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Access Control

Usually referring to home or building entry systems, such as alarms, keyed or biometric entry equipment. New technology allows much of this to be activated and used via smart phone.


A home, condominium or apartment project which provide and uses growing areas for plants, fruits and vegetables for the residents. This may be simply a Green roof, however Agro-Housing usually means that other growing areas are designed into the building also. The strong container framework makes this an ideal use for Agro-Housing.


(A) A parcel of land whose boundaries are shown on a survey plan and known as a ‘section’ in New Zealand. (B) A building or part of a building, with or without land, shown on a cross lease or unit title plan.


Changes to the plans and/or specifications on which the building consent was granted require an amendment to the original consent. 

Antiseptic Wood

A wood that contains natural oils and terpenes that make it naturally antiseptic against insects, bacteria, and molds.  The most popular such woods are Teak and Balau. Beside their extreme hardness, insects, termites, bacteria, and mold are never a problem. Often used in flooring. Also wall panels and exterior cladding.


Timber moulding surrounding a door or window opening.


Our purpose to include Asia is because many vendors and distributors use the word "Asia" when referring to where their factories are, or where their products are made. However in most cases they really are referring to China but use the word Asia because they believe it is more acceptable to the Consumer and seems less harsh. China has become very sophisticate and provides very high quality products, research and technology since 2000.

Backflow Restrictor

A device added to plumbing fixtures which prevents reversal of the normal direction of the flow of water caused by back pressure and siphonage.


A railing or barrier to prevent someone from falling. Often installed when the height is 1M or more. Common balustrades are around stairs and landings, or around decks and pools.

Barge Board

A timber or metal board fixed to the front edge of a gabled roof.


A receding slope of a wall, structure, or earthwork.


Load bearing cross members, usually timber or steel, that support the upper structure of a building - additional floors and roofs.

Bifold Doors

A bi-fold door is a set of two or more hinged panels that fold (in a concertina-like fashion).

Bio-Energy- (also Bio-fuels)

A general and very broad term for energy or fuels that are renewable and hopefully also less polluting. Generally, Bio-energy refers to things that are grown by agriculture such as corn and other crops. The term Bio-energy is used more in Europe, and Bio-fuels is used mostly in the US.  Both refer to the same concepts and technologies.  Not all Bio-fuels are less polluting, but they are simply renewable unlike oil or gas.


The solids portion of wastewater sewerage and toilets. Often separated for treatment and water recycling.

Bottom Plate

The lowest horizontal piece of timber framing. This only applies to the wall, not any sub-floor members.

Box Gutter

A concealed roof gutter used behind parapets. Also known as a ‘hidden gutter’.


A somewhat slang term for a shipping container.

Brick Veneer

A non-loadbearing facing of brickwork laid outside, and tied to, a loadbearing timber or metal framed structure.

Building Code

The national, mandatory standards for building work. All building work in New Zealand must comply with the Building Code.

Building Consent

Consent issued by a building consent authority for building work to begin in accordance with the approved plans and specifications.

Building Envelope

The entire exterior surface of the building, including foundations, walls, doors and windows, which encloses or envelopes the space within.

Building Line

The distances from the ends and/or sides of the allotment beyond which construction may not extend. It may be established by restrictive covenants on the certificate of title, or by local council requirements. Also known as the setback line.

Building Paper or Wrap

Paper or wrap used to cover timber framing and forms part of the backing component to external cladding.


A lowered ceiling formed when a room is pushed out under an eave.


Curved edging, such as the front edge of a kitchen bench top or the leading edge of a stair tread.

Cargo Container

Same as a ISO Shipping Container, or ISO container.


A space or void between an external cladding and the structural wall behind it. For example the void between brick veneer cladding and the timber frame in an external wall.

Cavity Slider

A sliding door that recesses into a pocket in the wall framing, leaving clear wall space on both sides of the doorway.

Cavity System

A method (or system) of forming a cavity gap between particular building elements to encourage air circulation.

ccSPF Insulation

The acronym for Closed-Cell Spray Polyurethane Foam used as an Eco-friendly building insulation that can withstand moisture and mold. ‘Closed Cell’ insulations are preferred over ‘Open Cell’ insulations

Ceiling Batten

A horizontal material fixed below timber trusses which the ceiling GIB is attached to.

Certificate of Title

Document which shows the ownership of a piece of land, held in Lands and Deeds Registry Offices. It can include the owner's details, type of ownership, area, legal description, mortgages, covenants and consent conditions.


