Sustainably inspired designs

During the years Buck Architects + Associates has accumulated a portfolio of homes designed to be self-sustaining in their ability to maintain comfortable and healthy internal climates.

Founder Roger Buck feels that designing and constructing buildings today has become far more complex than it was only a decade or two ago.

Buck Architects + Associates specialises in areas related to energy efficiency. So it is critically important for Roger Buck and his team that not only do their buildings perform as intended in all the usual ways, but they are constructed to very high standards in terms of the ways in which they collect, conserve and use energy.

“This means, in terms of energy for example, avoiding heat loss through uncontrolled air leakage and thermal bridging, which can result from the use of substandard products and poor construction practices. It follows that high performance buildings must include high performance window systems,” Roger says.

He says that in order to cope with this we are dependent upon good advice and support from manufacturers, suppliers, installers and a range of technical specialists working within, but also outside, the industry.

“If the finished result is to meet expectations then product dependability and workmanship go hand in hand,” he explains.

“A part of this stems from a need to satisfy the regulatory part of the process, but a larger part in my view comes from the fact that simple, basic, cottage building has had its day and we should now look at buildings as being potentially resource-hungry objects which can have significant economic and environmental impacts.

“Looked at like this, it will be clear that the industry should be working hard to minimise these impacts. We are also very conscious of taking durability seriously by designing for long lives coupled with very low ongoing maintenance.”

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Roger feels that in terms of weather resistance this is of the utmost importance for durability and health, and for walls we may use several levels together, depending on the type of underlying structure. These
could take the form of an external water resistant finish such as plaster, a cavity for drainage and behind this an underlying waterproof layer. “For roofs and the associated flashings we commonly use Butynol, often with a standing seam appearance if the roof is visible.”

With all of these critical factors in mind it is vitally important that we have available to us contractors, subcontractors and suppliers who consistently perform well, he says, and who can be relied upon to go beyond the strict limits of any contractual relationships, should issues arise, whether these are at the design stage, while construction is underway, or subsequently.

“Our aim as designers is to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients and it follows that the quality of the workmanship and the products used on any project is critical to its success.

“In our experience the following companies associated with the featured houses have performed exceptionally well in all regards. NK Windows have been involved with us seemingly forever as both suppliers and installers.

“Ardex are well established and widely respected within the industry; they provide tried and tested products in which we have confidence and the installers they use have performed well for us. And Sto Plaster Systems are relatively recent arrivals, but are now regularly specified by us for both interior and exterior plaster finishes; the feedback we get from clients amply justifies their selection.”

Roger Buck explains how the following houses all adhere to energy efficient design. They are all constructed to a very high standard in terms of the ways in which they collect, conserve and use energy.

Roger Buck
Registered Architect
Buck Architects + Associates
T (03) 3666 888
E info@buckarchitects.co.nz
www.buckarchitects.co.nz



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