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The Ecobob Cafe is for people interested in eco living to socialise and to share ideas and information.
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Building design, construction and renovations Last post Posts
This forum is for topics relating to eco friendly building design, construction and renovations.
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Topics in this forum relate to sustainable real estate and sustainable property development. 273 Posts

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This forum is for discussions on World Environment Day. What are you, or your organisation, doing for World Environment Day? Do you know of any activities happening around the country for World Environment Day? 81 Posts

Latest Forum Posts

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6 posts
Posted Yesterday, 8:12 PM
I got excited to view Pyroclassic's website, after having seen the woodburner in the shop, and growing up in Europe with wood burners which were hot for days, and large and fantastic, this pyroclassic is my first choice.Why going for anything else? But now I am unsure. We will build a very small house, i.e. 60m2 or so, and we more worried that it will be too hot in there, since we will insulate well too, plus having passive heat with perfect sunny aspect. Would love to hear from somebody who uses pyroclassic in a small new house, and would love to hear more about this problems of water running down too. We only burn, as we learnt over seas, 3-4year old wood, which was SPLIT 3 years plus, not just stored in large logs. so should be fine with moisture contents.

1 posts
Posted Yesterday, 1:12 PM

Wondering if anyone could give me some feedback/recommendations.

I am in Canterbury and have a single aluminium glazed house (brick approx 11-12yrs old) that is cries with condensation in the winter but incredibly hot in the summer. I am looking for something that will reduce/eliminate the condensation in my house. I am looking for an unbiased opinion on what would be best.

If anyone has a similar house and found a way to reduce said condesation your feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks heaps!

2 posts
Posted 23 Jul 14 10:25 PM

Recently i started dealing in providing power plant management services. I would like to know the problems that are associated with professional power project management services.

Please discuss here the basic issues that are associated with professional power project.


2 posts
Posted 23 Jul 14 10:25 PM

Recently i started dealing in providing power plant management services. I would like to know the problems that are associated with professional power project management services.

Please discuss here the basic issues that are associated with <a href=>professional power project</a>.

5 posts
Posted 23 Jul 14 9:12 PM
The project is a microhydro design for a Boyle River Camp in Lewis Pass. The hydraulic design has already be completed and our group will be completing the electrical design, including specing a generator, electrical protection and solar integration. I can't think of any way for you to follow the project. It will mostly be electrical specifications and standards anyway.

5 posts
Posted 23 Jul 14 8:18 PM
That's great idea thanks . Is there any way of watching the progress of the project you do ? I enjoy this type of thing.

1 posts
Posted 23 Jul 14 12:46 PM
I am building a new house and trying to figure out the best option for water heating - essentially the choice between solar hot water or hot water heat pump. At some point down the line (when funds allow!) I also want to install PV. Also considering adding on a wetback to the wood burner (although this adds approx $1000 to the cost, so not sure if that is better invested in e.g. PV).

We're a small household - me and my 4 year old son, so we won't use all that much water and I'd read that efficiency of HWHP drop off at low usage rates (but would that matter if it was powered by PV anyway?!).

Our average electricity consumption (with an old poorly insulated electric HWC) is 2000 kWh/year, so imagine in the new house our consumption would be less.

At the moment I am going round in circles, from one option to the other - any advice would be much appreciated!

4 posts
Posted 23 Jul 14 8:23 AM
Yep, Thats what I did: UV steriliser
So far , very good.

6 posts
Posted 23 Jul 14 7:23 AM
If you want to gasket off your plugs, just use a bead of clear silicone either behind or around the plug unit. Youll have to cut it off if you want to get in there but itll give you your desired result. Use of a painters mate will ensure your silicone bead is invisible.

6 posts
Posted 23 Jul 14 7:18 AM
Buy a UV steriliser and put it in line . Or alteratively set up a loop into your tank with a pump and run that. The bulb is like 9-20w fluorescent and the pump would use 10-20w too.

6 posts
Posted 23 Jul 14 7:09 AM
just use magroc. it gives you the eps and is a Structurally insulated panel its already on the market.

5 posts
Posted 22 Jul 14 10:21 PM
Well since your aim is heating water, solar thermal is most likely the better option. In most conditions solar thermal is significantly more efficient than solar PV (50% vs. 15%). This depends on what part of the country you're in, the average temperatures and sunshine hours.

6 posts
Posted 22 Jul 14 9:26 PM
Hi ive got a house already part finished with hydronic in floor, air source water heatpump, some PV + some solar water (both not installed yet) and am trying to work out whether filling the roof with PV or water panels is the better idea. I was planning on using a large water mass coupled with solar and heatpump to provide heat for floor. If you want a test case to model ...

119 posts
Posted 22 Jul 14 7:11 PM
I use old cotton sheets, with a piece of rope on each corner to tie them down. Longest period we did this was 9 weeks, HWC was around 40c afterwards.


82 posts
Posted 22 Jul 14 5:01 PM
Hmm, I've built twice now and used RAB board once and 12mm ply on the second build, and it's not uncommon to see this in builds around Wellington these days.. especially in more exposed sites (the 7mm ecoply barrier product seems popular).

