Energy Ratings Deliver Higher Sale Prices For High-Performing Homes

Homebuyers do care about energy efficiency and energy rating schemes for homes show a price premium for high-performing homes, says this Australian author.  The problem is the ACT is the only Australian state with a mandatory scheme. As homes and buildings are, in general, one of the few profitable paths to zero carbon (ie we can save money while drastically …

NZ entries for the 2020 Passive House Award?

New Zealand window manufacturers took out two of the window awards at the PHI conference in China last year. Several years ago PH1NZ nearly won first place in the residential architecture awards. Time for a New Zealand architecture firm to step up and win first place. I can think of several certified homes in NZ that I’d pick. Certified Passive House …

Yes – it’s a Passive House Plus Office Building

Crazy looking building: but under the iridescent facade is a standard form office building. Well, standard aside from the funky double concrete staircase. The architect’s website has some great photos. but the really interesting point is the performance … this is a Certified Passive House Plus. It’s listed as the largest certified project in France as at the time of …

Cost of construction to Passive House level falling in UK

8% more: that’s the extra cost in the UK for building to the Passive House standard, according to this report. That is quite good. The most important factors in containing costs are: simple form; modest glazing; and an experienced team—in particular, experienced clients. Is it noteworthy that the majority of the projects in this study were social housing, not bespoke …

New NZ homes emitting 5x more carbon than <2 deg budget allows

This first study of its kind in New Zealand attempts to calculate how much carbon new homes can emit if we are to stay within the 2 degrees warming limit set by the Paris Agreement—and how much carbon our new builds are actually using. The outcome? Our typical built-to-Code new builds spew out five times more carbon than their fair …

Ireland releases new nearly-zero energy building regulations

Ireland has released its nearly-zero energy buildings regulations (to comply with EU requirements) and insulation supplier Xtratherm has published a guide for builders/designers. I’ve pulled together a table of the minimum performance values and calculated the R-values to help folks in NZ compare. These are average values and include thermal bridging from timber etc. Note that although the climate in …

Every house a Certified Passive House by 2030

There are about 30,000 new houses a year currently built in New Zealand. In a decade, could they all be certified Passive House? I think it can be done but the biggest barrier won’t be money, construction materials or staff availability. It will be training. Building a Certified Passive House is hard—the first time. Then once you’ve done a few, …

Embodied carbon/energy—it’s in the floors

I know this seems obvious when you think about timber-framed residential buildings: all the embodied CO2 is in the concrete and steel, so the bulk of it is used in the foundation. But in bigger buildings, it’s not so obvious where the carbon cost is hiding. In a typical commercial building, just over half the embodied carbon is in the …

Carbon-positive landscapes too

The basic idea? The chosen materials and landscape components sequester carbon to balance out the carbon it took to create it, all within five to 20 years. (Five for greener projects like parks, gardens, campuses and mixed-use developments, with up to 20 years for more urban projects.) The important new development is that they’ve run the numbers: it is possible …