Gab Learns

Gab asks the questions every Kiwi wants answers to..

For our final episode in 2022 we talk about the elements, and while I was thinking Captain Planet, Peter is thinking the periodic table. So, in our lighthearted fashion we decided to talk about both and finish the year off slightly left field (wild, we know)!

Season two | Lesson Fourteen: The Elements

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This episode is about seismic design, earthquakes and designing buildings that don’t fall apart when there’s a bit of moving and shaking.

Season two | Lesson Thirteen: Seismic

It’s mould awareness time again, we dive back in to discuss mould and humidity and to find out how we can remain comfortable in our homes. We’re all sick – colds, flus, allergies –  but we are ready to talk about mould and humidity again. We love this topic because we love educating people about mould, so they can spot it know how to rid it from their homes.

Season Two | Lesson Twelve: Humidity & Mould

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This episode is about winter. Not our typical grey, miserable Auckland winter, but real winter, like the winters in some parts of Canada. We talk about the differences and how this impacts building design and performance, and throw in some fun facts for good measure! 

Season two | Lesson Eleven: Real Winter

Homestar is a rating tool created by the New Zealand Building Council that was released in 2009. It’s somewhat of building standard and a way of analysing or assessing a building to say whether it’s good or bad. Let’s try to understand this standard and rating tool a little bit more…

Season Two | Lesson Ten: Homestar V5

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This episode is about new builds! Peter has friends who are buying new builds (off the plan) from volume home builders, and he’s seen a lot of advertisements marketing these as ‘green’, ‘eco-efficient’, dry, etc. – but how do you really know what that means, and are we being fooled by marketing buzz words?

Season two | Lesson Eight: New Builds

There are a few weird things going around in the market – there seems to be a lot of shortages from all aspects, due to supply chain issues, Covid-19 flow on effects and supply and demand! So, what are we dealing with…

Season Two | Lesson Nine: Shortages & Supply Issues

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This episode is about, well, all sorts! Peter has returned from Canada (the homeland) and we decided to find out what he learnt over there from a building science perspective, because we couldn’t just let him have a holiday now could we! 

Season two | Lesson Seven: All Sorts

The world is a changing place, and we are seeing this in our climate and weather patterns. The change isn’t consistent, floods and temperature extremes are becoming more frequent, and often we are unprepared for these events. So, let’s get into weathertightness in terms of buildings!

Season two | Lesson Six: Weathertightness

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It’s the devil’s advocate argument when we talk about improving your home performance – “Oh I’ve never had that, and it’s always worked before.” However, there’s a reason why there is a whole science behind why we do the things we do as building engineers – it’s a holistic approach which considers the whole building as one altogether. That’s why we’ve decided to dive into the discussion about houses that work (and those that don’t)!

Season two | Lesson Five: Houses That Work

Let’s talk about the Healthy Home Standards! It’s been a buzz for quite some time (years in fact) in the industry, and we tenants are ready for change. The standards were bought about to help renters live in more warm, dry and comfortable homes which also affects the landlords. But we are going to dive into the renter’s perspective – as that’s why these standards were introduced!

Season two | Lesson Four: Healthy Home Standards

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We are here, it was inevitable and now it is here. Winter. And we are desperate to know what the best heating options are for winter! We dive in to some options on the market – fires, heat pumps, electrical heaters, the good, the bad, and our favourite in the list of warm hugs.

Season two | Lesson Three: Heating Options

Ok, it’s cold outside – like 5 degrees, but the inside of the house isn’t any better, and we are all looking for those magical winter fixes! You know the ones that are sold to us through repetitive advertising claiming to fix all the problems – no more mould, goodbye condensation and hello heat! Let’s check out our favourite four…

Season two | Lesson Two: Magical Winter Fixes

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Spring is here (if you watch the video, you can tell from our clothing), and that means allergies are here too (noooo!)

We vaguely know why we react the way we do when spring rolls through, but what can we do about?

Gab asks what we can do to keep the pollutants out of the home, and the allergies at bay.

Lesson Twelve – Allergies

Heading into warmer months, spring is here, and summer is coming. But what does this mean for how we feel in our homes? We have just spent the last six months warming up our home over winter, and it’s cosy – but potentially too warm as the seasons are changing. So, what now…?

Gab learns about air movement and why this is key to keeping you, and your home cool this spring and summer.

Lesson Eleven: Air Movement

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It feels warmer, maybe not summer warm but spring warm! We no longer need our winter coats, the heater isn’t on as often and we’re starting to feel warmer in our homes. But what happens when it’s TOO warm?

Gab asks about what it is we need to know as we move into the warmer months and why shading is such an important contributor to home comfort.

Lesson Ten: Shading 

Spring has officially sprung. So, what does this mean for our home? Do we need to spring-ready our home? Like our wardrobe, do we need to put our winter one away and make room for the new season? How do we know, and what should we know?

Gab makes way for her spring/summer wardrobe, and then finds out where to start with her home

Lesson Nine: Spring has Sprung

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Designing a home – the crème de la crème of owning a home. But what questions should be asked, and who should you enlist to help your dream home become your forever home? 

Gab finds out where to start, what to ask and which professionals to speak to..

Lesson Eight: Designing a Home

Gab may not be overly enthused by the stigma around owning a home – however for the love of Gab Learns she dives into it.

She finds out what it is you should be looking at before moving in, how to recognise a ‘cover up’ and where money is best spent on improving the performance your new home.

Lesson Seven: Buying a Home

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Have you ever rented a property? Lived in a rental while you looked to buy your own house, or perhaps renting is your preference?

When renting a home there are plenty of things you should look at, loads of questions you should ask, and why? Well, to make sure you are living in a warm, dry and comfortable home (even if you don’t own it)!

Gab asks these questions and learns the answers – many of which are very similar to those you should ask/learn when looking to purchase a home.

Lesson Six: Renting a Home

Mould. There’s nothing good about it, and no level or amount of it should be found in your home.

Gab wants to know where mould comes from, what is it and what it needs to live.

She learns there are three things that mould needs to grow, and what we can do to eliminate mould to ensure we live in a healthy home.

Lesson Five: Mould

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So what exactly is the building envelope? Why is it important? And what can I do if mine isn’t sound?

Gab wants to know what makes up the envelope and how every part of the enclosure plays a role in keeping homes healthy.

She discovers the three components and what we need to take note of.

Lesson Four: The Building Envelope

Who knew windows were key to keeping your home healthy? There is more to windows than we know and Gab wants to know why we need to do more than just open windows and doors to ventilate our homes properly.

She dives into condensation, why thermal curtains won’t solve the world and why double glazed is better than single (both windows and doughnuts).

Lesson Three: Windows, Ventilation + Condensation.

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Heating your home well can be easily achieved, but if your home isn’t insulated well it is like sleeping with a blanket only covering your legs! 

Gab wants to know how to locate energy leakage in her home, what an R Value is and how to minimise energy loss through doors and windows.

Lesson Two: Insulation, Energy Leakage and Draughts

Gab thought she knew a thing, or two, about heating. Well the basics, at least.

She knew if the heater was on it would heat the surfaces and area of that room, and if she added another layer of clothing she’d feel warmer.

However, it wasn’t until she started working with the team at Oculus that she realised how she was heating her home, and how she was keeping herself warm was all wrong.

Lesson One: Heating

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