Architecture

$100,000 for a freakin’ curtain in a library, look no further for evidence of waste in Len Brown’s council

Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council have got us ratepayers into a dark, deep financial hole of debt.

How on earth can Auckland Council justify spending $100,000 of ratepayer money on a silk curtain for the new Devonport Library?

What? Yep, don’t believe me, read for yourself.

image003 Read more »

If tax breaks are good for one sector why not others?

Labour decided that wood was a winner…and have proposed tax breaks to assist the industry.

The proposal excited no one except tribal Labour sycophants.

It has also managed to upset other sectors who are asking why not them? And they have a good point.

The ‘pro-wood’ policy announced by Labour at yesterday’s Forestwood conference is unfair because it disadvantages other building materials, says the body representing New Zealand’s diverse metals industries, Metals NZ.

Gary Hook, Metals NZ Chief Executive, says Labour’s policy is picking winners, rather than letting the market decide on the best solution.

“The idea that new government-funded buildings up to four-storeys high must consider wood as a building option undermines the technical expertise of structural engineers, architects and quantity surveyors.

“These professional advisers are the best people to evaluate the most suitable building materials based on the desired product performance and commercial outcomes for a particular project – not the government.”

The policy also feels like a step backwards to the days of more red tape, says Mr Hook.

“Forcing a wood option to be considered for all government-funded projects at the design stage is inefficient because it will simply add paperwork, delays and ultimately more cost to building projects.”  Read more »

All those years of teaching wets, of course it’s damp!

Surely it must come as now surprise that 3 houses at Auckland University that were the home of political studies were damp. They’ve spent decades teaching a bunch of wets, I’m surprised there isn’t an ocean lurking inside the buildings.

Anne Gibson reports:

Fehl said the political studies department had occupied the houses for some years but problems arose.

“There were various issues with the buildings for a long time but the work was triggered by the need to do seismic strengthening. At the same time, we had issues around dampness and the basements below street level needed remediation,” he said.  Read more »

Cladding firms in the gun at last

Policy Parrot says:

Finally the wheels start trundling around in the lead up to proceedings against the big cladding manufacturers.

This case is a test case and will utterly redefine the leaking building saga. Until now it has been a case of slippery avoidance by product manufacturers who have fingered all in sundry for applying the materials incorrectly or inspecting shoddy work.

This Parrot however has always thought it odd that products appeared to be dodging the bullet. Surely if universally houses and buildings that leaked were clad in similar products – and in a large portion the same products – an issue exists with the cladding systems.

Surely not every single builder, developer and Council can have shortcut procurement methodology, conducted inappropriate inspections and or cocked it up?

It’s simply too fanciful to have everyone – the good and bad – at fault. Particularly when using the same product.

Because the common denominator is actually the product.   Read more »

Rise of the Green-empire

Photo/ NZGBC Facebook

Photo/ NZGBC Facebook

Policy Parrot says:

Green buildings are a farce.

Firstly green buildings are championed by an industry that is self promoting and eager to grow. These businesses have ingenuously attached their ideas and products to the notion ‘green’ and with a powerful lobby convinced everyone that building sustainable buildings are required to save the planet.

Utter cods-wallop and trite.

In New Zealand we have the Green Building Council. It offers services including certification for office buildings in the form of a star rating from 3-6 stars depending on how many points a building earns after evaluation. The cost for this ‘certificate’ is $100-150,000.

The Green Building Council is under threat from other similar rating organisations that have arrived or about to arrive from overseas and who will offer rival rating systems for building owners. Competition. Which system is better and who says any of them mean anything? Aren’t these organisations simply spruiker’s capitalising on the modern day popular trend?

Lets be clear – this is a rating industry masquerading under the banner ‘green’. It’s making loads of money selling certificates to building owners so that they in turn can sell or lease buildings to tenants who think (but don’t know) that the buildings are somehow better for the environment and lower costs.

But where is the proof?     Read more »

Green Failures, Ctd

The unfolding record of disastrous Green policies almost defies belief.

Whenever the Green movement gets its hands on the levers of power, it drives nations deeper into trouble.

Ethanol – Fail.   Electric cars – Fail..  Carbon Trading – Fail.  Windmills – Fail.

And now home insulation – Fail.

Several German studies show that insulated homes consume more rather than less energy. These findings are especially significant because the German Federal Government plans to further tighten energy saving regulations.

Insulation does not always reduce heating energy demand in residential buildings. Its application can in fact increase the consumption of oil and gas. This is the result of a number of studies. The results raise the question whether the Federal Government’s green energy transition may fail in its objectives.

Particularly explosive is a recently rediscovered study by the IBP Institute for Building Physics  of the Fraunhofer Institute. Based on an detailed comparative analysis, scientists at the research institute in Stuttgart established in 1985 that, given average winter temperatures of minus four degrees Celsius, the use of insulating does not reduce heating energy consumption; compared to house with solid walls it rather pushes up energy consumption. 

“The expensive facade insulation is useless and even leads to rising heating costs,” says architect Konrad Fischer. The insulation critic from Hochstadt am Main has found the Fraunhofer paper again which was lost for decades.

According to the study, the fact that insulating materials do not meet the expectations placed upon them it is due to a simple physical law: massive walls can retain solar  warmth and radiate the heat into the interior spaces until late in the evening, even in winter. With insulated houses, however, this is not possible because of the thick plastic insulation covering the outer walls. As a result, “the interior is at no time supplied with heat”, the researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute already recognised 27 years ago.

How the hell is this a heritage building?

Stuff.co.nz

Heritage? Really?

The heritage building was built in the late 1950s and is listed for protection on the council’s district plan.

Though the facade is corroding and a safety risk, the building is otherwise structurally sound, according to engineers.