PH4NZ — Media Resources

13 March 2019 by Jason Quinn

Jason Quinn’s first book, Passive Houses for New Zealand, was published on 8 February 2019. Excerpts for republishing are listed below, along with images of the book, the author’s bio and a headshot.


Building scientist and Passive House certifier Jason Quinn has published a new book which argues for its relevance and importance in New Zealand. Passive House is an open source standard for extremely energy efficient buildings. “If [it] were adopted at scale in New Zealand, it would bring about a revolution in people’s health and comfort. It would also deliver significant benefits with regard to the environment in general and the climate in particular,” writes Jason.

A digital copy of the book may be downloaded at

Building scientist and Passive House certifier Jason Quinn has published a new book which argues for its relevance and importance in New Zealand:
“It’s true that Passive House (or Passivhaus, in German) was developed in Europe’s much colder climates. But the standard is used successfully around the world, including in temperate climates more like ours, such as California, Vancouver and south-east Australia.

Passive House sets a performance standard—it doesn’t dictate what is required to reach that. So it’s easier and cheaper
to build a Passive House in New Zealand compared to say, Bavaria, where winter temperatures can plunge to -15C.

Even within New Zealand, it is simpler to reach the performance target in Northland compared to Queenstown.The designer or architect adjusts the design to take into account the local climate.

A New Zealand homeowner gets all the benefits of a Passive House, at a cost and complexity that scales to suit the conditions.”

A digital copy of the book may be downloaded at

Jason Quinn is the New Zealand Passive House certifier and one of the first PH designers in this country. He’s written a book about the urgent need to build better performing homes in New Zealand, arguing for an overhaul of the Building Code and a wider use of the Passive House standard. The book clearly explains what the PH standard is (and, isn’t) and why it’s relevant in this country. It also includes case studies of the 24 Certified Passive Houses already completed in New Zealand and a sample of the multi-unit or commercial projects currently being planned. It’s an attractively produced book, lavishly illustrated, and is an excellent resource for distributing to potential clients. It can be downloaded free of charge at or contact to discuss availability of hard copies.

Author’s bio

Jason Quinn

Born and raised in Massachusetts in the US’s north-east, Jason’s boyhood dream was to be an astronaut. Less than perfect vision scuppered that plan, but he went on to forge a stellar career at NASA anyway as an aerospace engineer. He is happiest solving tough technical problems and has particular expertise in advanced data modeling.

Jason and his family immigrated to New Zealand in 2009. He bought a dilapidated art deco house in Whanganui order to bowl-and-build—until he discovered the cost of building houses in New Zealand. He spent hundreds of hours retrofitting the 1940s house for energy efficiency, a Sisyphean task that sparked a new career as a building scientist.

Jason was one of the first qualified Passive House designers in New Zealand. He is an in-demand speaker at Passive House conferences in Australasia and has taught courses for PHINZ and the NZ Green Building Council. His work focuses on the intersection of physics and building design and he has outspoken views on New Zealand housing.

Jason’s work is driven by concerns about the future we are creating for our children. His commitment to the Passive House concept springs from its potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions and its rigorous measurability. He is deeply concerned about fuel poverty and childhood illness in New Zealand and the impact of poorly designed buildings on the health of individuals and society.

The book can also be read online.