Interesting perspective here on materials from an experienced builder of certified Passive Houses. Peter Bielski of Ethos Homes is a fan of panelisation—in a shed on site, in the case of the ambitious and inspiring 11-home Passive House neighbourhood he is currently involved with in Christchurch. His post lists the reasons why he likes prefab timber panels and prefers them over SIPs.
The modelling we did for the High Performance Construction Details Handbook gives the numbers to back up timber framing having the lowest embodied carbon of all options. (Well, excluding strawbale, of which we have exactly one fully certified Passive House completed in New Zealand and another that has passed the pre-construction review milestone.)
There was a good media write up recently about the Bushland Park project, which is an excellent example of where new housing needs to go. The combination of panelisation and repeating the same construction system is smart and can be expected to create significant efficiencies. The Bushland Park homes are in no sense budget builds (the environmental credentials of the materials and fit out are impressive) but the same principles could be used to help different developers get to genuinely affordable but still high-performing homes.
An 11-home sub-division targeting Passive House Plus performance? It is nice to take a moment to look back over 10 years and see how far we’ve come.