Exterior weather-resistant surface of a building.

Code Compliance Cert

Code Compliance Certificate or Consent Completion Certificate. A certificate issued by the local authority or council after construction is complete, notifying that building work has been completed in accordance with the building consent.


Occurs when building performance, according to the standards in the Building Code, has been achieved.

Composting Toilet

A toilet that is not connected to the normal water and sewer system, and can operate odorlessly without such connections. The technology uses natural bacteria to decompose the solid waste and thus named composting toilet. The solids dry out as sawdust or organic matter are introduced, then the composting process digests the fecal solids into rich, odorless, garden soil.


A concept drawing is a drawing of the proposed building that may not include all details but provides an example or idea of the finished product.

Container Home

A home or building, constructed from an ISBU (shipping container) base. The term Container Home is often misused by some modular and prefab manufacturers. The true Container home must be constructed of one, or multiple ISBU Modules to qualify as a true Container home.

Control Joint

Also known as an Expansion Joint. See Expansion Joint.


Corrosion is more than simply rust.  Corrosion is a response when  water, salts, pollutants and other chemicals come in contact with most metals and actually eats deeply into the metal and dissolves it.  One metal that is non-corrosive is Corten steel, widely used in marine, freeway and bridge construction. Other the non-corrosive metals are gold, platinum, silver.  Corten steel is always used in the construction of true ISO shipping containers.

Corten steel

Also known as "Weathering Steel", because it withstands weather and is the only steel that is non-corrosive and will not rust out. Corten steel does oxidize which looks like the beginning of rust, but the oxidation stops and never will become rust or corrosion to deteriorate the Corten steel. Corten steel is more than 40% stronger than the common mild steel and some test as much as 75%. Corten steel (Cor-ten) is the copyrighted name owned by US Steel company.


Any material with a wavy "S", "W", or "U" like design. Usually used when referring to paper boxes or metal; Corrugated metal. Corrugated material have significantly greater strength than flat, non-corrugated designs.

CSC Plate 

This plate is affixed to the doors of a shipping container and specifies a serial number and other technical data.

Door, Hollow Core

A flush door which is made with a hollow core.

Door, Solid Core

A flush door which is made with a solid core.

Double Glazing

Glazing with two glass panels separated by a sealed air space providing insulation and sound protection.

Dwang (aka Nog)

A small horizontal block of wood inserted into timber framing. Most often used to describe extra framing to be used for mounting heavy finishing objects to (cabinets, vanities, televisions, etc.)


A right that a property owner has to some use of the (usually adjoining) property of another. Examples of easements include: a right of way (this is a right to pass over another person's land, such as a driveway).


The end section of a roof which projects past the horizontal wall of the structure.

Eco Construction

Construction that is friendly to the environment, using recyclable materials and energy efficient. However, the term is very loosely used with almost any construction and very difficult for the Consumer to separate and understand. ISBU Modules are one of the few true Eco construction frame-bases and materials.

Electrical Mains

The supply of electricity to the structure, usually dug in up and driveway or easement.


The exterior sides of a building drawn to scale from the floor plan.

Emergency Housing

Mobile, ready to use housing for use in disaster areas.  The US government FEMA department uses, expensive, dangerous and toxic trailer homes, even though there are hundreds of thousands of shipping containers available from coast to coast. Other countries manufacture extremely safe, durable, reusable, and cost effective ISBU based Emergency housing.

Energy Efficient

A product, group of products, or home that conserves and uses less energy than previous standard technology.

EPS Foam Board

A widely used Eco sustainable insulation due to its length of life, non decomposition, moisture resistance, recyclability, and no CFC’s during manufacture or use. EPS blocks or panels also have superior strengths aside from their outstanding insulative properties. EPS foam is not Styrofoam. EPS is a closed-cell foam insulation board. Styrofoam is a much different foam and chemical composition.

Expansion Joint

A joint or gap constructed between two similar materials in the same plane to allow for expansion/contraction between those surfaces with temperature changes. Most commonly a gap between sheets of plaster board, or a gap between concrete sections.


A timber or metal board fixed to the lower edges of the roof where guttering is attached.

Finished Ground Level

The level of ground around the structure after all landscaping, paving, paths or decks have been completed.


A building element used on a joint between two materials designed to catch and drain rainwater to prevent it penetrating the interior. Inadequate flashings have been linked to problems with Weather-tightness.

