Monthly Archives: March 2015

Register for Paradigm Shift and WIN!


Our highly-anticipated CPD event is back in Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington, Christrchurch, and Queenstown this May! Architects, Designers, Engineers, BCA’s, and other Industry Professionals are invited to join us the third annual Paradigm Shift.

You’ll enjoy personal insights from our international keynote speaker, London-based Architect Usman Haque, who will discuss the array of award-winning responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and mass-participation initiatives he has designed and engineered across the globe.

15 NZRAB / 2.5 ADNZ / 2.5 LBP CPD Points are available, dates and venues as below:

04 May – TAURANGA – Mills Reef Winery (with free bus from Hamilton)
05 May – AUCKLAND – Shed 10
06 May – WELLINGTON – Te Papa
07 May – CHRISTCHURCH – Cardboard Cathedral
08 May – QUEENSTOWN – Jack’s Point (with free bus from Dunedin)

You’ll also learn about the latest technology and products from our industry-leading Event Partner’s displays and rapid-fire presentations, enjoy complimentary drinks and canapés, plus take home a goodie bag and fantastic door prizes like Nespresso coffee machines, food + wine hampers, luxury weekend trips, limited edition prints + much more!

To get in the spirit of giving away awesome prizes, we are gifting 5 copies of ADNZ’s beautiful defign magazine to 5 lucky readers THIS WEEK!

To be in to win, follow these 2 simple steps:

1. Register for an event via the Paradigm Shift website

2. ‘Like’ the Productspec Facebook page

Complete this in the next week and you’re in the draw to win! Winners contacted directly and announced on the Productspec Facebook page on Thursday 26 March. Already registered for the event and follow us on Facebook? Fantastic, you’re already in the draw – good luck!

We look forward to seeing you at Paradigm Shift in 6 weeks’ time!

– Team Productspec + Smartspec


Intelligent Agents


Over the course of the year we’ll be featuring a series of articles by Christopher Welch on emerging and interesting trends in digital architecture, complementing and expanding on topics explored in talks given around New Zealand.

Nature is full of examples of complex behaviour emerging out of the actions of simple organisms. Fish forming into bait-balls to confuse predators, and birds flocking together to lower wind shear are both examples of this phenomenon. Agent-based simulation modelling techniques can be a useful way of developing emergent forms and structures. These kinds of simulations are very common inside the movie industry, used to simulate large crowds of people, battles, and other complex scenes. While academics and architects have experimented with agent simulation to address a wide range of areas across the architectural field, in this post I want to highlight the potential of using these techniques to develop an approach to aligning digital fabrication with physical realities and closely linking buildability and designer intent.

Continue reading

De-risk your build and exceed H1 compliance – every time!


Company: ARIDON

The ARIDON® SMART WALL system is a continuous layer of interlocking, rigid panels that wrap around the building frame, to form a weatherproof thermal shell.  This shell acts as an intelligent control layer for the building – managing rain, air, vapour and heat movement through the building envelope. This concept is recognised by international experts as “The Perfect Wall”- as it is the best way to minimise building envelope failure and provide a healthier, more energy efficient and sustainable building.

Typically 20-25% of each wall in New Zealand buildings is made up of framing.  Modern buildings are around 33% and up to 50%– that’s a lot of heat loss through the framing!

That is like imagining one in every four walls is solid timber. Heat flow through a wall, will always take the path of least resistance – any time the insulation is interrupted (such as dwangs/studs), the effective R value of the insulation is significantly reduced below the specified product R value.

Cavity insulation – our favoured form of insulating in NZ, performs very well in the stud cavity – however timber is not a good insulator and steel is very poor, so the building suffers from cold and potentially damp spots (thermal bridging).

For Example: In a wall with 26% framing ratio, 10mm plasterboard and an R2.8 Cavity Infill (Glass wool) the R value performance will reduce to R1.85 (Calculations to NZS4214:2006).  Building Code guidelines in NZ recommend a Constructed R value = 1.9 for the North Island and R2.0 for the South Island and Central Plateau.

In order to know the wall’s true thermal performance, you must calculate overall R-values (unit of thermal resistance for a material) for the entire wall assembly – this is known as the Constructed R Value of the Wall.


We all know heat rises – therefore ceiling insulation has a large impact. However heat also escapes through walls and this is the next most critical area to address. In addition, we typically live closer to walls than to the ceilings as does our furniture. Therefore the coldness of a poorly insulated wall has much more impact on the comfort of the occupants than a cold ceiling.

On your next design – think ARIDON® SMART WALL – it will exceed H1 compliance, eliminate the likelihood of condensation in your building envelope and provide an energy efficient building for life!

