NZ's First Certified Passive House
There were five key elements we needed to consider when planning New Zealand's first Passive House:
Passive Design - All principles in a Passive House rely on a good design that optimises the use of natural resources for thermal comfort. To achieve this, it was critical to locate services and living areas in the right place and orientation, whilst not compromising the client's requirements.
High Insulation - In a Passive House, the entire envelope of the building is well insulated - the walls, windows, roof and floor. This ensures that heat is not lost in winter and keeps indoor temperatures lower during the summertime.
Thermal Bridge-free Construction - In the exterior walls of the building, through specific design of structural connections and by insulating under the floor slab and footings, thermal bridging was practically eliminated. This ensured that the interior temperature of the building was not affected by the exterior conditions.
Airtightness - Sealing the building reduces energy consumption by optimising the control of the mechanical ventilation system and eradicates damp, rot and mould problems. This was achieved by specifying a new membrane product (building paper) that eliminates the air transition between the outside and inside of the house.
Air Circulation with Heat Recovery - A Heat Recovery Ventilation System (HRVS) ensures that fresh, good quality, even air is circulated throughout the house at a comfortable temperature. Loss of heat through the structure combined with passive heating (sun, body temperatures etc) and heat recovered from the ventilating air provides almost all of the heating needed for a home.