted is $2,000 above the top of the range they provided prior to us agreeing a site visit. This in itself is not overly important but could be indicative of the type of company I am dealing with.

What is not included:
Project timescale, including milestones when progress payment are to be made.
A plan of property depicting component positioning including pipe runs.
Any explanations of why particular radiator models were chosen for various rooms and their positioning within rooms.

The heating assessor may well be a competent plumber/gasfitter but did not strike me as a ”heating engineer”. Am I expecting too much from what I thought was NZs foremost central heating specialist company?

Comments from forum members would be appreciated. Particularly those forum members who have used CHNZ to design, quote and install their systems.



1 posts
Posted 5 Dec 14 8:32 PM
Hi Mark, I think what you are doing is is great. I can't seem to get your you tube video working and wondered if you can get me it by some other means?

My email is

Thanks :-)

1 posts
Posted 30 Nov 14 7:25 PM
The Genuine Aquatron is not sold in NZ yet through any distributors.
The rip off unit from is not the real deal.
Its a piece of shit and completely unethical for these guys to be doing what they are doing.

66 posts
Posted 30 Nov 14 9:18 AM
Of interest to those with solar installations (or future intents) this AVAAZ petition directed at the NZ Electricity Authority:

14 posts
Posted 27 Nov 14 8:51 PM
Thanks for the update

17 posts
Posted 27 Nov 14 11:29 AM
In the latest software update from APS they raised the max power output from the YC500 from 270w to 300W per inverter channel. This means that I can now utilize the peak output from my 300W panels.

Note that the EMA software currently only displays 280W max per channel in the performance graphs but the ECU displays up to 300W output per channel.

14 posts
Posted 27 Nov 14 12:02 AM
Thats a really good result. I was told to expect about half that output on a good day with that size array.

Do you think you are generating that much more with the 300w to be cost effective over the 260w panels?

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