S&T sent Certified Passive House Designer Cyril Vibert to the 2016 Southern Hemisphere Passive House Conference held at the University of Melbourne. He tells us why Passive House represents the future of the industry, and what he learnt from attending the four day conference.
With experts from around the world, the 2016 Southern Hemisphere Passive House Conference was the place to be if you were seeking knowledge and inspiration about the German building Standard ‘Passivhaus’ founded in 1990. In New Zealand, household energy accounts for 13% of greenhouse gas emissions and Passive House is one of the highest Standards in the world when it comes to energy efficiency in homes.
To achieve Passive House certification, your building must include the following five factors:
High levels of thermal insulation. Airtightness - no air leakages to let hot air out of the house. Construction detailing which avoids thermal bridges. High efficiency windows – often triple-glazed, and positioned to maximise sunlight. Heat exchange mechanical ventilation systems to maintain air quality. These factors applied properly reduce energy consumption in your house by up to 90%. That extra 10% can actually be produced by your body temperature, solar gain, lighting, the microwave or oven. By reducing energy consumption this dramatically, you can save money and the environment.
With more than 36,000 certified ‘Passive House’ projects already built in the world and around 10 in New Zealand, Passive House represents the future of the industry. Building professionals ranging from builders and manufacturers to quantity surveyors, architects, designers and services consultants attended the conference.
One of the talks that stood out for me was Elrond Burrells. In his talk, he shared the huge amount of experience he has gathered through various educational projects that his company designed in the UK. Once we were familiar with his background, Elrond stressed the importance of the design phase and how it is crucial to design, model and analyse the building before the construction starts. He also explained that communication within the team was a key factor for a successful project. One of the quotes he used perfectly summed it up for me “Passivhaus is simple-but not easy”.
I felt really inspired and once again convinced of the importance of energy efficiency, comfort and well-being in today’s buildings.
S&T are committed to leading the way in Environmentally Sustainable Design. With key staff members on board including GreenStar Accredited Professionals, NABERSNZ Assessors, LEED Associates and Passive House Designers we are always seeking ways our buildings can minimise their carbon footprint and save you money in operating costs.