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 …

CLT passive house apartments blaze near-zero carbon path

I’m pleased to see a five-story Passive House apartment building planned for Boston, built from cross-laminated timber (CLT). In my opinion, the best way to reduce the embodied energy or carbon in buildings is to reduce concrete and steel—and increase the timber content. A CLT structure does all three at the same time. Added bonus: it speeds construction and removes …

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 …

New NZ homes emitting 5x more carbon than <2 deg budget allows

This first study of its kind in New Zealand attempts to calculate how much carbon new homes can emit if we are to stay within the 2 degrees warming limit set by the Paris Agreement—and how much carbon our new builds are actually using. The outcome? Our typical built-to-Code new builds spew out five times more carbon than their fair …

Every house a Certified Passive House by 2030

There are about 30,000 new houses a year currently built in New Zealand. In a decade, could they all be certified Passive House? I think it can be done but the biggest barrier won’t be money, construction materials or staff availability. It will be training. Building a Certified Passive House is hard—the first time. Then once you’ve done a few, …

Carbon-positive landscapes too

The basic idea? The chosen materials and landscape components sequester carbon to balance out the carbon it took to create it, all within five to 20 years. (Five for greener projects like parks, gardens, campuses and mixed-use developments, with up to 20 years for more urban projects.) The important new development is that they’ve run the numbers: it is possible …

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2019 November 26 Radio New Zealand: Mouldy Home Victims Get New Lease On Life

In our opinion every home needs continuous mechanical ventilation. EVERY HOME. Alice Peacock, who works as a social worker with the healthy housing programme, travels around the Bay helping vulnerable families in mouldy houses. “It’s in everyone’s homes – but it is just particularly bad in some homes where it is a lot harder to ventilate the home – if …

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2019 November 21 Wanaka Sun: Meeting Luggate Community Needs

“QLDC endorsed an ultra‐low energy passive house concept for the new hall in late 2018, which will make it one of the first community facilities built and certified to passive house standard anywhere in New Zealand.” I expect this project will result in a significant change in how councils view the business case for facilities they will own and operate …