Home A Smorgasbord of Energy Links

Interested in energy efficient and sustainable house design? Here is where to get reliable and appropriate information from.

Fortunately much of the information is free and on the www. Some documents will have to be ordered at a small cost.

Energy Efficieny Detailing

Other Links
BRANZ LevelThe BRANZ Level website is one of the most extensive and useful resources for sustainable buildings in New Zealand.free
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA)The website has searchable databases of renewable energy contacts and of energy related businesses in New Zealand. The site also has specific guidelines on energy savings at home and in the office with links to energy related associations. It also has a series of 4-page brochures on a series of renewable technologies such as "stand-alone power systems", "passive solar design" and several others. EECA also has an excellent detailed design guide ("Design for the Sun") with specific design calculations for NZ conditions.free
Smarter HomesThis website published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) covers most aspects of sustainable building. It is primarily aimed at home owners.free
HomeStyleGreenHomeStyleGreen is a great website with background information and tips for green buildings, podcasts of interviews (including one with yours truely ;-), and even a free house plan review service by the site's author architect Matthew Cutler-Welsh.free
Green Home Resource GuideA great list of articles and links discussing various practical aspects of green homes including green building, green energy, water conservation and green cleaning.free
EcobobEcobob is a web based system designed to make eco living easy. The website gives you an easy way of accessing a wealth of information on eco living in the form of eco articles, eco house profiles, forums, blogs, business listings and more. Ecobob is designed for people to share knowledge on eco friendly living methods, such as the use of sustainable energy sources, sustainable waste systems and sustainable water usage.free
Basement and Home Energy Efficiency GuideThis US guide demonstrates how you can run an energy efficiency inventory of your home and basement and make changes to lower your energy usage.free
The Eco-Friendly Guide to Cleaning Your HomeA UK page looking at the impact of cleaning agents on your health and the environment. The resource has many tips on how to clean your home in an efficient, affordable, and eco-friendly manner.free
Hints and Tips to RecyclingA UK website with a number of useful tips on recycling.free
Getting Kids involved with RecyclinggA website from the UK targeted particularly at children. It contains a number of practical ideas to introduce them to recycling in the classroom and at home.free
A Family Guide to Going GreenA whole range of great ideas and resources for parents to introduce children to sustainability in a fun way. Topics cover activities such as "Hands-On Gardening and Nature Projects", "100 Percent Recycled Crafts", "How to Create a Mini Meadow" and many more.free
Energy Efficient Lighting GuideTips on energy efficient lighting including "The Recycling & Disposal Of Old Light Bulbs", "The Various Types of Efficient Light Bulbs" and "The Future of Eco-Friendly Lighting".free
The Renewable Energy site for Do-It-YourselfersAn extensive US website with plans, tools and information to help build renewable energy and conservation projects from changing a light bulb to building a solar homes. Nothing For Sale here - just free ideas, plans, and information. To convert from imperial units you can use the DesNav Unit Converterfree
Central Heating GuideA number of guides and online tools related to central heating design. To convert the imperial units you can use the DesNav Unit Converterfree
Heating Cost CalculatorA simple online tool to calculate running costs for a number of different heating sources. To convert the imperial units you can use the DesNav Unit Converterfree
R-value and Moisture Transfer CalculatorA tool that calculates U-Values for construction types but also vapour pressure differentials and where dew points will occur under different conditions. The site is German with a partially translated English page. Be aware that dynamic moisture and interstitial condensation calculations and in particular any associated risk to the building structure are quite complex. It is usually a good idea to consult an expert rather than solely relying on a calculation tool such as this.free
The Complete Guide On How To Make Your Business GreenThis UK guide provides an introduction to sustainable business practices including practical tips on what you can do to make your business more eco friendly. free
How to adapt your business to become environmentally friendlyAnother UK resource that outlines ideas and sustainability concepts for forward-thinking businesses on how to improve their impact on the environment.free
Ministry or Business, Innovation and Employment/Department for Building and HousingThe Department for Building and Housing website has updates on the latest regulations. The 2005 revision of the Building Act requires specific consideration of sustainability aspects of buildings.free
Waitakere City CouncilVery useful non-technical information on energy efficient design principles.free
Australian government websiteVery comprehensive with information from budgeting for a good design and building orientation to very specific technology such as solar water heaters and insulation. Non-technical language, laid out in a very attractive and user-friendly format. Understandably a slant towards cooling aspects.free
Standards New ZealandThese standards should be present in every good architectural studio:
SNZ PAS4244:2004 "Insulation of Lightweight-Framed and Solid Timber Houses"
NZS4218:2009 "Energy Efficiency - Housing and Small Building Envelope"
NZS4243:1996 "Energy Efficiency- Large Buildings"
NZS4214:1977 "Methods of Determining the Total Thermal Resistances of Parts of Buildings"
However, keep in mind that these standards only specify only the legal limits and don't really represent good thermal design.
between $20 and $100
Metro GlassTable of technical specifications for a large number of glass types.free
Kagoo Running Cost CalculatorCalculate annual running costs and carbon emissions for thousands of appliances and electricals. Type in the serial number or model of your appliance and your daily usage, and the calculator estimates the lifetime running cost of the appliance.free
Sustainable by DesignSeveral easy-to-use online tools for window and shading calculations. Some require Macromedia Flashplayer to be installed.free
Energy Efficient MortgagesThe American site is a comprehensive consumer guide to energy efficient housing and "green mortgages". It covers what EEMs are, how they work, the different kinds of EEMs etc..free
New Zealand AssociationsNew Zealand associations with specialised information on various energy subjects:
Solar Action (NZ chapter of the New Zealand and Australian Solar Energy Society ANZSAS)
NZ Wind Energy Association
Solar Industries Association
Bioenergy Association of New Zealand
Sustainable Energy Forum
The Eco-Village, and Cohousing Association of New Zealand
Building GuideThe Building Guide website has a few tips on sustainable design.free
Yahoo Discussion GroupsYahoo discussion groups on various aspects of energy design. A good way to get real life feedback from users of various technologies.
Sustainable Community
Home Energy
International Energy Agency IEALinks to technical documents by working groups on a series of technologies.free
US Federal Energy Management ProgramTechnical fact sheets on energy technologies such as photo voltaic, lighting etc. with numerous useful links to other websites.free
Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy ProgramClearinghouse for anything from energy design software, case studies, F&Qs and articles on energy technologies.free
Rocky Mountain InstituteThe Rocky Mountain Institute is the global avant-garde of energy technology and sustainable conceptual thinking.free
The El Paso Solar Energy AssociationPractical hands-on advice on subjects such as Solar Home Design, Solar Hot Water, Solar Pool Heating, Adobe and Thermal Mass, Straw Bale and many others. (Keep in mind that in US units an insulation value of R5.7 is equivalent to a NZ insulation value of R1)free
Colorado SolarA number of easy to understand web pages explaining how solar panels work and what benefits you get from using them.free
US Department of EnergyAn exhaustive list of computer tools for building design, material selection, renewable energy and other energy related technologies.various
Other useful links Sustainability Victoria
Build It Green
The Green Builder
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Section of the US DOE
Energy Technology Data Exchange Home Page

Each of these resources has generally links and references to further specific information. Last not least there are of course public and university libraries.