• Grant

More of The Middle

Well we have covered all the structural and components that work with the structure, but there is more. There are several services that run around the building that also have huge impact on the life and durability costs to the owner. Let’s identify them, plumbing, electrical work, smart home systems, av systems, mechanical ventilation and heating/cooling.

Plumbing - Again industry has decided that a polybutylene type plumbing lines with crimped fittings is the gold standard, and this is what’s used generally in good old NZ. We have used this type of product for years and with the exception of a few bad batches that have dictated that complete building failure occurs……………. all is good!

What if I told you for approx. $200 per building (average) more cost you could have a system that has never had a product failure, is German engineered and comes with a 50 year - 1 million Euro warranty ……..per fitting! It’s here and been here for approx. 10 years. So why don’t we use it…………because it costs $200 more and is not supplied by 1 of the 2 main suppliers in NZ!

Electrical – Traditionally we have wired buildings using time proven techniques based on a live, a neutral and a ground. This has been the way electricians have been taught since electricity was put into buildings. However, what if I told you there was a safer system with less wiring to achieve a better and more flexible result?

It’s called Dali, and has been known and used commercially for 20 plus years, however even today most Electricians could not tell you how it works, even though it is a no brainer for modern housing as it allows the integration of new technologies in to the existing system. Sort of like a future proofing electrical system.

Smart home control - Then there is “Smart Home” technology that allows wireless (radio frequency) controls over lighting, security, warning systems and audio visual control. This is cheaper than fully wired systems and allows retrofitting into old installs as it is completely expandable or retractable as required – one of which is called Fibaro! It is Linex based open source software, meaning that there are numerous suppliers advancing the product as new tech and new software is developed/required. An average house can be done for $5-10k and totally adaptable to new tech, whereas 10 years ago the homes we were doing were $300k for the same systems and they are not up-gradable! And what’s scary, those systems are still currently available at the same prices.

So why are we still installing electrical systems and mechanical systems from over 100 years ago and cable technology and av systems from 20 years ago (140 years ago in computer timelines) still today?

Summary – I guess one needs to accept that we have traditionally done this type of building for years and that why fix it if it isn’t broken - right.

However I hope you don’t really feel that way, because if you really honestly believe that, I hope you are currently trading in your 2017 Toyota Camry for a 1927 Model A Ford, as they worked fine! You also need to throw away the new 65” Oleg LED flat screen and buy a second hand Philips K9 (they were brilliant with cord operated remote) and make space for your ringer washing machine to be re-plumbed into the house.

I guess what I’m saying, generally we love new technology to help us in our lives in the day to day grind, releasing more time to live.

Why then, do we not demand this from building suppliers when we know it’s cheaper, more durable and more flexible to update?

Anyway hopefully looking forward, you may take on some of this rant so you have a better focus on the importance of this new technology, there is really no excuse. Remember this year is the perfect year to improve the vision of your future, as its 2020!

Remember slip slop slap in this great traditionally hot New Zealand summer and everything in moderation……………………. including moderation!

Next Time……

The Top

Until next time....Remember "art for living" G

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