Tag Archives: High-performance buildings

Adele Eyers, originally from South Africa, has her own construction project management consultancy and in the last three months has been concentrating on the other side of the coin – an apprenticeship in building.  PHINZ would like to roundly congratulate Adele on being the first female to become a Certified Passive House Tradesperson in Aotearoa NZ, having recently passed the CET course.  We caught up with Adele to chat about her experience.

What motivated you to become involved in construction and in Passive House?

I’m a construction project manager and have my own consultancy company, and I hit a moment in life where I wanted to jump to the other side and pick up the tools.  I also have a brother and sister-in-law who are very passionate about Passive House, so it ended up being the natural route to go.  Once you go through all the literature for studying building you realise it’s best to start at the Passive House end, finding out the right way to build, and then layering the Building Code onto that, it becomes impossible not to want to build better.

What are your thoughts on the broader state of construction in Aotearoa?

Just speaking for the bigger construction companies that I’ve worked for in the last couple of years, you can see they are wanting to do the right thing and learn new ways, which shows a definite upward trend in the right direction.

For the younger apprentices getting into the industry, the earlier in their careers that they can get into Passive House and the science behind it, the better – because they’ll drive the new generation.

How did you get on with the PH Tradesperson course?

It was quite challenging mentally – refreshing to be that challenging though! It wasn’t a given that you were going to pass – you had to understand it and do the calcs in real life scenarios or you wouldn’t pass.  It was a good combination of practical and theory.  It was very mathematical, which I like, and it got the brain working.  I can see that it will be good knowing the building science behind it and how the calculations work to help moving forward.

What’s it been like being a strong female in the NZ construction industry?

Generally I feel supported. The attitude to females working in the construction industry in NZ is certainly better than in South Africa.  I currently work with a great team who value my input especially on the Passive House detailing since completing the course. There are lots more females in the trade (sparkies, plumbers) now.  But I don’t deny there is still old school thinking regarding females for a small number of the older generation in the industry.  The younger generation though is much more about equality. It’ll take time, but it’s getting there. And for my part, it’s a mindset to get through your apprenticeship but I definitely make sure people don’t walk over me.

What would you say to other wahine thinking about getting in to the industry?

Just do it!  If you have a hint of wanting to get into the industry and your doubting it, don’t over think it. Just do it. The support will be there, one way or another you’ll find it.  

Any thoughts on where to from here for you?

I always thought I knew the answer: that I’d be expanding my project management consultancy in a particular direction, but now after doing the Passive House course I’m not so sure.  I’m going to concentrate on getting the building apprenticeship done as quickly as I can, and then it’s brewing in the background to expand into a more Passive House line.  Possibly an idea around building a supportive network for female tradies. It’s brewing!

What do you feel you got out of the Passive House course?

This course has taught me how important airtightness is in a house. Having built a beautiful home, designed by my sister in law Jessica Eyers from Hiberna 5 years ago, we then sold to move to Wanaka. Our current house, built in 2011, is the best we could afford at the time, and the quality of the build is terrible.  I would urge people to think long term – invest early on and do it as good as you can, because you’re only going to do it once. Some people build houses that incorporate “some” aspects of Passive House – you spend a lot of money in intello and tape and detailing, but you still have thermal bridges, so you don’t end up with a house that performs as you expected in your mind.  They go part way – I would recommend doing it right and going the full distance as you’ll be spending the extra in wasted energy costs on a part-way build over the next years anyway.

Share this:

PIHA HOUSE started in 2019 as pretty much a standard renovation of an existing 2012 build, using European quality exterior joinery and more insulation. Although the brief was not Passive House quality, it was continued work for myself and team, considering I am a Certified Passive House Builder.

Work started, removing interior linings to add extra insulation and hello, we found mould, particularly in the closed cell roof cavity, but also in the walls.
As we now know, dew point is real and really brings home the problems it can cause if positioned in the wrong place, or allowed to be positioned in the wrong place.

As my client had health problems associated with mould sensitivity, the only way forward was to reassess and consider Passive House construction.

The decision was very quick, YES !!! No other way.

Sang Architects were bought in as they specialise in Passive House Architecture, and Jason Quinn from Sustainable Engineering as our adviser and, can I say mentor, and PHPP engineer and Certifier.

As this was the first EnerPHit project in NZ, we were definitely in a new space, but very exciting at the same time. Who doesn’t love a good challenge with something you are passionate about?

The construction was really so much fun, testing us at every corner, but with the end result in the back of your mind all the time, WILL WE GET CERTIFICATION, is a huge driving force.

One of my guys, Visko, spent six weeks air tight taping exterior protrusions from the treated area envelope to the exterior, probably using 60 rolls of Proclima Tescon Vana tape.

During the process of the job I was lucky to be able to purchase a second hand Blower Door kit, this was invaluable to check our work as we progressed.

