PHPP10 launched

In case you hadn’t heard, PHPP10 was released at the 25th International Passive House conference in Wuppertal last month. That’s the good news. The catch is, only the German-language version is out yet, so technically it’s PHPP10.0DE. The English version isn’t expected until around Easter next year. Now I don’t read German, but I know this spreadsheet rather well, so …

Why bigger is easier

There’s still lots of talk about the cost premium to build a detached family home to the Passive House standard and how much that premium is. Let’s not overlook that it is much easier for large buildings to meet the Passive House performance targets. The physics is easier and that usually means it costs less too. I like to use …

We won’t get to zero carbon without energy efficient homes

It’s great to see this piece in popular media, outlining research that shows that, like the rest of the world, New Zealand’s path to a zero carbon future requires homes that need nearly no power for winter heating. The Passive House standard is measured and verified in New Zealand as needing 90% less energy to heat both new homes and …

Kāinga Ora will drive Passive House uptake across the whole building sector

Kāinga Ora’s announcement of its first Passive House pilot project, the 18-unit Bader Ventura apartment building in Mangere, Auckland, is receiving a lot of attention with stories running across national media*.  Jason Quinn believes this project will provide world leading social housing quality. But he says the more significant achievement is Kāinga Ora’s carbon continuum commitment, which lays out the …

‘Worlds Apart’ graphic depicts future pathways

I spend most of my waking hours focused on improving the performance of the buildings: for the sake of the humans who live, work and play within them and for the future of the planet they stand on. It wasn’t easy walking through this with my son this morning, but it felt important. And a way to explain why I …

Breaking news: Warmer, healthier homes are worth more

This recent Stuff story was a pretty well-considered look at whether improvements in thermal performance influence sale prices. I’ve covered this ground before, in my book and in this blog post, looking at whether Passive House certification will increase a building’s value. There’s still no rigorous data for New Zealand and so we use as a proxy the data from …

NZIA adds weight to call for better Building Code

In this high-profile recent opinion piece, Marcus Hogan (professional practice director at Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects), points out that even new homes built to meet the Building Code in New Zealand are not good enough. He writes, “The government knew, more than 80 years ago, that there was mould in the ceilings and walls of over …

The take-back effect

Folks are illogical. Including me. I think a fizzy drink should cost about $1 and don’t want to pay more—but $5 for a coffee is alright. Weird. Well it turns out we do the same sort of allocation of money even when we can (or can’t) afford to spend more. An excellent example is that folks spend what they think …

Passive House performance would fix the dry winter energy problem

The stumbling block to a fully renewable energy grid in New Zealand is what to do in a dry winter, when electrical demand peaks but there’s not enough water in the hydro dams. Last year it was touch-and-go and there was even talk of energy conservation being enforced. And that is with the big coal-burning Huntly power station still churning …