Flooring - (shipping container flooring)

ISBU or shipping container flooring is made of various woods, adhesives, and pesticides from the factory which dissipate over time. The woods used in the flooring are similar to plywood but usually the top layers are a hard wood ply for durability over time.

Floor Plan

A scale drawing of the homes layout from a birds eye view.


The bottom part of the foundation which is made of concrete and reinforced with steel. The footing forms the base of the foundation and spreads the vertical loads from building.


Those parts of a building or structure such as piles, piers or footings which transmit and distribute loads to the ground.

Frame / Framing

The skeletal framework of a building to which roofs, floors and cladding are attached. Usually constructed of wood or steel, the components of the frame include studs, beams, joists and rafters.


The part of a wall that encloses the end of a pitched roof showing triangular open ended roof edges.

Geo-Air Technology

A form of Geothermal Energy. It only uses the natural earth temperature of the soil 6’’-8’ below the surface as the heat/cooling energy source. In most climates of the world the temperature remains 50 F- 60 F year around. The inexpensive Geo-Air process uses HDPE tubes to circulate the air from the soil to the home or greenhouse.

GeoExchange Systems

A term for using the earth’s energy for heating/cooling. The constant earth temperature in the earth is utilised by either 4” Geo-Air corrugated tubes, or 3/4” Geo-Liquid tubes. Geo-Air is often the most economical method for most GeoExchange applications.

GIB Cove

A shaped plaster mould installed at the join of walls and ceilings.

GIB Stopping

To fill the surface that is to be painted providing a flat surface such as nail holes, GIB joins and cracks. Note: there are differing levels of finish in this work. 


“General Purpose” shipping container for general cargo, generally 20 or 40 feet in length.

Green Business

Any business which promotes the use, sale, or manufacturing of Eco-Green technology that recycles, saves energy, and is non-polluting. These type businesses are some of the most profitable and fastest growing business trends globally since 2008 footings which transmit and distribute loads to the ground.

Green Construction

Building construction methods using Recyclable, Sustainable, Energy efficient, and non-Polluting products, materials, and technologies. The new trend of ISBU shipping container based construction is one of the most ideal construction bases for Green construction technologies.

Green Energy

Energy sources that are non-polluting, renewable, and sustainable, consisting of Solar energy, Wind turbines, Bio-fuels, and Geothermal energy.


A secure building structure for growing of fruits, vegetables, and other plants; providing protection from wind, cold, heat and insects. There are many forms of greenhouses, including the standard, hydroponic, and sunless greenhouses which are underground for insulation, and use LED lights to provide all necessary UV light forms.

Green Roof

A traditional type roofing in the UK which is now being adapted using new technologies, providing insulation, air purification, and even food sources for many home owners and communities.  The ISBU shipping container based home is the strongest and most ideal structure for supporting Green roof technology.

Greywater - (Grey Water)

The wastewater from a home or business that is not from the toilet. Greywater is the cleaner water from sinks, baths, and laundry, which is recycled and filtered for other uses.

Gully Trap

Stops sewerage smells escaping from the drainage system and collects the waste water from the structure.


Plastic or metal channel affixed to the fascia for collecting water run-off from the roof area.


The term Hiab is actually a brand name of popular crane trucks. A type of crane truck for smaller lifting jobs. The Hiab crane is mounted to the truck near the cab which allows the crane to load and off-load contents. Larger crane trucks are not considered Hiab.

HC or High Cube Container 

This shipping container has approximately 30cm on internal headroom for transporting taller cargo, very good for use as housing. The standard shipping container is 8’9”high where as the HQ, or HC means high cube and is 9'6" high.

Hidden Gutter

See Box Gutter


The seam formed between two roof planes that meet at an external corner and runs up to a ridge. The opposite of valley.

Home Automation

A complete system utilising electronic and digital technologies to save energy, control lighting, appliances, security cameras, alarms, and audio-video multimedia functions for the entire home.  This now includes the exact energy control of solar panels, solar heating, wind turbines and battery storage units.

Home Decor

The design, furnishing and decorating of the home or apartment; the products used to decorate a home. Home Decor is fast becoming a very important technology for sustainable, and smaller home designs.


A method of greenhouse growing using water with nutrients in it rather than putting the plants in soil. The Hydroponic method is excellent for many types of vegetables and produce; faster growing, more production per square foot, and better control of nutrients.

