Showing posts from July 24, 2011

Home insurance issues

The current New Zealand Listener (July 30 to August 5) has an interesting article on home insurance and what it describes as the "The home insurance crisis - what you must know". Not quite the reveal all the title suggests but a good read on some of the background to household insurance in New Zealand, issues for earthquake claimants, and the increases premiums everyone in New Zealand will face.

Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country

Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country very accurately describes every person and family that has made the decision to live and work in Christchurch, despite past earthquakes, and with the uncertain prospect of more shakes in the future.

As it happens it is the title of a handbook developed for the San Francisco Bay Region. In recognition of the fact that settling in the San Francisco Bay Region involves exposure to the risk of earthquakes, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) along with a number of local governments and agencies prepared information for residents. The information covers the geological factors and earthquake history of the area, future earthquake scenarios, plus how to prepare for and respond to an earthquake. It even has a section on seismically strengthening your home.

The handbook has a greater depth, breadth, and pragmatism than we have yet to see in New Zealand. Perhaps, one day, CERA or EQC will produce something the same which describes what…

AMI answers some insurance questions

The post on the 15th of July was headed Some questions for insurance companies (here).

The list of questions it contained was our submission to CanCERN when they called for insurance related questions to be put to AMI. AMI is the biggest insurer in Christchurch and has been working behind the scenes with CanCERN to identify and answer issues experienced or anticipated by claimants. 

CanCERN and AMI staff spent a number of hours working through the questions and recording the answers and responses. CanCERN have now made the list of questions and answers available in the word.docx format from Google Docs (here). With their permission a PDF version is also available from this blog's site on Google Docshere.

Please keep in mind that the answers shown in the list are what I would consider "informal": they need to be formally ratified with AMI before we can been confident of anything. There are also a couple of answers that need to be worked on, and no doubt more que…

Holy Trinity in the snow

Walking through Holy Trinity on Monday it was easy to imagine those long interred there feeling at home. It more than ever resembled the English world that created it.

Snow photographs

Some photographs of around and about from the middle of yesterday.

12 more photographs of the area can be found on Avonsideblog @ flickrhere.

Earthquake Information Update 25th July - Lianne Dalziel's newsletter

Lianne Dalziel, Labour electorate MP for Christchurch East, issues occasional newsletters on electorate and earthquake matters. This newsletter covers
options and issues on land values, CERA's Housing Options expo, temporary accommodation assistance being withdrawn for those in the residential Red Zonesdisaster recovery lessons from JapanThe newsletter can be found here.

Sustainable and Smarter Homes - Links

For those looking for information on sustainable homes the links below may help you get started. Click on the subject heading to go to the web site concerned.

Sustainable Building Guide - Christchurch City Council The aim of this guide is to promote environmentally sustainable development and to encourage people to design new residential buildings that interact positively with the various elements of their local environment.The result should be buildings that use less energy and have a less damaging environmental impact on lives than equivalent buildings designed without any regard for these factors.Also on this page is the urban design guide plus guides to buying a section, building a garage, and design guidance for building in the city's SAMs (special amenity areas).
Future Proofing - Benchmark Homes
You have probably already heard about future-proofing, but have probably wondered exactly what it means and how it will benefit you. Future-proofing is about building properti…

Sustainable building

Level is a website created by BRANZ (Building Research Association of New Zealand) for the construction industry. The focus of the site is sustainable building.

Although aimed at designers and builders, it can easily be used by anyone looking at having a new house built. Each of the pages described below has a great deal of information. Even if rebuilding is not going to be possible, the information provides useful ideas for assessing the suitability of any existing home you might look at.

The website (here) consists of pages dedicated to:

Site Analysis: "Understanding the site is the first step towards designing or substantially renovating a house that will minimise its impact on the environment, minimise the use of resources and be comfortable and healthier to live in."
Looks at climate, hazards, weather, services and infrastructure, site conditions, landscape, culture and heritage.Site Use: "The positioning of a house on a site is a crucial part of the prel…