Monthly Archives: February 2016

An introduction to

Este Screen 2

In a blog post late last year I highlighted the recently launched, a collaboration tool for the architecture industry. At February’s Wellington Revit User Group, I presented a short demonstration of Flux, describing in greater detail what is was and how to use it. For those of you who are interested but couldn’t make it on the night, I’ll repeat the information here.

Flux is an online data repository that allows users to push geometry and other data from architectural software such as Revit and Rhino to the cloud, and vice versa. What this means is that a user or a group of users working with Flux can create parametric objects that transcend programs – for example, stretching the floor plate of a building in Revit and updating an excel spreadsheet in real time to identify the effect of the change on the total cost of the building.


a visualisation of Flux’s data flow interface

It doesn’t stop there though, as the team at Flux are also developing a large range of online tools designed to allow data from these various sources to be transformed before they are pushed back to their destinations. Going back to our spreadsheet example, this means that quantitative data from various 3d models developed by different teams could be combined and viewed as a single spreadsheet, continuously updating as the design evolves.

As another example, in the demonstration I presented, I set up a rudimentary parallel computation system by linking two Grasshopper instances over Flux, with one doing the heavy computational grunt work and the other simply showing the resultant geometry, allowing me to quickly create complex geometry without frying my laptop.

This kind of DIY tool creation by connecting different programs together is exactly the kind of thinking that will allow architects and designers to leap forwards technologically without having to rely on the big, lumbering software companies to catch up with what is happening in other industries, and I’m excited to see see where this movement leads!

I won’t go into the nitty gritty of how to install Flux except to say that to get the most out of it you will need either a copy of Revit (with Dynamo installed), Rhino (with Grasshopper installed). The website has a great series of relatively painless installers and tutorials, so anything I said here would only serve to obfuscate the process. Go have a look for yourself!

– Chris

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KE KELIT become first pipe supplier to obtain CodeMark Certification for pipe systems

KeKelit - Heading

Company: Ke Kelit

KE KELIT are proud to announce our KELOX Multilayer pipe system now has CodeMark Certification.

CodeMark is a certification scheme which is managed by the Department of Housing and Building. It is the highest level of product assurance and compliance that a product can get. It traces the product from the raw material and manufacture right through to the supply and installation. The certification process involves strict auditing of all of these steps.

CodeMark ensures that all parties involved in construction projects can have peace of mind about the quality of building materials and products used in construction. CodeMark demonstrates compliance with the New Zealand Building Code and must be accepted by building consent authorities.

Increasingly councils, contractors, suppliers and consumers are struggling with an influx of low cost and questionable quality piping systems entering the Australasian markets. CodeMark certification provides the assurance of quality and durability.

Specifying CodeMark certified products will become all the more important as councils struggle with building consents that include new to market products. In some cases, these products pose a risk to the quality of our buildings and health of our families.

Bruce Kohn, chief executive of the New Zealand Building Industry Federation, recently highlighted the issues being faced by local councils to ensure that building consent applications are code compliant while there is a growing flow of low cost materials and products from abroad.

Kohn cites “sub-standard plumbing products coming to market from Asia” and “Misleading and inadequate information being provided to the Council” as being a major concern in the Auckland market.

A recent investigation by Auckland Council highlighted a number of cases where non-compliant products were installed or specified products were swapped for sub-standard products during construction. Meanwhile local councils struggle to allocate sufficient resources to enforcement in an effort to ensure code compliance.

Specifiers, architects and designers can maintain a high standard and quality in the building industry by including CodeMark certified products such as the KE KELIT KELOX Multilayer pipe system on specifications and building consent applications.

Once specified, care must be taken to ensure that CodeMark certified products are not swapped for sub-standard products during construction.

You can find out more about the CodeMark certification scheme, to view click here.

To find out more about the products offered by KE KELIT NZ check out our website or click on the KELOX Mulitlayer Handbook below.

Detailed product information including Revit CAD content for accurate BIM modeling is available from Productspec.

KeKelit - ManualCover


Delivering Quality Housing in the Millwater Development with James Hardie


Company: James Hardie

The Millwater development is a new suburb forming 20 minutes north of Auckland city between Silverdale and Orewa, and includes a range of low and medium density housing on undulating farmland with views to bush and sea. Comprised of five communities named after the original farms located at the site, the development will house 10,000 residents.

Horncastle Homes recently released 24 units of its medium density terraced housing development on Parkway, Seaview. Designed by Tim Devine these stunning Cape Cod inspired terraced houses enjoy uninterrupted views overlooking the Millwater mangroves and Orewa river basin.

