Passivhaus In Australia book now available

If you haven’t yet downloaded and read the excellent book produced by APHA, Passivhaus in Australia, I highly recommend it. Although New Zealand had a head start over Australia on Passive House design and construction, the Aussies have now clearly surged to the lead with their large complex projects. School classrooms, student accommodation and a high-end apartment building have all …

Affordable housing that works

Todd Rothstein’s recent Global Passive House Happy Hour presentation* focused on the economics of Passive House construction rather than the more usual technical details. Todd’s goal is to build affordable housing for folks living in Maine in the United States. (Maine is the north-east corner of the United States, enjoying temperatures of -25C in the winter and 35C in the …

Fixing problem buildings needs structural change

Like always, Otago University’s Public Health Summer School this month was galvanising. Creating better housing in order to produce a triple benefit—improved energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions and better health—was the theme this year. The questions are huge, the stakes are critically high and the solutions are various but all complex. I also watched a government official get blindsided by …

NZ entries for the 2020 Passive House Award?

New Zealand window manufacturers took out two of the window awards at the PHI conference in China last year. Several years ago PH1NZ nearly won first place in the residential architecture awards. Time for a New Zealand architecture firm to step up and win first place. I can think of several certified homes in NZ that I’d pick. Certified Passive House …

About time: Damn right, mechanical ventilation is appropriate in all new buildings

Why am I sounding overjoyed at this simple text from BRANZ? The backstory goes a long way back.   In its <December 2019 Guideline https://www.branz.co.nz/guideline>, the front story is about smart vapour retarders (SVR) and how they lower the risk of mould in New Zealand wall assemblies. (There’s a story about that too, but that’s for another time.) The big …

2019 October 16: News just in from China

Jason Quinn reported back from the 23rd International Passive House Conference: “Technical PH people used to talk about saving energy—but at the conference, I kept hearing about saving carbon. That’s a big shift. The conference was as technically awesome as ever but everything in China scaled up. There was the conference dinner (2000 people and a full orchestra) and the …

29 August 2019 NZ Herald’s Anne Gibson: Why a Henderson mother won $13k from her landlords: 22 separate issues at rental property

“A house with leaking and damaged gutters, rotting window frames, illegal stairs, a sagging and mouldy ceiling, rotting weatherboards, a rotten toilet floor and exposed electrical board have earned a stiff penalty for the landlords who rented it out.” “Landlords Ross and Sally Craigie must pay tenant Bjana Thompson $13,020.44 for breaching the Residential Tenancies Act by failing to maintain …

Oppose NASH as AS for E2 as it doesn’t cover external insulation

And putting batts between light steel framing is not a good option as discussed below. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/building-code-update-consultation-november-2019 The Oak Ridge National Laboratory has found that thermal bridging in a wood-framed wall lowers the effectiveness of cavity insulation by 10%, but performance drops a whopping 55% in a wall framed with steel. https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-005-a-bridge-too-far “But from a hygrothermal standpoint, I can only add …