High-Performance Construction Details Handbook

We are very proud to make available the High-Performance Construction Details handbook, authored by Jason Quinn, on our behalf.

This handbook brings together selected high-performance construction details from residential projects successfully built in Aotearoa NZ. Out of all the details from every Passive House project certified in this country, the most useful Elements and Junctions were selected and analysed thermally in detail to ISO standards. CAD data for these generic details is provided, along with R-value calculations plotted for the Elements and thermal bridge performance in terms of PSI and fRSI values provided for the Junctions. Selected commonly-built details (those that only comply with Building Code minimums) are also included for the sake of comparison.

Making these high-performance details freely available will assist the building industry to design and build more energy-efficient and thermally-comfortable homes for New Zealanders. Further, the information contained in this handbook will be of considerable value to council consenting officials as they review increasing numbers of high-performance building projects.

The handbook was submitted to BRANZ in fulfilment of Project LR12313: Thermal performance of houses is in the detail – providing tested details that deliver. It is available from BRANZ at the following link: ER70 PHINZ High-performance construction details handbook (2022).

The High-Performance Construction Details Handbook is available to download below, for free.

This version of the handbook, released 19 April 2022 has updated the slab-on-ground R-values from the previous versions of the handbook, as well as various parts of the content in the front matter. Previous versions of this handbook should no longer be used, including HPCD Handbook v01, previously available to download from this page.

The handbook was funded from the Building Research Levy and in-kind by Sustainable Engineering, PHINZ and Resilienz.

Download HPCD Handbook PDF [40 MB]Download HPCD Handbook CAD file [1 MB]


This publication is provided to inform professionals of the thermal performance, cost and carbon of these details. The authors of this publication have used their best efforts to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. The authors, Sustainable Engineering Ltd and Passive House Institute NZ (PHINZ) make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to the information contained in this work. The information presented must be used with care by professionals who understand the implications of what they are doing. If professional advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The authors, Sustainable Engineering Ltd and PHINZ shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising from, the use of the information contained in these details/publication. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of any individual contributor. Nothing in this publication is an endorsement of any proprietary building envelope system or particular assembly product.

Weathertightness details (ref. New Zealand Building Code clause E2) shown are for illustration. They are not guidance on how to construct weathertight buildings as this project is focused on thermal performance. It is recommended that readers consult relevant and current technical publications alongside using this handbook. Take advice from consultants with appropriate qualifications and refer to appropriate authorities with regard to envelope design, assembly fabrication and construction practices. Further, seek specific information on the use of envelope-related products and follow the instructions of envelope assembly manufacturers. Any construction project must comply with the New Zealand Building Code.