One very significant piece of this job was the interaction of upper floor exterior concrete decks above treated floor areas below.
To mitigate thermal bridging, 80mm insulation board was glued to the underside of the concrete decks with 20mm EPS board glued onto the walls, 600mm down from the ceiling, Jasons Quinn’s calculations and thermal bridging imaging gave us this specification. Also to mitigate dew point on the interior between the underside of concrete and the insulation board, the ceiling was suspended allowing for the ventilation return air to permeate through this cavity, we also integrated a baffles system, basically a labyrinth of wads at one metre centres running the length of the enclosure with a gap in the centre of the first wad and then a gap at each end of the next wad and so on. This made the air flow encompass the whole space instead of making a one track to the return pickup.
Actually, this was my clients idea, brilliant idea.

As this was an existing concrete block, two story solid plaster exterior painted finish, Jason advised that we would use the painted plaster as our air tight wall barrier, and the existing bitumen membrane roof as the roof barrier.
Exterior insulation was installed over the outside of these existing claddings, wall cladding continuing down to the foundations to a minimum of 600mm below floor slab height.
So, Stotherm with 100mm Graphite board and 160mm warm roof with bitumen Nuraply.

As my clients are very natural product driven, the interior was all timber types, coated with non toxic products, Osmo being the most used.

The job was completed in February 2022 with CERTIFICATION !!

Photo: Sang Architects

I would thank all involved. What a project!

Piha House EnerPHit can be viewed here on the Sang Architects website.

Progress in teaching clients the importance future building technology offers, has been quite slow over the last ten years, but noticeable interest gaining each year, to the point now that the Government are building Kāinga Ora developments to Certified Passive House standard. This in turn is directing Standards NZ to adopt climate zoning for insulation values, next in line is exterior joinery. Before you know it, Passive House will be the new NZ build standard.

-Terry Bryers, Bruyere Ltd

Share this:

What are the important things that make your life comfortable..healthy…happy? If you scaled that idea up to your community, have you ever thought what that community might look like? Would it be a place where you’re not shivering by a fire at night so you don’t spend too much on power? Or where your child isn’t coughing from the mould in their bedroom or the condensation down their windows in the morning? Or would it be walking into a school or workplace in winter and staying comfortable all day so you can think on more important things? In that community, would it be taken for granted that everyone naturally had access to that comfort and health?

We wanted to find this out too, and to see what differences were being made in the community by doing the Passive House courses at the ground level. What we received was an inspiring insight from Certified Passive House Tradespersons Glenn Harley from Harley Builders and Lenny Basham from Basham Building Ltd

Here’s what Glenn had to say….

By the time I signed up for the Passive House Tradesperson course, our company had already completed a couple of Passive House projects. The course offered by PHANZ dovetailed (sorry) nicely with the practical realities of a Passive House build.  I found the opportunity to calculate U values of various building materials interesting and applicable.  We got a window (there I go again) into European building techniques and products.
Kara has a witty and direct style honed from many years of teaching people how to build better. She is a fantastic resource available right here in Aotearoa.

And Lenny highlighted how the CET course made a tangible difference to him and his business….

As a passionate carpenter, I would highly recommend the Passive House Tradesperson Course. Previously, I had attended a Primer in Wellington. So I thought I had a reasonable understanding of what a Certified Passive House was. However, after completing the course, I had a much more comprehensive knowledge base on all things Passive and a lot more confidence in the field.

There have been many benefits to completing this course. It has enabled me to have educated debate with designers and engineers on how a building will perform. This has allowed me to dictate material choices and approaches to design. These professionals have been grateful to have someone that knows about thermal bridging or allowing for services such as ventilation in the design stage. This has then made the build easier.

The course gave me knowledge so that I have been able to work with designers in the certification process of a Passive House. We would’ve missed a heap of documentation such as key photos or detailing around airtightness if I had not completed the course. This would’ve been costly financially or we wouldn’t have a building that achieved Passive House standard.

Another bonus has been the ability to impress clients on how a home can perform and school them up on Passive details and design. That has seen me win a couple of tenders where competitors didn’t know about heating demands and the importance of good design.

The whole concept of a Passive House can be quite daunting at first. There’s so much detailing and numbers to get your head around compared to a standard build. A lot of it is quite intellectual and scientific. As a carpenter, you wonder what its relevance is, when all you want to do is build a quality home? The course helps bridge the gap between the design nerds behind the numbers and the fellas onsite who actually create the beast. The CET Tradesperson course gives you confidence to navigate through the whole process and it would simply be a whole lot harder to build a Passive House if you didn’t school yourself up first and do the course. I highly recommend it.”

The next in-person Certified Passive House Tradesperson’s course is happening in Auckland in May. You can find all the info on this, along with courses for Designers and Consultants at phanz.co.nz
You can also find Certified Passive House professionals in your area by heading to our members directory and filtering by “Certified Passive House Professionals”

Be part of the change.

Share this:

On Thursday 25th November PHINZ hosted a webinar which covered the challenges faced and solutions implemented in consenting the windows for the Wunderbar Passive House project.

Darryl Sang and Alya Abed Ali from Sang Architects and Darryl August and Ian Fong from August Millard talked through the details and shared their learnings.

