Residential Passivhaus Ventilation – Q&A

As you know, one my favourite Passivhaus resources is Elrond Burrell’s website. Elrond’s blog is informative and easy to read.

I wanted to share a recent post of his with you, where Elrond discusses a number of common questions about Ventilation in residential Passivhaus buildings.

A passivhaus home in almost all climates across the world will include a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery – such systems are required for both energy efficiency and for comfort. However, this is an often poorly understood aspect of passivhaus.

In this post,  Elrond and Zehnder, a global supplier of Passivhaus Certified ventilation systems, explore various aspects of a residential passivhaus ventilation system, including:

  • How do I control the ventilation system?
  • What day-to-day interaction do I need to have with the ventilation system?
  • What is the boost function and when should I use it?
  • When should I switch the ventilation system off?
  • and more…

It is an informative and interesting read – and can be read here:


Think About Sustainability Interview

Valentina Petrone is a Sustainability Architect and Communicator with 10 years of experience in the construction industry in Australia and Europe.

I met up with Valentina recently and had a great conversation about Passivhaus.

Check out her Blog post and follow her Sustainability Website –

South Pacific Passive House Conference 2016

The South Pacific Passive House Conference is Australasia’s premier conference for Passive House. With the first conference, held in Auckland in February 2015, a resounding success, full deails of the 2nd Conference in Melbourne are now available.

Keynote speakers have now been announced, and the Day 1 program is now online (Day 2 will be published soon!). I will be presenting on Day 1.

Local and international experts will convene to share their experiences with the Passive House standard, including explorations of architecture and design, advances in technology and the future direction of the standard. Alongside the Conference, the Trade Exhibit will be open to the general public and will feature product and component suppliers, manufacturers and service providers, demonstrating the practical implementation of the standard with hands-on opportunities.

The Conference will seek to demonstrate the importance of well-conceived and consistent action in the building sector for a successful transition to a sustainable energy future.

Co-hosted by the Australian Passive House Association and the Passive House Institute of New Zealand, the conference will include networking events, site tours and hands-on masterclasses located across the city.

Earlybird rates available until 15th December.

find out more at:

APHA Presents: Nabih Tahan (USA)

On Tuesday April 21st in Sydney, come along and hear from the APHA’s international guest speaker, Mr Nabih Tahan. Hailing from California, Nabih has worked as an architect in the USA, Austria and Ireland, which has put him in a unique position to compare the practices in these very distinct building industries.

Nabih has great experience he will share on large scale Passive House developments he has been involved in, and will present the fundamentals of PH through the experience of retrofitting his own home, as well as his experience with Passive House for a tall wood high-rise.

After spending many years working in Europe, Nabih returned to Berkeley, California and remodeled his own home to Passive House standard (which led to the establishment of Passive House California). Nabih now represents Cree Buildings, an Austrian company that has developed a system for tall wood buildings.

Take a look at the website, , or this video to see how an eight story wood office building (as pictured) was erected in just 8 days.

While places are free, APHA has a limited capacity. Please register to attend HERE.

Airtightness – the Key to Energy Saving

This appalling revelation from the UK about the legally allowable draughtiness of new homes reflects the lack of regulation in Australia and the imposition of unnecessary energy costs upon new home owners over the whole life of the building.

Encouragingly, the solution is clearly mapped out. We just need awareness & willingness to improve construction processes to achieve the Passivhaus standard across the industry.


Passivhaus Design & Build Podcast

This is a great podcast with two of the top proponents for Passivhaus in the UK (Elrond Burrell and Chris Herring) talking about aspects of design & how the standard of construction really matters with some really interesting comments about thermal mass.

It is well worth a listen.

You can find it here:



The Problem with Energy Efficiency


I saw this interesting piece from the New York Times, highlighting how improvements in energy efficiency can be offset by increased usage.

The same will eventually apply to our homes but we have enormous savings to be made before this becomes a concern.

Read the article here:


Australia’s first certified PassivHaus

Congratulations to Berward Bucheler and Max Pritchard on certification of Australia’s first Passivhaus.

Roger Joyner/Passivhaus Perth are designing the first in Western Australia, to start early in 2015. I will be posting regular updates on the Project in addition to articles relating to Passivhaus design and construction, so watch this space.

Read more about the Bucheler/Pritchard project here:

Elrond Burrell – Ten Things

Elrond Burrell is an architect in UK who is very active in the Passivhaus field.

Elrond posts a lot of interesting articles and I will be highlighting a few of them on this site. This is the first of them: Passivhaus is like having your eyes opened for the first time. Trouble then is – what was going on in the dark before!

Elrond Burrell – Ten Things I Hate about Passivhaus


Airtightness of the building envelope is critical to high performance.

Stopping draughts is only part of the reason for striving for this objective. Getting control over heat flows in and out of the building, managing ventilation for the best indoor air quality and controlling moisture flows whilst still allowing breathability are part of this approach to quality in the construction process.