When must windows be open in your Passive House?

As any Passive House homeowner knows, you can open your windows and doors whenever you want. The mechanical ventilation is delivering fresh, filtered, pre-warmed (or cooled) air 24/7 which means opening windows is not required for indoor air quality (IAQ). Not that New Zealanders are very good at that anyway. But there are two specific circumstances in which it’s important …

There are lots of different reasons why people build Passive House homes

What motivates people and organisations to build better homes? And how do they afford them? It was interesting to chat with Architype principal Tim Ross this week about the Arthur Street townhouse project (see the case study here). This home stands out for being built-to-rent. It’s in Dunedin, a climate badly in need of warm, dry housing. It also features …

DefignTalks podcast talks operational energy

The first episode of a new podcast for architectural designers launched this week, and its first guest is Sustainable Engineering Ltd’s principal Jason Quinn. Hosts Glenn Murdoch and Casey Curtis kick off by considering operational energy (really, operational carbon) and ask, how big is the problem? As we design more durable buildings, does the balance between operational and embodied energy …

The Heights Whare keeps gathering attention

Newly certified LEB The Heights Whare has been featured in an extensive two-page (broadsheet) story in the Otago Daily Times. It can only be read online by subscribers (the ODT is the last independently owned major daily in the country and doesn’t give away its content) but these pics of the layout show the attention lavished on this terrific project. …

Air transfer solution: ventilated doors

Australian Passive House designer Matt Purves posted online some intriguing photos of bespoke doors he built himself from leftover spruce wall panelling. These were for his home in Tasmania, which is targeting Passive House Plus certification. Ventilation systems need air to be able to move freely between rooms even when doors are closed. This is most often achieved by the …

New plans for Passive House training and certification

Dr Kara Rosemeier has personally trained and certified almost every Passive House professional in New Zealand and her influence cannot be overstated. Kara is preparing for a gradual retirement and to this end, her Passive House Academy New Zealand (PHANZ) is joining forces with Sustainable Engineering Ltd. The new training entity will honour the historic relationship with Te Whare Korou …

Jason Quinn in Wellington speaking on high-performance glazing

Jason Quinn will be speaking in Wellington on 7 November on the latest developments in high-performance glazing. The industry event, hosted by Metro Performance Glass, is on the waterfront, with drinks, nibbles and CPD points all available. The Sustainable Engineering team has been consulting for various local window manufacturers, including Metro, so Jason has data at his fingertips. He’ll talk …

Leaky buildings ripe for EnerPHit level makeovers

Nick Gaites spent years designing a new home for his family and overseeing its construction, successfully achieving Passive House certification. His family loved the winter they spent living there but now it’s on the market, thanks to changing family needs. So what next? Well, a bit of a break from construction. But the next family home he creates will almost …

SEL validates ECCHO tool to international standard

Energy modelling New Zealand homes at design stage is easier and more widely available, thanks to a project by Sustainable Engineering for the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC). ECCHO has been accredited under ASHRAE 140, a confirmation that ECCHO’s calculations are correct. This work was carried out by SEL principal, Jason Quinn. ECCHO had to be validated in order …