Hydronic Heating

Hydronic heating is suited to uniformly heating the whole house, including multi-storey dwellings. It can often also be used to heat the household’s hot water. Hydronic heating works by separating the place where the heat is generated from where it's released. To do this it needs a way of moving heat from one place to another as quietly as possible. The answer is hot water in insulated pipes under the floor.It takes a lot of heat to raise the temperature of water – and so hot water carries a great deal of heat energy. With insulated pipes moving the hot water around, a substantial amount of heat can be spread relatively easily from a single source to other places throughout the house.


ISBU is the short term for Intermodal Steel Shipping Unit.  It’s simply a steel Module. An ISO shipping container shell that is not used for shipping, but the steel shell is used for residential or commercial storage or construction.  If a home is built with 7 shipping containers, we say it is built with 7 ISBU Modules or 7 ISBU’s because they are technically no longer ISO shipping containers. ISBU and containers are the same thing, however a shipping container could still be used for shipping. There are two types of ISBU Modules: Maritime, and Domestic. Often confused.

Isolating Valve

A valve installed to isolate the water system in a structure.


Side of a door or window frame usually made from timber.


Parallel beams of timber, concrete or steel for supporting floors or ceilings, etc.


Parallel beams of timber, concrete or steel for supporting floors or ceilings, etc.


Licensing Building Practitioners (LBPs). A licensing system for the building industry covering designers and trades. From March 2012 certain critical building work will need to be carried out or supervised by a Licensed Building Practitioner.

LED Lighting

Light sources that use Light Emitting Diodes to create the light rather than incandescent or fluorescent sources. The LED is the brightest, most economical and energy efficient lighting source today, lasting 10-20 years per LED.  LED lighting is also now used to provide Full Spectrum, and UV light to greenhouse plants in full spectrum and at an energy savings of 50-90%.  LED's are now the growing basis of the Sunless Greenhouse trend.

LIM Report

Land Information Memorandum. This is a document from the local authority which discloses a number of known features about the site. This may include location of stormwater and sewer lines and connection points, land zoning, wind zones, and soil types.


The organised and efficient moving of products from their origin to the consumer.  Large corporations have logistics departments whose job is to move, ship and warehouse in the most cost effective manner. International logistics companies include shipping companies, freight forwarders, and trucking companies who organise the shipping of Shipping Containers from the factory, by ship, through the ports and Customs clearance, then by rail or truck in their local country for delivery to the dealer or consumer.  Logistics is the business technology to determine the most efficient and most economical method of moving cargo or products from one point to another.

Long Run Roofing

Metal sheets overlapped which run the full length of a roof.


The Loan to Value Ratio is used when financing a home purchase. A higher LVR is currently accepted for new builds, meaning you can build a home with a lower deposit than if you were to buy an existing house.


Bricks made from clay or other material joined together with mortar.

Mild Steel

The standard steel used in building factories offices, homes, storage units and automobiles. Compared to Corten steel, Mild steel is weaker and more prone to rust and corrosion.

Mobile Home

Typically a home which is built in a factory and can be transported on wheels. The construction is very light and economical.  They are not considered a permanent structure due to their sub-standard manufacturing standards. The same home could be built using an ISBU but with a virtually indestructible core.  ...safer, easier to transport, and a longer housing life.


A home built in pieces or segments inside a factory, then transported by multiple truck loads to the destination site and assembled. Usually allowing a lower construction price, better quality control, and faster construction time. The same is being done with ISBU shipping containers and the homes, hotels and apartments have much stronger construction, lower cost and faster construction time. A modular home created by multiple ISBU's will have 2-5 times more strength in an earthquake tornado, or hurricane than a standard modular home.

Nog (a.k.a Dwang)

A small horizontal block of wood inserted into timber framing. Most often used to describe extra framing to be used for mounting heavy finishing objects to (cabinets, vanities, televisions, etc.)


When you cut your dependency on the traditional Energy Grid and national energy sources-adding your own Solar, Wind, Biofuel, or Geothermal. Usually meaning Renewable energy, but can also mean providing your own energy from a gas, propane, or diesel generator.


Oriented Strand Board is a very common, economical and strong option to plywood panels. Although widely used in the United States and Canada, OSB, like plywood is very susceptible to termites, fire, and moisture damage.


A combination of substances and chemicals including oxygen that changes colour or physical properties of substances.  Steel and metals oxidise in the presence of moisture, salts, pollution and time.  Extreme oxidation can cause rust and then corrosion.  Some metals, such as Corten steel used on shipping containers will simply oxidise, which is generally not an issue. Rust or corrode however, is a very advanced form of Oxidation and is an indication of extreme neglect.