Using quality, lightweight materials such as James Hardie Stria Cladding and Axon Panel, Horncastle Homes has achieved a unique boat shed look befitting of the location, while maximising site yield by generating a larger floor area within the homes compared to traditional construction methods, such as brick veneer.

The 145-190 sqm two-level homes are either three or four bedrooms, with open plan living, two bathrooms, and double garaging.

“In medium density units such as the Terraces, every centimetre counts,” says Horncastle Homes Operations Manager, Murray Stiven. “James Hardie fibre cement composite products maximise floor space due to their smaller footprint.”

Lightweight, yet robust, the products are resistant to damage from fire, swelling, cracking, and shrinking, providing a low risk, low maintenance solution ideal for medium density applications.

Stiven says the homes are not only designed for efficiency and modern day living, but to be aesthetically pleasing, which is achieved from using quality, versatile materials.

“The James Hardie products provide a complementary cladding system that enabled flexibility with regard to design options and allowed us to achieve an original, high quality finish.”

“We spent a lot of time detailing Stria to achieve the look the product deserves. The wide panel product creates a strong negative detail and gives the homes a solid classic form, while accentuating the height. Meanwhile, the Axon panels complement Stria by adding a touch of grace to the homes.”

Another benefit of the fibre cement products are their ease and speed of installation, says Stiven. Also, “unlike brick veneer, Stria and Axon do not require an extra subtrade and can be installed in poor weather,” he adds.

All 24 units of the terraced homes sold out before completion, highlighting the strong appeal of these high quality homes.


  • Location: Orewa, Auckland
  • Project Size: 145-190sq m two-level homes
  • Project Type: Medium Density Terraced Development
  • Architectural Designer: Bruce Campbell / Tim Devine
  • Project Manager: Murray Stiven, Operations Manager, Horncastle Homes

For further information, call 0800 808 868, email or visit the James Hardie website.



Re-Cladding: The Design Implications of Moisture Damage to Timber Frames


Company: ARIDON®

The Golden Rule: Where there is Black – cut it back!! One of our ARIDON® installation teams have recently been focused on re-cladding & renovating leaky building projects, of which the last two had multiple causes of moisture damage. We uncovered, external moisture damage through walls and roof, interstitial condensation damage and a leaky water pump – the net result a re-clad that went from a quick fix to a major re-build.

Why – because we saw small patches of black on the exterior face of the timber and the first reaction was “good – it is not that bad”. Fortunately for the owner, ARIDON® organised an expert in moisture management and leaky homes to provide independent consultation. He advised the builders to remove the blackened timber. What was found behind the stud was an explosion of black mould and decay (not visible from the exterior surface). The net result – complete replacement of the frame in those areas, redesign of the roof wall junctions, and tracking the moisture issues back into the roof where interstitial condensation had begun to cause rot in the ceiling. This extension was only 15 years old and a complete design and build failure.

The key learning from this re-clad is that what shows up on the face of the timber (e.g. light discolouration) can hide something very sinister behind it. As our expert pointed out – he is now visiting projects which have had 2 attempts already to resolve leak and mould issues but the problem has re-occurred because the framing had not been properly addressed in the first instance. The reasons behind this are varied but generally are as a result of inadequate knowledge on the part of some carrying out the remediation work.

How does this affect you as an Architect and Designer? Recladding/designing an existing structure will rejuvenate the building – however if the builder doesn’t pick up the structural defects, it could come back and damage your reputation. In addition, the best and only treatment of rotten or blackened timber is to remove it. Efficient removal of that timber often leads to doubling studs and other additional framing to put back the strength lost. This results in far less room for traditional cavity insulation approaches to the point where building code requirements of H1 and E3 may not be met.

What’s the Solution? ARIDON® SMART WALL. This system wraps the building frame in a thermal weatherproof shell. This ensures that:

  1. Moisture from the outside doesn’t penetrate the framing and dry zone of the building.
  2. Interstitial condensation will not form in the wall cavities because a dew point will not form in the framing cavity
  3. The insulation is continuous and well exceeds building code requirements no matter what framing ends up being installed
  4. Temporary weatherproofing to the build as soon as the windows are back in
  5. The weatherproofing and insulation system is installed by a team that is experienced
  6. in re-clads, with a product that is designed to combat leaky homes.

The ARIDON® SMART WALL system is fully BRANZ appraised and replaces the need for building wrap, rigid air barriers, cavity battens, insulation and internal moisture management layers. We offer the complete system – fully installed and warrantied by ARIDON Ltd, with a team of structural engineers and draughtsman on hand to answer any technical detailing questions and provide a comprehensive suite of technical details to simplify the specification process.

