Leadership needed in NZ educational sector

New Zealand got underway with Passive House before our Aussie mates but sadly we’ve been thoroughly surpassed in the last couple of years. We have no Passive House projects to rival the scale and ambition of Monash University’s Woodside Building for Technology and Design. The striking five-storey building is a “living lab” for IT and engineering students and researchers, deliberately …

Energy-efficient builds increase sales price: Aus study

I’m often asked for data on the price premium a certified Passive House would command compared to the same house built to the legal minimum requirements of the New Zealand Building Code. It’s hard to know as the numbers are so small and Passive House homes so rarely come onto the market. So far they have been rarely built with …

Join US expert on marketing PH to homeowners

I’m looking forward to this seminar on how to effectively market Passive House and encourage those working on and designing Passive Houses to attend. This Zoom seminar is hosted by the Passive House Academy New Zealand on 29 June 2021 at 11am. It features John Oppermann, a US real estate agent (and executive director of the Earth Day Initiative), who …

Worthwhile training course: next week!

I highly recommend attending the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors’ training day in Auckland on 20 March. You’ll hear about Kāinga Ora moving to low carbon building at scale, MBIE’s Building for Climate Change programme and see the latest on the High Performance Construction Detail Handbook. I promise it’ll be PH through and through. All the details, including how …

The Building Code is a minimum, not a quality mark!

I’ve had clients call me with issues but then tell me, “the salesperson said it met Building Code”, as if that means something. All it means is the developer wasn’t allowed to build it any worse. This quote from the latest BRANZ Guideline newsletter (Feb 2021) comes with emphasis added by me: “The Building Code is not a quality mark …

Mechanical ventilation everywhere: not just high-performance buildings

Well-built high-performance buildings need mechanical ventilation. Times have changed, nobody’s really arguing about this any more. But all the other homes built in the last 50 years need mechanical ventilation also—those that only just met the Building Code minimum standards of their day. They’re not airtight (many of them are horribly draughty) but they still need proper ventilation. How do …

Don’t get scammed

Recently my son asked me if I’d ever been scanned. (He was really interested, which is becoming less common when I’m speaking now he’s 12.) At first I couldn’t think of any instances. However, over the next week I built up a pretty big list and generated quite a bit of entertainment for my son. The first question is, what …

City Council: we will build 500 PH units in 5 years

More Passive House units have been completed in Exeter in the United Kingdom: what a start to the new year for the lucky social housing tenants who are moving in and what an example New Zealand could follow. Exeter is a small city in Devon, in the southwest of England, which has established a big reputation for Passive House development. …