A raised section of wall which extends above a roof/deck to form an encompassing wall.


A block or a column which penetrates the ground, used to transmit loads from the structure into the ground for additional stability on unfavourable soil conditions.


A.k.a Drawings. The set of construction plans including the, floor plan, elevations, site plan, and in certain instances other construction details.


Materials used which when mixed with water will set and harden after application to a surface such as a plaster cladding.

Plumb a.k.a ‘True’

A vertical and straight line. More often used to describe a surface that is 90° vertical.


Thin layers of wood glued together and compressed to make thick, strong ply's with great strength.


Another term for module, unit, or container. Generally referring to a small module.


The finishing of masonry or concrete roof tiles with mortar to seal them in place and provide weather-tightness.

Portable Housing

Structures that can be moved easily from one location to another.  The ideal portable housing base is an ISBU (shipping container) The ideal portable housing can be trucked, shipped, and transported with no special equipment or over-sized trucks.

Potable Water

Suitable for human consumption.

Pre-built Housing

A home built in pieces inside a factory, then transported by multiple truck loads to the destination site and assembled. Usually allowing a lower construction price, better quality control, and faster construction time. The same is being done with ISBU shipping containers and the homes, hotels and apartments have much stronger construction, lower cost and faster construction time. A pre-built home created by multiple ISBU's will have 2-5 times more strength in an earthquake tornado, or hurricane than a standard modular home.


A prefabricated building, informally a prefab, is a building that is manufactured and constructed using prefabrication. It consists of factory-made components or units that are transported and assembled on-site to form the complete building.

Prefab Schools

Classrooms that are built in a factory then trucked and assembled to the site for final assembly.

Provisional Cost Sums

Provisional sums (often referred to as PC or PS sums), is a general term used to describe allowances for adjustable sums in sections of the contract which are not able to be selected until later in the build process, such as kitchen, driveways, etc.


The sloping beams that support the roof cladding/roof covering.


A product or substance that can be re-used again or used for another purpose.  To recycle a can, we melt it down and use the aluminium for another can or create some other aluminium product for construction. Recycling reduces waste, energy, and pollution and keep our environment clean. [ see Up-Cycling ]


The level, or efficiency rating of insulation; R-3, R-4; also called R-value.  The higher the number, the more efficient the insulation is in heating and cooling. In New Zealand there are different R value requirements for different climate zones.

Reflective Coating

Related to housing and construction; a coating on a roof or building that will reflect the heat before it enters the building skin. Different than insulation, a reflective coating is on the exterior and not usually the interior. Ceramic coatings are a good example of inexpensive Reflective Coatings.

Resource Consent

A consent issued by a Territorial Authority to use the land in a way that is not a permitted activity under a council or district plan. For example, locating a building closer to the boundary than permitted on the District Plan, requires Resource Consent.


The vertically running seam at the junction of the top of two roofing planes.

Rough Sawn

The rough surface of timber after it has been sawn to size - not planed or sanded.


The opening aluminium surrounded pane of a window which either has hinges at the side or bottom. Sliding doors or windows are called panels.


A shaped timber mould installed at the join of walls and ceilings.

Septic Tank

Tank used to dispose of sewage when structure cannot be connected to a sewerage system.

Setback Line

See Building Line.

Setting Out

Using pegs to show the position of a structure on a site, ensuring to clear site boundaries or noted areas of concern.


Movement of a structure after construction, usually caused by timber expansion and contraction due to temperature variables.

Shipping Container

Also known as ISO shipping container, or ISBU module; it is a standardised steel box specifically used to ship cargo internationally and locally and designed to fit on ships, trucks, rail, and airplanes to easily go anywhere in the world. Because it must be bumped, banged, dropped, and stacked on by 5 or 8 other heavy shipping containers during transport, the ISO shipping container is the strongest mobile storage or housing structure in the world. Build with heavy gauge Corten steel frame and shell, it will not rust or corrode and easily repaired.

SIPS - Structural Insulated Panels

A strong sandwich panel used in the construction industry. SIPS are pre-made panels usually consisting of OSB-EPS foam board-OSB. The EPS insulation in the middle of the OSB panels. SIPS, however, can be any outside layer with EPS foam in the center. Steel, aluminum, plywood, concrete, and magnesium oxide sheets can be used. Although a SIP is quite durable, the labor and cost is generally higher than ISBU Module construction.