Suitable for commercial and residential construction – with no restriction on claddings.


Ask ARIDON®| 0800 ARIDON (274 366) | |


Fairview exceptional windows and doors


Company: Fairview

From the simple and cost-effective, to the sophisticated and state of the art, every Fairview product in every range is manufactured specifically for New Zealand’s environment, and designed to withstand all that our unpredictable weather can throw at them.

Fairview Architectural

Beautifully designed and meticulously built, Fairview Architectural windows and doors turn ordinary spaces into stunning masterpieces. With a distinctive flat profile, contemporary, clean lines, sophisticated colour choices and premium features, Fairview Architectural delivers a consistent look, regardless of the size of the windows and doors.

The range is extensive, with options extending from square, flat and contemporary styles to more substantial ‘boxy’ alternatives for stand-out feature pieces. And with a choice that includes awning and casement windows, bi-fold and hinged doors plus stackers and sliders, the possibilities are endless.

Fairview Thermal

Fairview Thermal blends seamlessly with the Fairview Architectural ranges for maximum design advantages throughout your project.

The combination of flush surfaces, square shapes and timber liners gives Fairview Thermal a clean modern aesthetic.

Designed for residential environments where improved thermal performance is important.

The suite features ‘thermal break’ polyamide technology which reduces thermal transmittance through the joinery, in turn reducing the impact of external temperature variations and providing a more comfortable living environment.


For further information about our windows and doors talk to us on 09 574 2900 or visit


Paul Industries – service when it counts


Company: Paul Industries

The team at Paul Industries took customer service to a new level when the roof underlay and roof safe mesh for this 4,512sqm project by KiwiSpan were stolen from the building site over Xmas.

“We’d decided to work through the break to get the job done” said Karen Body, MD of KiwiSpan Rodney, “but things came to a halt when a pallet with Fastwrap FlameSpec Underlay and Kiwimesh Roof Safe Mesh disappeared from the site. We’re very grateful that Paul Industries opened the factory over their close-down period and got everything we needed to us – that’s really going the extra mile.”

Kiwispan had chosen Fastwrap FlameSpec and Kiwimesh Roof Safe Mesh as the ideal combination for the warehouse and office complex for J Scott & Co Timber in Riverhead. The job’s large open canopy, combination of steel and wood framing, high roof, and location in a high wind zone meant the team needed products that were convenient to use and achieved a light airy feel, whilst delivering on the all-important flammability and safety requirements.

“We used Fastwrap FlameSpec HW for the entire roof and the walls in lined areas” said Body. “It’s convenient using one underlay for both, plus it’s a robust product that the team like working with and it meets all the flammability requirements”.

The light colour enhances ambient light within the warehouse and provides a clean, professional finish in the expansive open canopy area.

With a stud height of 6m and apex of 10m safety was a key priority for the roofing operation. Kiwimesh Roof Safe Mesh was used to provide fall-through protection and support the underlay.

“We like to support New Zealand manufacturers whenever we can” added Body “and now that we know Paul Industries offers a made-to-measure service for Kiwimesh we’ll definitely be using that service in future”.

The Kiwimesh EXACT-CUT service manufactures rolls to exactly the right length for each job so they can simply be rolled out and fixed in place. It saves time and avoids waste, and with only a five day lead time can be easily accommodated in most building schedules.

For more on Paul Industries’ products call 0800 330-320 or visit


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LED high bay luminaire: reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs


Company: Legrand NZ

The new Vortex LED high bay luminaire from Legrand is up to 58% more energy efficient than traditional HID sources. The wide matt finish reflector and specifically designed Luxeon LED array provide precise light control for high level mounting applications, including open areas in warehousing, logistics, exhibition centres and retail environments.

The combination of its ‘vortex’ design aesthetics and on board Thermal Management Control (TMC) system ensures protection and long life of the driver and LEDs. The high lumen package of 17,800 lumens and rated at 183W, Vortex can be a direct replacement for conventional 400W Metal Halide highbays.

The rated LED life of up to 50,000 hours greatly reduces the need for lamp replacements making Vortex LED ideal for areas that are difficult or costly to maintain. Fitted with a 1.8m flex and plug and robust hook, the product is ready to install without additional cabling. Vortex LED is rated at IP65 and an ambient temperature rating up to 40oC making it suitable for harsh environments.

Click here to view the product page for this item on our website.

For further information please contact one of our friendly BDMs on 0800 476 009.