The new housing trend that could save you up to 90% of your energy costs


“It’s gone from a very specialized German rating system, with poor market knowledge and very low numbers in Australia to something that most consultants and developers have heard about and many are starting to do. heart of their business, ”Australian Passive House said Association President Chris Nunn.

“There is this expectation that we should expect more from our homes, especially with the high prices we all pay for housing … we want a quality product for the money we spend – the passive house is a standard that can offer this quality and comfort conditions.

Passive houses are more expensive to build but save energy in the longer term. The concept is most beneficial in buildings with heavy use, including schools and hospitals. It is best suited for new construction. However, new criteria have been adopted to apply certification to renovations.

Mr Hellier’s architect Knut Menden said the 2019/20 bushfire season and the COVID-19 pandemic had led to an increase in demand for passive houses.

“After the bushfires, I think a lot of people realized that being in your house, constantly exposed to the smoke from the bushfires is not that great… you get it. [passive house] building for heat recovery ventilation which then filters the air entering the house, ”he said.

“People spent more time at home during closings and really realized… how comfortable or uncomfortable their homes can be. “

Minimum building codes have been blamed as a cause of energy inefficiency in the conventional home, with air conditioners and heaters needed to offset energy lost through poor building practices, such as single-pane windows and insufficient insulation.

A spokesperson for the Australian Building Codes Board, which oversees the National Construction Code, said the New South Wales government was represented on its board.

“The ABCB is moving forward with gradual increases in the stringency of energy efficiency provisions in the National Building Code (NCC) in accordance with policy provisions that exist between governments from time to time,” the spokesperson said. .

“[Passive House design] is not regulated by the NCC, which sets minimum standards for the construction of buildings in Australia.

In April, the NSW government authorized the BASIX assessment tool, a residential development requirement for all projects, to recognize the passive house standard as a way to meet thermal comfort requirements of the state environmental planning policy, making it easier and more cost effective to achieve sustainability results.

Mr Nunn believes that understanding of the passive house industry needs to evolve before it becomes mainstream.

“There is a perception that this is from Germany, and therefore is only suitable for cold climates, but I think once you understand this and explain to people that it works in Australia, then they will start. to see the advantage of the Australian market, ”he said.

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