Site Plan

This is a birds-eye-view of the section, showing the position of the building and other relevant factors like waste water pipes and vehicle access.


Refers to a container house not on foundations, but rather a timber or steel skids underneath (like a ski) to allow the container home to be dragged along to different locations. 


As related to housing and ISBU container home construction, a skin on the outside of the home. The Infrastructure may be wood, aluminum, plywood, or an ISBU module, but the Skin can be wood siding, stucco, brick or any other material to look nice. Skin: the exterior of a home or office.


Timber trim fixed on a wall at its base where it joins the floor.


Pit of large stones such a scoria used to disperse surface water by gradual soakage into the soil.


The lower face or underside of a roof’s eaves.

Solar Heating

Simply, it is using the sun to heat surfaces of the interior of a home or office. Also the heating and storing of water heated by the sun during the day to later heat the structure or bath water. Solar heating is very cheap and simply, but very unused by most consumers.

Solar Panel

A Solar panel is a group of solar-electric cells which generate electricity when the sun strikes the surface. The simplest example is the calculator in your pocket, purse, or briefcase. We have been using solar cells and solar panels on a small scale very efficiently for at least 20 years.  Today, solar panels are very low, highly efficient and flexible for any home owner to easily create their own power supply with very little maintenance.


A written document containing the detail and inclusions of a building project. This will be complimentary to the contract and contract plans.

Stacker Doors

A Stacker Door has two or three panels that slide the same way behind a fixed panel, which means there are no intrusive panels to obstruct.


Vertical timber, forming part of a wall where cladding of lining will be fixed to.

Stud Height

The height of the wall framing a room. Note that this height will generally be greater than the height from floor coverings to ceiling.


A tradesperson hired to do specific work such as roofing, plumbing, wiring or painting. The subcontractor takes instructions from, is paid by, and is responsible to the main contractor.

Sustainable Housing

Possibly the most "over used" and maybe meaningless word in our vocabulary the past 8 years. It should mean: long life with limited effort to maintain. So we will leave it there for our definition of Sustainable Housing.  ...if any type housing is "Sustainable" it would be housing constructed from the base of multiple ISBU shipping containers. or concrete ...sustainable everything.


The ability to maintain something at a certain level indefinitely  ...hopefully a sustainable home with low maintenance and highly efficient insulation; sustainable energy using low cost, no maintenance solar or wind; food from a sustainable onsite greenhouse.  The ultimate definition for Sustainable would be: forever, with no cost, no maintenance, and no pollution.


A continuous waterproof membrane applied to a surface to prevent water penetration from either side.


Refers to a standard twenty foot shipping container, with TEU representing “Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit”

Thermal Barrier or Thermal break

A coating, film, or membrane or bridge that reduces or stops the conduction of heat and condensation to the other side

THOW or Tiny House on Wheels

A recent Court decisions in New Zealand have declared THOW’s not a house but a vehicle. As such, it's unlikely to qualify for a home loan through a bank.

Tolerance Schedule

A schedule issued showing the tolerable allowances in building practises such as GIB finish, concrete / plaster cracking etc.

Top Plate

The horizontal piece of timber running along the top of a timber framed wall.

Trap, P

A toilet pan or fixture in which the outlet discharges horizontally (out through the wall of the structure).

Trap, S

A toilet pan or fixture in which the outlet discharges vertically downward (out through the floor of the structure).

Underfloor Heating

Hydronic heating’s the technical name for water-based heating – a well proven and effective method of warming the whole of your house. It’s very common in Europe and growing in demand here. (see also Hydronic heating)


A term similar to Recycling but a simpler process. Instead of completely melting down a product to its base materials or chemicals, Up-Cycling is a trend to take the material and simply modify it into another valuable use. An example of Up-Cycling is to convert a Shipping Container into home, cabin, or emergency shelter.


The seam formed between two roof planes that meet at an internal corner and runs up to a ridge. The opposite of a hip.


A change to the approved plans and specifications for a building project, occurring during construction. Requiring an amendment to the building consent, that is checked, approved and recorded by the building consent authority.

Wall Bracing Element

A section of wall which performs a bracing function.


Small holes installed in masonry and other external cladding which allows drainage from the cavity.

Wind Energy

The use of wind generators and wind turbines to create electricity for either private or public energy consumption.

Wind Turbine

An electrical generator with propeller type blades which are turned by the wind to turn the generator and produce an electrical output.