Tag Archives: High-performance buildings

PHINZ and Sustainable Engineering Ltd are well on the way to completion of the High-Performance Construction Details Handbook. (Download a technical draft of the handbook here.) Funded by The Building Research Levy, PHINZ and Sustainable Engineering, the handbook will be a valuable resource for design and construction professionals, providing practical tools to exceed Building Code thermal performance minimums. It will also provide consenting officials with a reference when presented with high-performance Alternative Solutions.

This month’s Build Magazine features an article by Jason Quinn of Sustainable Engineering and Elrond Burrell, chair of PHINZ, outlining the need for such guidance, details about the handbook, and its future uses including supporting and informing MBIE’s Building for Climate Change Programme and Building Code improvements. The article is online here: High-performance details | BRANZ Build (buildmagazine.org.nz) and you can download a PDF of it from here.

The Handbook is also featured in a second Build Magazine article, this one focusing on walls: High-performance domestic walls | BRANZ Build (buildmagazine.org.nz)

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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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At our High-performance Buildings at Scale event, there was a Question & Answer session with Chris Higgins (Green Building Planner for the City of Vancouver), Emma Osmundsen (Managing Director Exeter City Living Ltd.) Hosted by Kara Rosemeier (PHINZ) with special guest Alex Baker (Sustainability Programme Manager at Kāinga Ora)

We have made the transcript available on the download page. (Direct link to download the PDF.)

What can we learn about adopting high-performance buildings at scale from the success enjoyed by Vancouver BC and Exeter UK?

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Chris Higgins, Green Building Planner for the City of Vancouver, recently participated in a “High-performance buildings at scale” panel discussion hosted by PHINZ.

Key strategies he shared:

  • Show leadership in City projects
  • Catalyze voluntary champions
  • Build capacity in expertise, supply, and construction
  • Set Green House Gas emission limits

Chris has very kindly made his presentation slides available. Click on the image to download the PDF [3 MB].

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