Call ARIDON® SMART Wall – The Smart Solution for Every Build.  0800 ARIDON (274 366) | |

Image below: Traditional NZ Dwelling “The tell-tale signs of Thermal Bridging – Heat loss along the framing members seen on a chilly autumn morning. This is also indicative of potential condensation problems within the wall”


Compact genius… just Reach for the most efficient toilet


Kohler’s new Reach compact back to wall toilet suite

Company: Kohler

The new Kohler Reach compact back to wall toilet suite offers a combination of striking, contemporary design coupled with practical, solution-driven features.

This ingenious toilet – ideal for smaller bathrooms and ensuites due to its compact 600mm projection – carries a 4 star WELS rating, having a 4.5 litre full flush and 3 litre half flush, and sports distinct improvements to its internal design.

The design of the Reach is in direct response to the current trend towards streamlined fixtures for more compact bathrooms and ensuites.  Unlike conventional toilets the Reach only protrudes 600mm, instead of the usual 650 to 720mm, while its profile is one of soft curves and clean lines, with no angles or ridges to trap dirt or dust. Another clear benefit of the Reach is the soft close seat, with chrome hinges – it closes quietly and gently.

Traditionally toilets have featured an unglazed open rim – however Kohler has chosen the far more efficient box rim and added a smooth glaze. The clear advantage of this is that there is a more even water distribution during the flush, which improves the cleaning of the bowl. In addition, the glazing on and under the rim prevents bacteria from breeding – an excellent feature given this area is almost impossible to reach with cleaning materials.

For more information, visit or see the Reach compact genius at a Mico showroom near you.

Perfect pairing for compact spaces: Reach handwash basin and Reach compact back to wall toilet suite



Networks and Neighbourhoods: the Future is Now


Company: NZGBC

Master Classes, Friday 27 March 2015, Auckland

How does smart data enable us to provide buildings that are fit for the future and respond to users’ needs? What are the critical success factors for new communities to be sustainable, long term?

The New Zealand Green Building Council is proud to offer a day of master classes with international experts focused on new technology and communities – covering trends such as crowd-sourced design, user tracking, sustainable infrastructure, and ‘greening’ cities.

‘Networks and Neighbourhoods’ follows on from the Green Property Summit 2015

Attendees may book from one to four classes.


Smarter Buildings through Smarter Ways of Working: High Performance Data Driven DesignJeffrey Holmes, Woods Bagot New York

What the Phone Teaches us about Buildings: Tracking and BehaviourDr Daniel Davis, CASE New York

A New Community Based on Sustainable Infrastructure: North West Cambridge, UKSam Archer, AECOM NZ  

Bringing Cities Back to Life, Sustainably. How private sector investment is helping rejuvenate urban sites in the UKNick Ebbs, Igloo Regeneration Partnerships UK.

Price per session
NZGBC Members:
 $75 + GST
 $100 + GST

View full programme and register


Photos credit of Peter Clarke.

Matrix Pendant series is developed especially for the Hospitality and Office environments


Company: Aesthetics Lighting Solutions (NZ)

Matrix Pendant is a range of stylish LED and T5 pendant luminaires. Thanks to their suspension system of up to 2.5m, they will add drama to restaurant dining rooms, cafes or even office entrance halls.

It is available in brushed aluminium, high gloss piano black and high gloss white to suit a myriad of interiors, which makes it the ideal choice for interior designers while being extremely easy to install.

Range features:

  • Ideal for Hospitality applications such hotel, restaurant or cafes
  • Diffusing optic is made from frosted toughened glass
  • Suitable for a variety of applications with a maximum suspension of 2.5m – Ideal for high ceilings
  • Elegant design with a choice of high gloss white, piano black or brushed aluminium
  • Available in Warm white (3,000K)
  • Quick and easy to install

Matrix Pendant LED

  • Delivers up to 1,800lm (lumen output)
  • High efficiency with up to 72lm/W (total system efficiency on 25W LED version) – will help you comply with Building regulations
  • LED technology provides energy efficient solution and reduced maintenance costs

Matrix Pendant T5

  • High light output with up to 3,300lm (lumen output)
  • High efficiency with up to 83lm/W (total system efficiency on 40W T5 version) – will help you comply with Building regulations

The LUMIANCE – Matrix series is available exclusively from Aesthetics Lighting Solutions.


New Legrand LED Emergency Exit has a distinct edge


Company: HPM Legrand

Over on a small continent to the West of New Zealand, our engineers at Legrand have been creating a stunning new Edgelight from the ground up – or is it from the ceiling down?

The challenge was to deliver a premium product that is attractive to specifiers, highly versatile for contractors, and energy efficient and compliant with the current and potential future standards. It is also pretty rare these days to have local content as a key ingredient. Legrand Prestons facility in Sydney, however, is bristling with injection molding machines that are normally occupied squirting high quality wiring devices in a variety of shapes and colours. You just can’t let talent go to waste so three years ago, Legrand set about to re-invent the wheel.

