First Bushland Park homes certified, go up for auction This PH subdivision is a project to watch

2 April 2022 by Jason Quinn

The certification of 8 and 10 Bushland Place is a milestone the entire Passive House community in New Zealand should celebrate. These are the first certified Passive House homes to be built for sale* and are the beginning of an entire neighbourhood of certified homes planned for Bushland Park in Halswell, Christchurch. The two homes have achieved Passive House Plus status thanks to substantial rooftop PV arrays.

Bushland Park is a gutsy project and the developer and builder deserve congratulations. It’s great to see a landowner who cares both about the land and the quality of the homes built on it. The two homes will be auctioned in April (by Steven Ell at Harcourts) and it will be interesting to see how Passive House performance is discussed in the marketing campaign.

Image: Bushland Park

A development of this scale is possible because of the Passive House trades experience within Pete Bielski’s Ethos Homes’ team. The company only works on high-performance builds and strongly encourages clients to seek Passive House certification. Pete once again chose to work with Passive House designer Karen Manson from Meta Architects—another example of successful ongoing collaborations between Passive House builders and designers.

Photo: Ethos Homes

Pete learned pre-fab techniques in Germany and set up his own company in order to work with prefabricated modular panels. He now has a factory onsite in an existing shed at Bushland Park (pictured above). In an interesting blog post arguing the benefits of this approach, he writes: “… both my team and the materials are protected from the weather and work is both fast and precise. The owners get the benefit of an architecturally designed house at a fixed and fair price because modular prefab keeps costs down and saves labour time on site.”

Landowner Ernst Frei is a retired organic farmer who turned developer in order to preserve the native bush and wetlands he’s spent decades restoring. Residents of Bushland Park will have covenanted access to walking paths through the bush and stormwater from their homes feeds a new wetland rather than being piped out to sea. 

It’s great to see Passive House efficiency nested inside a project with compatible values such as improving the environment, sequestering carbon and building community. 

*Harley Builders’ Passive House home in Mt Pleasant does deserve credit here, only missing out on a technicality: it wasn’t certified until after the sale.

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