Passive House window thermal comfort requirements for NZ climate zones

The Passive House Institute’s certification criteria require that the thermal comfort criteria be achieved for all windows and doors except where they are located where they will not impact thermal comfort (clearstory or entrance door), they are small (less than 1 sqm) and /or isolated so that in combination with surrounding surfaces thermal comfort would likely be met. This criteria …

Attend the North American PH conference virtually

The North American Passive House Network annual conference will be a great event—and way cheaper than normal due to being virtual. The bad news is the timing sucks for Australia and New Zealand time zones if you want to chat with the speakers live. However, all the recordings will be available to registered participants for later viewing. All the details …

Owl Woods PH nails a design-stage retrofit for performance

Check out a beautiful project from across the Tasman, the Owl Woods Passive House. It’s the 10th certified Passive House in Victoria, Australia and it’s won or still a finalist for a host of design and sustainability awards. Check out photos here; there are even a few construction photos, which are always my favourites. The Passive House Database entry will satisfy …

Great Passive House primer (includes eye candy and clear diagrams!)

This is a lovely summary of Passive House, written up as a Q&A with an American architect. There’s mention of an intriguing North American connection to the genesis of Passive House which you may not be aware of, some appealing images of various Passive Houses (I’m loving the Brussels home) plus some excellent diagrams illustrating the five basic principles. All …

Passive House (Passivhaus) Hospitals

Passive House Hospitals can have a 40-50% reduction in total energy use of the building, using efficient technologies already available, when compared to a conventional new hospital building. I’ve been encouraged by questions from various health boards and government here in NZ to provide information and connect them to the designers of the Passive House Hospital in Frankfurt (Passive House …

uPVC joinery worth another look

Clients (and their designers) who want high-performance buildings on a limited budget need to consider uPVC windows. Elsewhere, almost every Passive House on a budget will use uPVC joinery, typically white inside and out to maximise performance and minimise cost. Note though that uPVC windows are also available with an aluminium cladding on the exterior face to allow a choice …

Airtightness, explained (plus, see blower doors in action)

Check out these helpful instructional videos on airtightness and air leakage testing. Made in Australia, the general observations about lack of awareness of the importance of airtightness apply here too. This series of three short videos (less than seven minutes each) is produced by Efficiency Matrix, a supplier of products and testings for airtightness. The first video is absolutely worth …

Need more than just higher performance building code changes to decarbonize

“In buildings, it has become clear that there are two very distinct problems. One concerns new buildings — where, for example, advanced heat pump technology can allow for electrification of heating systems. The other, much bigger problem is how to cut emissions from existing buildings, which will account for most emissions from this sector. Here the actions are a blend …

Mouldy Schools Resource

Mouldy Schools Resource Some advice from health professionals and articles on damp mouldy schools. We are building scientists and are not health professionals or even public health researchers (we strongly recommend listening to those folks and enjoy learning at Public Health Summer School each year in Wellington). Advice for homes which is applicable to schools as well. Schools for Health show …