Designing Comfortable Homes - 2nd edition

14 Oct 2010

Designing Comfortable Homes - 2nd Edition Released

The second edition of Designing Comfortable Homes has been launched by the Hon Maurice Williamson, Minister for Building and Construction.

“Good building design is key to improving the comfort and energy efficiency of our homes,” Mr Williamson said.  “I applaud the concrete industry for its efforts in bringing this to the fore in the updated edition of Designing Comfortable Homes.”

The revised book, commissioned by the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ), with assistance from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), is a guide to the basic principles of passive solar design as a means to ensure homes stay cool in summer and warm in winter.

Along with general guidance on solar design considerations, Designing Comfortable Homes also provides data on the expected performance of homes based around three different combinations of glass, mass and insulation.

“The concrete industry believes the energy efficiency and thermal comfort afforded through passive solar design is crucial to enhancing New Zealand’s housing stock and the quality of all our lives,” says CCANZ chief executive Rob Gaimster.

“Our health, and that of our families, can be enhanced, while the impact of the monthly power bill can be lessened, through what is in essence a very simple concept – passive solar design.”

The first edition of Designing Comfortable Homes was published in 2001, and since that time it has become a staple of all book collections within architectural and design practices. However, with recent changes to the Energy Efficiency clause of the Building Code, and the development of NZS 4218, the thermal insulation standard, CCANZ decided it was time for this valuable resource to be updated.

“The premise of this book is that homes can be naturally warm in winter and cool in summer – provided appropriate combinations of glass, concrete’s thermal mass and insulation are used,” says Gaimster.

“Passive solar design principles are not only essential for good home design, but they are also easy to understand. We encourage architects, designers, builders and their clients to embrace these simple concepts in order to achieve much more comfortable and energy efficient homes.”

Alongside Mr Williamson, leading New Zealand architect and concrete advocate Ian Athfield also spoke at the launch, held at Mojo Coffee Central in Wellington on October 13.  Hon Phil Heatley, Minister for Housing, and representatives from professions across the construction sector also attended the event.