E2 is the remarkable result of focusing a great deal of electronic and industrial design talent on a single project! It is essentially a blade type exit for AS/NZS 2293 24-metre applications. It can be surface-mounted on the wall or ceiling, or indeed suspended – nothing unusual about that. Taking it a step further, the E2 has a clever spring retainer, which enables it to be fixed to an inclined surface such as a raked ceiling. With the addition of a recessing plate, a more discrete installation can be achieved – again this applies to wall, slope or ceiling.

The ‘slide connect’ concept that harks back to the original Legrand (Minitronics) exit of the 70’s is still used widely in the award-winning G2 exit, but Legrand has initiated a 21st century version for the new E2, incorporating a positive connection 5-way terminal block with 12 mm² terminals.

Under the hood you will find the Legrand universal common LED board or CLB as it called by the AD propeller heads (AD means ‘acronym-driven’ not ‘attention-deficit’). The CLB has now been rolled into almost all of the Legrand exits with just a tweaking of firmware to accommodate special requirements such as delivering more grunt to the big boxes. This ensures a quicker throughput in production to meet fluctuating demand requirements across an otherwise diverse range.

The family DNA is also apparent in the manufactured LED strip that will permeate all of the Legrand exits. No less than 16 LEDs are arrayed across the top of the E2 to give excellent uniformity on the entire face of the sign, whether single-or double-sided. Sufficient light (or luminous flux as we like to call it) is pumped beneath the sign to achieve a healthy classification as an emergency luminaire (Single-sided: C0 C12.5, C90 C12.5) despite consuming only 2.2 watts on low rate charge.

Rolling off the production lines are the stand-alone versions along with AXIOM wireless network versions. Theatre versions will also be produced due to our ability to mould quality components in gloss black.

Click Here to download the datasheet or visit or call 0800 476 009 for further details.


Design your medium density projects with character


Company: James Hardie

One of Auckland’s future urban, suburban and rural planning visions is to create communities with distinct character. ‘Community’ is a social concept, but it needs to be underpinned by physical context expressed through coherent design character, in which building materials play an important part.

Due to a spike in land prices in New Zealand, medium density housing is generating more and more interest and demand within the market place. It is the catalyst for more affordable and sustainable living going forward. Medium density housing needs careful design and planning consideration at the outset to have a positive impact on the neighbourhoods we live in. It takes more than individual buildings or houses to create truly authentic communities. Good urban design and architecture that addresses diverse social needs, as well as the natural environment is essential.

Fibre cement is an ideal building material for medium density needs. It is light weight and durable to fit our harsh environment. James Hardie is a leading international building materials company and a global leader in fibre cement, one of the world’s fastest growing building products.

Composite cladding construction allows a greater range of design options than traditional construction methods. James Hardie lightweight cladding solutions can work in conjunction to achieve increased streetscape diversity. And it allows homeowners to have the contemporary look that best meets their design preferences with diverse design character. The fire and acoustic properties of fibre cement also make James Hardie systems and products the preferred ‘go to’ solution for Medium Density applications.

James Hardie works with many developers, builders, architects and designers across New Zealand, enabling good looking, sustainable, cost-effective and easy to build solution. We drive innovation so you can achieve the design and performance outcomes you desire. Visit for more information or contact Hasith for your medium density projects.



Boscotek – the leading range of quality industrial workbenches and industrial storage systems


Company: Wilson & Gilkes NZ Ltd

Boscotek has a reputation for providing superior quality, reliable and durable drawer storage systems and workbenches for a diverse range of applications and industries.

Boscotek products are designed and manufactured in Australia by Wilson & Gilkes. Boscotek and Bosco have been providing storage solutions for over 30 years. The products are recognised for quality, durability and reliability.

Boscotek range includes;

  • High density storage cabinets
  • Industrial cupboards
  • Workbenches
  • Fixed and mobile tool trolleys
  • Storage accessories

At Boscotek safety is paramount. As an ISO 9001.2 quality endorsed company, we focus on providing products that perform and are safe.

Consultation with end users is a key component in the development of industry focused storage solutions. Continual development of the product range ensure we offer our customers the best quality products with the most practical and innovative features and accessories.

Boscotek storage solutions employ a team of industrial designers and engineers who work continuously to evolve and improve the Boscotek product range.

Utilising 3d modelling software and rapid prototyping processes, our designers can bring design concepts to reality and conduct extensive testing and evaluation before a product reaches the market.

Whilst the Boscotek range is extensive, we realise that there are occasions when our customer requirements will be unique and we will not have a standard product design or configuration to address these needs. Our design team can work with you to develop a product or range of products that meet your specific requirements and are purpose-built for their intended application.

For more information, please visit