Fletcher Living gets serious about low carbon homes Better group home builds are exactly what we need

12 July 2022 by Jason Quinn

Great to see Fletcher Living’s announcement about its Low Carbon initiative. The Sustainable Engineering team has really enjoyed working with Fletcher Living’s people on their vision for low carbon homes that meet the 1.5 degree Celsius carbon budget. Exploring the operational energy and the embodied carbon impacts of many practical, more affordable housing options has been super enjoyable.

Fletcher Living is the first group home builder to get on board with actually delivering genuinely higher-performing homes. As the graphic above illustrates, the LowCO builds contain all the components found in PHI certified builds: brand new thermally broken recessed windows, full mechanical ventilation heat recovery and exchange system, superior insulation and an airtight thermal envelope.  

I also applaud Fletcher Living’s choice to go with New Zealand specialists who really know Passive House design. Tim Ross at Architype was a great choice; his firm has already designed social housing for cost-conscious local authorities and he’s one of the most experienced Passive House designers in the country. 

My colleague Toby Brooke developed a great in-house tool so we could run the numbers for energy modelling and embodied carbon models at the same time. It meant we could readily answer lots of interesting questions: what if we change the cladding, wall linings, foundation insulation systems? All at once we could see the whole Life Cycle Assessment implications and zero in on the optimal choices.

We then modelled the designs in LCAQuick from BRANZ (great tool, thank you) to dig into the details and know we were offering solutions backed by solid evidence.

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