Kāinga Ora will drive Passive House uptake across the whole building sector Social housing giant has scale to create large-scale change

17 September 2021 by Jason Quinn

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 agency’s path to meet the Building for Climate Change Programme caps, culminating in the 2050 carbon neutral target. Bader Ventura takes a giant leap forward, meeting the final operational carbon emissions cap that is not mandated until 2030. 

“Kāinga Ora manages construction and renovation at enough scale that it will catalyse a shift in the New Zealand building industry,” says Jason Quinn. “It’s already begun. The interest Bader Ventura has generated among mainstream building product suppliers and manufacturers is unprecedented.” He says New Zealand product manufacturers have for years wanted to build higher thermal performance products but their marketing teams said there wasn’t enough market demand. To make the cost reasonable, they need to manufacture at scale. 

“Architects and designers I work with are keen to specify higher thermal performance products that are manufactured here in New Zealand. Until now the selection has been extremely small and the vast majority of certified Passive Houses to date have imported key components like windows and doors.  

“I’m hopeful Kāinga Ora’s leadership will break that logjam, providing the volume needed to embolden local manufacturers to launch new products. The scale of its projects also means more engineers, architects, quantity surveyors, project managers and construction workers will gain crucial experience in building Passive House buildings. This will benefit the entire construction sector and help it meet the challenge of the emission caps set in the Building for Climate Change Programme.”


*Selected media

Heating for $1 a day: Kainga Ora’s first passive-designed social housing block is a blueprint: Stuff

Kāinga Ora announces first Passive House development: Architecture Now

Peddlethorp and Kāinga Ora celebrate first Passive House public housing development Peddlethorp media release

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