If you missed the webinar itself or would like to re-run it again you can find the link for the recording and the slides below. We hope you enjoy it. Watch out for more webinars hosted by PHINZ in the near future on both our website in Upcoming Events and on our Facebook page.

Share this:

Ngā Kāinga Anamata, which means “homes of the future” is a Kāinga Ora project aimed at driving carbon emission reduction in New Zealand’s construction industry.

The project will deliver 30 new homes within five, three-level apartment buildings in Auckland’s Glendowie. Each near identical building will use a different construction technology, enabling insights to be gathered on a range of building materials and systems.

  • Mass timber / cross laminated timber (CLT)
  • Light timber frame (LTF)
  • Precast concrete
  • Light gauge steel
  • Hybrid CLT / LTF

All 30 homes will target Passive House certification.

The project team expects the homes will meet all performance caps outlined in MBIE’s Building for Climate Change (BfCC) programme, and that it brings the Ministry for the Environment’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) to life. The knowledge gained from this project will enable and catalyse change in the building industry, demonstrating how meeting the Passive House standard and the BfCC’s targets can be achieved. Hon Dr Megan Woods, Minister for Housing, Energy & Resources, and Research, Science & Innvovation, says “This project will shape the way for the construction industry in Aotearoa New Zealand.” and says that the project is “Validating MBIE’s policy assumptions and demonstrating to industry that future carbon emission targets can be achieved using construction materials and systems that are available today.”

Kāinga Ora Commercial Director Matt Noyes acknowledged PHINZ’s support of the project thus far, and that of the Project Partners, including PHINZ members Context Architects (Project Architects) and Sustainable Engineering (Passive House Certifiers for the Project).

Brian Berg, who leads the Carbon Neutral Housing Team at Kāinga Ora says that Passive House was chosen for this project because it is an industry ready solution, and this played a big part in de-risking the project for Kāinga Ora’s investment. The evidence-based approach taken for the design of the project also meant Passive House was the obvious method to use. The combination of Passive House and the use of local renewable energy means this project will be net zero energy.

The use of industry ready solutions and processes was a big contributing factor into the project’s inclusion in the prestigious United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) Build Better Now Virtual Pavilion. The project is one of only 17 initiatives globally to feature in the pavilion, running from 31 October – 12 November buildbetternow.co .

Matt Noyes says “The homes we build today will set the path for our carbon emissions in the decades to come. We need to be part of the solution, driving innovation and transformation now to ensure good health and climate safety for future generations.”

Ngā Kāinga Anamata has a firm focus on achieving the Government’s carbon emission targets, with significant benefits to occupants, and importantly, the people who live in these homes will enjoy a comfortable and healthy home without fuel poverty.

For more information on Ngā Kāinga Anamata, see

https://kaingaora.govt.nz/ngakaingaanamata

Kāinga Ora social housing pilot project in spotlight at COP26 | Stuff.co.nz

https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2110/S00289/kiwi-sustainable-housing-project-featured-at-cop26.htm

Share this:
courtesy of Kāinga Ora

A Kāinga Ora social housing project in Māngere, Auckland has passed pre-construction review and is now on track to become the first central government funded Passive House social housing in Australasia. Construction on the 3 level, 18 unit “Bader Ventura” project is due to start by the end of this year, and to be completed by mid-2023. There are currently also another seven Kāinga Ora Passive House projects in the design phase, all 3 level walk-ups in Auckland. 

PHINZ CEO Amy Tankard paid tribute to Kāinga Ora’s vision in adopting the Passive House standard for this development.

“It’s fantastic that Kāinga Ora is taking the lead in starting to build housing that will not only keep occupants warm, dry and healthy, with minimal power bills, but also takes a big step towards meeting MBIE’s Building for Climate Change proposed 2035 targets. 

Kāinga Ora is the main housing provider in Aotearoa New Zealand, and therefore this commitment has massive implications for the future of building here. Bader Ventura will demonstrate that it is achievable to build to Passive House standard at scale. It will give certainty to suppliers and other Passive House industry professionals, and widen the knowledge base and awareness of Passive House”

Key partners on the project include PHINZ members 

Peddlethorp – Architects

Oculus – Passive House lead and facade engineer

Sustainable Engineering – independent certifier

Congratulations to all who have progressed the project to this point. We will be following with interest!

You can read more here:

New Mangere development promises tiny carbon footprint and power bills :: Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities (kaingaora.govt.nz)

https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/latest/126303137/heating-for-1-a-day-kainga-oras-first-passivedesigned-social-housing-block-is-a-blueprint

Kāinga Ora announces first Passive House development | Architecture Now

Peddlethorp and Kāinga Ora celebrate first Passive House public housing development | Scoop News

Share this:

At the Passive House Hui yesterday (13 June 2021), the High-Performance Construction Details handbook was launched.

You can head over to the HPCD page and download a free copy of the PDF handbook and a copy of all the CAD details.

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.

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

Share this:

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. 02.06.21 The draft is no longer available as the handbook will be published soon.) 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)

Share this:

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.

Share this: