Case Studies

Woodford Grace

Woodford Grace is a remarkable house, in every way. The owners bought a gracious old bungalow written off after the Canterbury earthquakes, won over by the large land area and proximity to the city. They then, with audacious ambition, decided to repair and restore the villa, while adding a modern extension to suit their family of five—and to aim for …


2021 306 m2
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Tocker Residence

This Canterbury home is a terrific example of what happens when a client—and their architect—are brave enough to consider alternatives to standard floor plans and instead aim for a home that fits them like a glove. This beautiful home on an end section looks out over the river. It is very much a house of two halves, with the principal …


2021 97.2 m2
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Leith Valley Passive House

New Zealand’s newest Passive House Plus is home to a couple—and their two electric cars. Their latest monthly power bill was about $50, of which fully $30 was line and other fixed charges. And that’s in Dunedin, still chilly in October! It will be equally as comfortable and still miserly on energy even during heatwaves in summer. External blinds will …


2021 135 m2
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Lower Saddle House

Lower Saddle House is the family home for Auckland architect Joe Lyth, who qualified as a Passive House designer during the planning phase. It’s had lots of press. In particular Joe’s essay for Architecture Now was widely discussed, because he described how this certified, high-performance build was completed within their $502K budget. It is true that Lower Saddle House achieved …


2021 123 m2
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Bader Ventura

Kāinga Ora has finally gone public with its ambitious plan to build new social housing that targets Passive House certification. The Sustainable Engineering Ltd team has been deeply involved since the first discussions began about high-performance social housing and director Jason Quinn says he’s excited to be able to speak publicly about the work at last. Sustainable Engineering Ltd is …


In-construction 1634 m2
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Toiora High Street Cohousing

History has been made: the Toiora co-housing project in Dunedin has met all its targets and both buildings have received their Passive House certification. The development is home to 21 units and is both the largest Passive House project in New Zealand to date and the first multi-unit Passive House residential dwelling.  The success of Toiora is testament to the …


2021 1200.5 | 626.5 m2
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It’s been a long road to their “forever home” but the wait for this newly certified Passive House just north of Wellington has been worth it. Work began in 2016, but the subdivision and gaining title dragged on and then Covid created unforeseen delays. But all’s well that ends well. The four-bedroom 187m2 home shelters multiple generations. It sits on …


2021 187.3 m2
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Martin Residence

Sometimes serendipity produces the sweetest results. Brett Martin and Weihong Wang were in the early stages of designing a new energy efficient house when Brett happened to hear an interview on Radio NZ featuring Jason Quinn. Sustainable Engineering’s director was talking about the book he had just published, Passive House for New Zealand: The warm healthy homes we need. Passive …


2021 121.8 m2
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Threepwood Passive House

Siân Taylor had a vexing situation. After a day of designing Passive House and other high-performance homes for clients, she’d return to the ordinary 1980s house she shared with her husband (and fellow architect) Mark Read and their baby, which was freezing cold and took all evening to warm up even the living areas. From the UK and used to …


2021 121.20 m2
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