Owners loving Bushland Park’s first Passive House homes

Bushland Park set out to be New Zealand’s first Passive House subdivision and builders Ethos Homes boldly built the first two homes on spec. The build went smoothly but the two homes’ auction date coincided with a stalled housing market and a glut of ordinary but shiny homes coming up for sale in Christchurch. Since then, house prices have fallen …

Is natural plaster airtight?

UPDATE Aug 2023 This project’s final blower door test showed a significant improvement in airtightness, which qualifies the initial commentary made below at the time of the preliminary test. The final result is 0.32 ACH. The project team attribute the improvement largely to the completion of the second layer of plaster. A repair to a tiny air leak in one …

Momentum gathering on multi-occupancy Passive House projects

Architype in Dunedin has notched up another Passive House win, with successful certification of the country’s first social housing units. Our case study notes the challenges that were met with regard to budget and design time and how the designers drew on what they’d learned working on Toiroa High Street, Dunedin’s cohousing development and first multi-occupancy Passive House project in …

Aus leads way on educational Passive House buildings

A private childcare centre operator in Canberra, Australia had the foresight more than five years ago to build facilities to Passive House standards. Her aim was to build the healthiest and most sustainable childcare centre in Australia. At time of certification Torrens Early Learning Centre was the only privately-owned Passive House educational facility in the world. Windows were carefully designed …

Just a matter of time

I’ve always said: once you’ve lived in a certified Passive House home, you wouldn’t settle for anything less. I’d better change that to ‘once you’ve lived or worked…’ because these motivated young builders at the top of the south live in an old villa but work in a certified LEB office. They built it in part to demonstrate to clients …

Passive House award winners featured in online flipbook

Check this out: a lovely flipbook with in-depth case studies of the projects from the Passive House Architectural awards in 2021. Lavishly illustrated, illuminating text and lots of drawings: this is a feast of information bound to inspire. Projects from around the world feature and diverse typologies: multi-unit residential buildings, educational buildings, offices, retrofits and more. My own favourite is …

Mary James’ work influential

Mary James is the director of publications at Passive House Accelerator in the US. She’s written multiple books on aspects of Passive House and her work New York Passive House 2015 was my inspiration to write and publish Passive House for New Zealand: The warm healthy homes we need. I was quietly pleased to see myself and Arthur Lee of …

Passive House in the spotlight

Josefine Watterson’s Featherston home has just received certification but already it is doubtless the nation’s best known Passive House home, thanks to being featured on Grand Designs. Josefine is the owner, architect, Passive House designer, project manager and joiner, a noteworthy number of hats to wear. She deserves congratulations on a very high-performing build that came in on time and …

Jessica Eyers moving to Sustainable Engineering Ltd

Jessica Eyers is joining Sustainable Engineering Ltd in 2023. Jessica needs little introduction to New Zealand’s Passive House community as she has been a certified Passive House designer for nearly a decade. Jessica’s arrival will further increase the company’s capacity to carry out Passive House design and take on large and more complicated projects. Jessica will bring valuable insight as …