Weatherboard – Bored or not, it hardly matters whether…..

The superficiality of any building is immediately apparent in its cladding. When weatherboards are the cladding of choice, the next decision is direction – horizontal, vertical or slanted? Within the parameters of direction, there are a variety of possibilities, and materials, but this article will be on timber. Horizontally speaking………. A word on shingles…………busy! Another […]

Gutters and Downpipes – Sustainability Meets Design

I sold building materials for a long time – wouldn’t mind having a dollar for every time I was asked for a bigger gutter. Apart from bragging rights, this is of almost no use. There is a series of ratios that connect roof area with average storm surges, with gutter size and the availability of […]

It’s called a BED room!

  It is a room for a bed – it’s been put aside for sleeping (there may be other more vigorous activities euphemistically referred to as sleeping as well, but this is a discussion for another forum). The dining room is for dining The lounge room is for lounging The living room is for ……….living? […]

Pergolas – Could Life Be Any Sweeter?

Pergolas can be roofed or open – the difference between a roofed pergola attached to a house and a verandah is marginal (for me it’s just an issue of floor height) so this article  will only address the open or unroofed type. So why would you go to the trouble and expense of erecting an […]

Arresting the Course of Damp

It’s a somewhat ironic name – “damp-course” – when it’s actually meant to stop damp. Of course it’s really just one of those eccentricities of the English language – course meaning layer rather than course meaning way, and when I say way, I don’t mean whey as in milk or weigh as in mass but […]

Foundations (or……You’ve Got To Start Somewhere…)

You know you’re getting serious when a building starts to “come out of the ground”. So this is during the more facetious part of the build – the period before seriousness sets in. As I’ve mentioned before, there is a growing realisation amongst building designers that the majority of the buildings they design will not […]

Should All Roofs Be Green?

The Austrian city of Linz requires green roofs on all new residential and commercial buildings with rooftops larger than 100m2 Don’t laugh – if you live in the great and wonderful land of Aus, decisions are made daily that affect every inhabitant  in a building that has a grass roof. The City of Sydney is […]

Thermal Mass not Thermal Mess

This is a tricky one – the phrase “thermal mass” gets bandied around quite shamelessly. This topic follows naturally from last weeks piece on eaves. Thermal mass can be good and it can be bad – consider bricks on a Western wall that have been baking in the summer sun all afternoon, and at 10pm […]