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Saturday 31 October saw our largest hui to date, with over 80 attendees and 12 sponsor supplier stands, at Otago Polytechnic in Ōtepoti Dunedin.

After a Covid-related reschedule from August, we were lucky that our speakers and most of the original attendees were still available, and with a few new faces also now able to attend.

The day started informally as people arrived and enjoyed morning tea while networking and checking out the sponsor stands. There was an ever wider range of passive house components and products on display.

Mayor Aaron Hawkins kicked off the day with a thoughtful and inspiring address about the climate action the city council is taking. He mentioned the High Street Co-Housing Project, currently the largest Passive House project underway in Aotearoa NZ. He also shared an update on a project for 10 retirement dwellings being built to Passive House standard. This is aiming to be the first Passive House social housing project completed in Aotearoa NZ. Tautoko Dunedin City Council Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti!

Tim Ross of Architype, local Passive House architects, gave us an update on his current projects, pointing out details and solutions of great interest to many of us. He clearly illustrated the power of a cross-sectional drawing to illustrate an unbroken thermal and airtight envelope which is central to Passive House.

Jason Quinn of Sustainable Engineering, and Gleb Speranski of BRANZ updated us on the High-Performance Construction Detailing Project. Members were excited to get their hands on this. The technical draft is now available to download from our website here: https://passivehouse.nz/Draft-HPCD Please review it and provide your feedback via the email address provided in the document. Cost and carbon information is still being developed and will be included with the details when it is published, projected to be March 2021. Gleb was also able to provide an update on work BRANZ is doing on warmer, drier, healthier homes. He also gave an insightful presentation of the recently published research by Beacon Pathway on thermal bridging in timber frame wall construction.

Lunch was another great opportunity to network, catch up with old friends, visit the supplier stands and reflect. Then we were on to architect Rafe Maclean for another great presentation, covering some of his current Passive House works in progress. Our CEO Amy then provided an update on PHINZ’s work over the last year, and plans for the next year and beyond.

Wayne Dyet of WD Homes, Tim Ross and Baden Brown of eHaus led a lively discussion on costs before we finished up with afternoon tea and more networking.

Associate Professor Tobias Danielmeier was instrumental in all the arrangements with the Polytech and helped ensure that the audiovisual components and the delicious catering ran smoothly on the day. Our photographer Bernard Park was able to capture some great photos of the day too.

Over half of the attendees rounded the day off with dinner out at No. 7 Balmac; the buzzing atmosphere from the hui spilled over into the restaurant in the evening.

Jonathan Holmes, owner of Hawea Flat Passivhaus, said

“Truly inspiring and well attended Passive House Hui event hosted at the Otago Polytechnic Architecture School, provided a welcome opportunity to get together as clients, suppliers, designers and builders to enthusiastically share ideas and experiences of designing and building healthy, comfortable and energy efficient homes across New Zealand.”

And Sian Taylor of Team Green said

“It’s always great to catch up with colleagues passionate about improving the built environment, and this year was no different. Completed with a great dinner out on Saturday night – a lot of fun!”

And many of us enjoyed the Sunday tours local members had arranged; A tour of the High Street Co-housing Project with Tim Ross and Baden Brown and a tour of Thermadura’s factory by Chris and Sandra Rampe, along with a lavish feast, with help from Jonathan Holmes and the Thermadura team.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to such an informative, enjoyable and successful event.

And a special thanks to the sponsors.

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We were very pleased to have Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw from The Workshop keynote at SPPHC19 (video and slides available here – it is highly recommended watching before making use of the checklist below)

Subsequently, PHINZ has worked with Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw to develop a checklist for our members. It is intended to help you advocate for Passive House by communicating its proven benefits using accurate and compelling story-telling.

It is free to download on the resources page.

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Within the industry and media, there are occasionally claims that buildings meet or exceed the Passive House standard simply because they might include particular features or approaches that are similar to Passive House. For example, they achieve a good air-tightness result, include insulation above the building code minimum, or use very little energy for heating. It is incorrect to claim that such a building is a Passive House unless it can be shown to be designed and constructed according to all the certification criteria.

PHINZ have taken legal advice and, based on a similar document from the UK, produced a technical briefing outlining relevant NZ law and clarifying PHINZ’s position on claims of the “Passive House Standard” and how the terms “Passive House” and Passivhaus” should be used in Aotearoa NZ.

It is free to download on the resources page.

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PHINZ, Te Tōpūtanga o te Whare Korou ki Aotearoa, the Passive House Institute New Zealand enthusiastically welcomes the MBIE Building for Climate Change programme announced by Ministers Salesa (Construction) and Shaw (Climate Change) last week.

MBIE explains “The changes we’re planning will make homes warmer, drier and better ventilated, and provide a healthier place for us all to work and live” and discusses setting targets for energy efficiency and carbon emissions.