No one I ever spoke to was ever concerned about moisture - everyone generally thought it was a great idea for the obvious reasons/benefits. From what I understand in climates with more extreme temps (hot or cold) then moisture is a potential issue hence the need for vapour barriers. There are probably more qualified contributers on this forum who can speak to that.

Anyway, we went with traditional wrap over 12mm c-grade ply over 140mm framing and would do it again in a flash. No moisture issues at all after three years in the place, it's as dry as a bone.

1 posts
Posted 22 Jul 14 2:11 PM
Hi we are just starting to look at designing a cheap retirement house and are looking for all options of low cost heating . Forgive my ignorance but what sort of system do you have and what exactly does it coat for outlay, number of people ongoing costs . Thanks in advance

14 posts
Posted 22 Jul 14 2:11 PM
Thanks Skamp, we we minimising the powerpoints on external walls, we have talked about having airtight powerpoints but a whole house approach make more sense to me. I am assuming any moisture in the walls would be any that does somehow escape into the wall void, and also from the framing etc. I have heard that the airtight section should be on the 'warm' side of the insulation, so if the RAB is on the external side maybe there is condensation that occurs? Physics which is beyond me I think! Thanks again.

82 posts
Posted 22 Jul 14 1:19 PM
Without a rigid barrier, air moving through your walls will rob your walls of their ability to insulate. Your builder effectively admits this will happen when he says that he'll ensure that the plastering is airtight. What about powerpoints, will they be airtight too? Why does he think moisture will form in your walls?

My advice is if you can afford it then do it. It's your home, your money and you won't regret it. Using a thicker decent quality ply (suggest 9mm minimum) will also add considerable bracing to the structure.

1 posts
Posted 22 Jul 14 12:34 PM
Has anyone had any success in feeding the PV DC directly into the HWC. I have had this working for the last 4 months, but would love to know if anyone has a MPPT unit and monitoring that would work with this system.

96 posts
Posted 22 Jul 14 10:20 AM
Our house will be empty for a few weeks over summer and so will be no hot water drawoff.
We have evacuated tube SHW and I am considering covering the tubes with a reflective fabric. Has anyone done something like this in an attempt to keep the temperature down? Thanks.

14 posts
Posted 21 Jul 14 9:08 PM
Hi there, we are going to be building in Nelson, not in a high wind zone but in an area with a cold katabatic wind that swoops down the hill of a morning, hence it is termed to be in the 'frost free mile'. We will have 90mm timber framing, R2.8 Bradford Gold insulation in the walls and 2 layers of insulation laid perpendicular to each other in the ceiling to R4.5 (stopping thermal bridge through the trusses). Rockcote EPS cladding adds some more insulation, although there is some linea weatherboard in other areas.
Should we have a rigid air barrier? My research says yes, but the builder says they will ensure the internal plastering etc will be very airtight, and the building paper will allow any moisture out. He is concerned about moisture getting trapped in the framing with a RAB. Also the cost is a factor, he reckons the cost involve won't improve the house performance significantly.
Any thoughts?
Thanks, Sarah

5 posts
Posted 19 Jul 14 10:43 PM
Unfortunately we have received a community microhydro project from elsewhere. Though I could probably provide some advice on your project (or anyone else who wants help) in my free time. Take any advice as simply a guide however, as I am not yet qualified.

1 posts
Posted 19 Jul 14 4:40 PM
Hi there, I am hoping to put together the following system: PV panels --> Ground source heat pump --> Underfloor Heating + Domestic hot water.
Heat storage or electricity storage to allow 24 hr operation.
Let me know if you would be interested and I can provide you with more details.



8 posts
Posted 19 Jul 14 2:12 PM
I am interested in exploring an alternate construction method as outlined in but I have to consider other options as this may not prove feasible so I would like your input on other methods of construction. SIP's? What is the best value way to insulate a suspended wooden floor? Warm Roof v Cold Roof insulation?

The situation is as follows. I am looking to build a 150sqm to 170sqm single level house on an east-west orientated section on Waiheke Island so orientation for passive solar design is good as well as for cross-ventilation given the prevailing winds. The proposed house site has a contour ranging from 0m at either end to -1m over the majority of the length so a suspended floor is the most likely option, trying to avoid too much in the way of earthworks. Site access is good. I want 1m eaves all around as it will increase the available area for rainwater catchment (no reticulated water supply) without impacting the building coverage allowed under the regulations. My preference is for a flat roof for styling reasons but I will consider a low pitched hip roof or a skillion roof. Ceilings are to be 2.7m or 3m. Good insulation is important, not just to Code level and I love a fire so a wood-burning stove is on the cards for additional heating when needed. The less additional systems I need to install/maintain the better. With great insulation, heating should not be a big issue but some overheating is possible in the summer which I would prefer to solve with good cross-ventilation, the 1m eaves, pergolas, planting and ceiling fans. Double glazing is on the cards but not uPVC, it's a styling thing.

The budget is not unlimited but expenditure is possible if it makes sense as I am not looking to move. I like the idea of quick erection methods to reduce the total build time but it is not critical.

8 posts
Posted 19 Jul 14 1:15 PM
Thanks for all the input Rex. I have been doing a lot of reading here and around the internet this week and I agree that I need to focus on the key area which is the building envelope rather than some of the ancillary systems. I have also been considering other construction options if this does not prove feasible. SIP's are quite enticing.

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