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.
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.
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
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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Presenter: Emma Osmundsen
Mainstreaming Passive House – Lessons from the UK.
Presenter: Elrond Burrell
Scaling up for large commercial buildings.
Presenter: Robin Brimblecombe
The Passive insurgency.
Presenter: Andrew Michler
Cost-effectiveness of retrofits in Italy to the EnerPHit standard.
Presenter: Enrico Bonilauri
Passive House: 25 years on and the new step-by-step EnerPHit retrofit plan.
Presenter: Jessica Grove-Smith
Passive House retrofit: delivering energy efficiency, comfort &indoor air quality in Australian homes.
Presenter: Joel Seagren
BRANZ airtightness research project and its relevance for Passive Houses.
Presenter: Stephen McNeil
Download: [Coming Soon].
Passive for the masses.
Presenter: Adam Cohen