Technical Guides

Your in-depth resource to environmental design issues

In addition to product information ecospecifier offers a range of detailed category-based Technical Guides. Produced periodically, these guides offer in-depth analysis of products, materials, technologies and design issues. When doing a product search the guides will appear when a guide exists that is relevant to your search.

Technical Guide 1: Timber & Wood Products

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of most of the common specifier questions. What are the environmental issues? Are plantation hardwoods available? Is Timber Certification available? What are the various preservatives available and which ones are preferable? What is the embodied energy of MDF as opposed to solid timber, or plastics? These questions and many more are addressed.

Technical Guide 2: Purification of Indoor Air Quality - Negative Ions & Plants

This guide addresses the health benefits of using ionisers and/or indoor plants and lists a number of particularly beneficial plant species.

Technical Guide 3: Photovoltaic Technology & Installation

This technical guide attempts to demystify photovoltaics (PV) by providing clear information on different PV technologies and a step-by-step guide to selecting and sizing a PV system.

Technical Guide 4: Thermal Mass & its Role in Building Comfort and Energy Efficiency

This Technical Guide seeks to explain thermal mass, its benefits and limitations to enhance an understanding of mass in common building materials and its design implications and strategies for use in buildings.

Technical Guide 5: High Performance Fluorescent Lighting

This Technical Guide investigates various energy efficient fluorescent lighting technologies and options, and questions the single direction 'electronic ballast or bust' thrust currently in the marketplace. The purpose of this Technical Guide is to promote awareness and stimulate debate, in order to achieve the most energy efficient fluorescent lighting systems and optimum environmental outcomes available.

Technical Guide 6: Fluroescent Lamps & Mercury

Most energy efficient lamps (except LEDs) contain highly toxic mercury.  This Guide explains the reason why we currently need to continue to use these lamps, discusses the 'mercury payback' trade-off against saved fossil fuel mercury emissions and describes the safety issues of handling broken lamps.

Technical Guide 7: Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is a relatively new development.  Or is it?  This Guide looks at the historical use of nanotechnology, the potential benefits, current uses, future directions and rings some warning bells about our need to be cautious in our headlong pursuit of the next nanotechnology.

Technical Guide 8: Integrative Design Primer

Who ever heard of product led design?  This note explains the concept of integrative design practice, how it works and its benefits.  It also explains why smart design, designers and products are at the leading edge of driving first cost and operational costs of buildings down and why projects need to consider locking into smart products that drive synergy in design to ensure the short and long term cost and environmental benefits are delivered.

Technical Guide 9: Introduction to Eco-labels & Environmental Product Declarations

Want to unscramble the knot that is environmental product declarations?  What is a Type 1 ecolabel or an EPD?  What are the legal responsibilities of manufacturers in avoiding 'Greenwash'?  What is a life cycle rating and how can it help designers specify products simply?  Get your questions answered.