It’s not rocket science: actually it’s harder

This great profile of Sustainable Engineering’s founding director delivers a nice intro to Passive House—while also telling the story of how a campervan trip around New Zealand saw a NASA rocket scientist emigrate here and embark on a big career change. Building science is actually more challenging than rocket science, reckons Jason Quinn. This profile was written by Mas, a …

Cheaper. Better. Just do it.

Sydney’s first PH built for less than an equivalent Code house A fantastic report on the cost premium for building a Passive House has been released by Sydney architect Andy Marlow. This is an important piece of research and I urge you to download and read it. Every Passive House professional hears the question, “But how much more will it …

Heat pumps a great choice for high-performance homes

Heat pumps are suitable for every climate zone in New Zealand, even the coldest, and they are the most efficient source of heating and cooling. Don’t buy crappy ones. New labelling makes it easier to compare models. We always recommend heat pumps in our building designs or other projects we consult on. For single family homes, it’s usually just one …

RNZ Explores Barriers to Passive House

RNZ presenter Kathryn Ryan asked some very good questions in a recent interview about whether all new social housing in New Zealand should be built to the Passive House standard. Here are some clear answers. Q. What is involved in getting Passive House certification? A building gets certified as a Passive House if it meets specific performance targets. It can …

Even a ‘green grid’ has a carbon cost

We can’t solar panel our way out of climate change: energy demand must fall as well. And especially in the winter, when less solar energy is available! This alone is reason to construct energy-efficient buildings that need little energy for heating, and retro-fit those already built. NZ grid emissions, predicted to 2050 Our grid’s carbon emissions are expected to drop, …

Barriers to Passive House and how to solve them

RNZ presenter Kathryn Ryan asked some very good questions in a recent interview about whether all new social housing in New Zealand should be built to the Passive House standard. Here are some clear answers. Q. What is involved in getting Passive House certification? A building gets certified as a Passive House if it meets specific performance targets. It can …

Look back and celebrate: 8 years of PH in NZ

It’s eight years since the first New Zealand home was certified as a Passive House. That distinction went to the aptly named PH1NZ in Auckland. (Notable second was a more modest family home in Raglan.) It’s extraordinary to reflect on how far we’ve come in less than a decade, on multiple fronts: the profile of Passive House in particular and …