This is a vision that PHINZ is aligned with and can (and is!) already be achieved by building to the Passive House standard which ensures healthy, high performing and energy efficient buildings. In support of achieving this vision, Passive House Institute New Zealand offers:

  • training in delivering very energy efficiency buildings through the Passive House Academy NZ
  • tools and methodologies to model accurately, design and build highly energy efficient healthy buildings that, as a world-leading standard, will almost certainly meet or exceed targets MBIE may set
  • software plug-ins to calculate embodied carbon

Importantly, Passive House training, tools and methodologies encompass cost effectively renovating existing buildings to a very high standard as well as designing new buildings.

Additionally, a stand out feature of the Passive House standard is that it has an excellent track record, of over 30 years worldwide and over a decade in New Zealand, of reliably achieving the intended outcomes. To tackle climate change we need buildings that deliver the emissions reductions they are designed to, not aspirational targets that never eventuate.

PHINZ CEO Amy Tankard says

“Us kiwis can be a hardy and humble bunch, often willing to make the best of limited resources and, as BRANZ reports have repeatedly shown, this has led to us accepting less than ideal conditions for our living and working spaces. With covid-19 we’ve recently seen how we can work together as a country to achieve common goals and take pride in innovative solutions to our challenges. So here it is – Passive House is a tried and tested solution, for building for climate change, scientifically proven in theory and practice.”

MBIE’s initiative sends a clear message that first costs and building to a currently inadequate Building Code are no longer the right focus. The programme is fantastic news for builders, designers and suppliers alike, paving the way for quality and fit-for-purpose products and buildings to become the norm. In turn, this market demand will mean warm, dry, healthy and energy efficient buildings should become easier and more affordable to achieve. Mandating the Passive House standard for new buildings and renovations, or specifying it as an exemption to energy efficiency requirements like the Healthy homes standards already does for heating, would be one way to accelerate this process and set Aotearoa NZ well on the way to achieving our 2050 emission reduction targets.

Minister Salesa said the Government had recently signed up to a joint statement with Australia, Canada and the United States to work together to develop building code responses to the changing climate. This is also good news as there are already jurisdictions in both Canada and the United States that offer incentives or exemptions for developers building certified Passive House buildings.

PHINZ welcomes the opportunity to work with MBIE and all stakeholders on this programme and recommends the government look to the leadership already shown by PHINZ members in this area, especially those with professional passive house qualifications.

This programme is a historic call to action, and PHINZ will continue to advocate for the government to make bold decisions and get this right for Aotearoa NZ

Download the Media Release as a PDF.

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With the recent coverage of health and energy-related issues with NZ housing, we thought it was pertinent to make our Position Paper more readily available. This version has been updated to be current as of May 2018 and sets out the PHINZ position in the NZ housing landscape. Of course, the Passive House standard is applicable to all building typologies and much of the paper could equally be applied to schools, office, health facilities etc.

The paper sets out what a Certified Passive House is, the status of housing in New Zealand, issues with the NZ Building Code as it stands and issues with other suggested approaches to improving it. It comments on the relevance of the performance of new houses with regard to overall housing performance and if requiring Passive House performance will amplify housing unaffordability. Finally, it closes with guidance on the road to closing the performance gap for houses.

It is a goldmine of evidence-based information if this is an area of interest to you.

As well as providing education and resources, PHINZ is here to benefit the community by:

  • Improving public health and well-being and relieving fuel poverty of the people of New Zealand through the promotion of healthy and highly energy efficient homes and public buildings;
  • Working with the public sector of New Zealand to improve the energy efficiency of New Zealand homes and public buildings

If you think we could help you, please get in touch by emailing enquiries [@] phinz.org.nz

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Passive House development – Exeter’s recipe for success.
Presenter: Emma Osmundsen
Download: Presentation.

Mainstreaming Passive House – Lessons from the UK.
Presenter: Elrond Burrell
Download: Presentation.

Lessons learned from South Pacific Passive House certifications – how not to kill a Passive House project.
Presenters: Clare Parry, Jason Quinn
Download: PresentationPresentation Notes.

Passive Houses in New Zealand: a comparison between predicted and real performance through post-occupancy evaluation.
Presenter: Priscila Besen
Download: PaperPresentation.

Chifley Passive House: two years of performance data.
Presenter: Harley Truong
Download: PaperPresentation.

Scaling up for large commercial buildings.
Presenter: Robin Brimblecombe
Download: Presentation.

The Passive insurgency.
Presenter: Andrew Michler
Download: Presentation.

Cost-effectiveness of retrofits in Italy to the EnerPHit standard.
Presenter: Enrico Bonilauri
Download: Presentation.

Passive House: 25 years on and the new step-by-step EnerPHit retrofit plan.
Presenter: Jessica Grove-Smith
Download: Presentation.

Passive House Research & Development Centre (CREST).
Presenter: Barry McCarron
Download: PaperPresentation.

Passive House retrofit: delivering energy efficiency, comfort &indoor air quality in Australian homes.
Presenter: Joel Seagren
Download: Presentation.

BRANZ airtightness research project and its relevance for Passive Houses.
Presenter: Stephen McNeil
Download: [Coming Soon].

Passive for the masses.
Presenter: Adam Cohen
Download: Presentation.

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