Right v Wrong: Installing Insulation Batts In Exterior Walls

This video from Dow Corning uses infra red photography to show where heat losses can occur around poorly installed bulk insulation. What it also shows are the effects of thermal bridging in the thermal envelope.

Look out for the cold spots at the base of the external corners – just the spot for condensation & mould to occur – and the lower temperatures on the inside of the timber studs.

Zehnder Heat Recovery and Ducting Systems – HRV – ERV

As we push up the level of thermal comfort in our homes we work to eliminate unwanted heat flows and reduce draughts to save energy. Until now this has meant simply retaining the conditioned air inside our homes for as long as possible.

The problem with this is that the carbon dioxide we breath out builds up and makes us feel tired and the toxic gasses emitted by the furniture and finishes in our homes builds up to dangerous levels. The moisture content increases causing condensation and mould growth which can be dire for asthmatics and damaging to the building fabric.

Fresh air ventilation is the solution to this but how to achieve this without wasting the energy we’ve already used is the problem. A balanced heat recovery ventilation unit is the perfect answer to this problem and associated with good insulation and airtightness virtually eliminates the need for heating & cooling systems.

This video from Zehnder shows how the concept works.

Passivhaus Explained in 90 Seconds



APHA Annual General Meeting

Announcing the first Annual General Meeting of the Australian Passive House Association.

Date: Saturday 13th September, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM (midday)
Location: Level 4, 10 Yarra St, South Yarra, VIC (tele/video conference facility available)
Light refreshments will be provided.

The agenda for the day will be sent out closer to the date, but will include election of the Board of Directors for the 2014-15 year.

This AGM will mark a major milestone for APHA, with a chance to review what we’ve achieved so far, as well as to let you know what we have planned for the future. We hope to see you there. Please notify us of your intention to attend, and whether you will attend by video/teleconference.


Passive House Designer/Consultant AND Tradesperson Courses

The APHA has announced further opportunities for Passive House training in Australia.

The Box Hill Institute will now be offering BOTH the Certified Passive House Designer and Certified Passive House Tradesperson courses in Melbourne, with the next courses to be held in September. Public enrolments are now open.

With world-class training from Michael McCarthy of the Passive House Academy (Ireland), participants will be given the opportunity to obtain the internationally recognised Passive House credentials at the end of their training.

Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant

  • Timing & duration: Tues 23rd Sept – Friday 3rd Oct (9 days), full time
  • Location: Melbourne – the CAE in the CBD (Flinders Lane).
  • Pre-requisites: The CPHD training is not for the faint-hearted! A basic knowledge of building physics is required, and the learning process is demanding.
  • If you believe that you need to undertake the basic building physics training, please contact the Box Hill Institute for information on upcoming Introduction to Passive House courses.

Certified Passive House Tradesperson

  • Timing & duration: Mon 15th Sept – Friday 19th Sept (5 days), full time
  • Location: Melbourne – the CAE in the CBD (Flinders Lane).

More information here:

Passive House Designer Course: http://www.bhtafe.edu.au/courses/shortcourses/Pages/CPHD1.aspx

Passive House Tradesperson Course: http://www.bhtafe.edu.au/courses/shortcourses/Pages/CPHT1.aspx

Passivhaus Perth ‘Meetup’

If you are interested in low energy housing come along & meet up with like-minded people at the ‘PASSIVHAUS MEETUP’ at the BAYSWATER HOTEL on the last Tuesday of the month.

Discussion group for those interested in ‘Passivhaus’ – ‘Passive House’ in English. The real energy efficient design process delivering high levels of comfort for minimal energy input.

Experts and those interested to know more are all welcome to share knowledge and experience about this voluntary standard for ultra low energy buildings and the benefits for hot climates as well as the cold north.

Come and join me, ROGER JOYNER, for information and discussion on the techniques and benefits of Passivhaus in Perth and WA.

Learn more and signup for Perth Passivhaus Meetup here: http://www.meetup.com/meetup-group-eWExCtCO/

Passivhaus, not ‘Passive House’

After years of exposure, the design industry in Australia is just getting traction with the general public with Solar Passive Design and whilst the utilisation of solar heat gain is a part of the Passivhaus concept it is not as paramount as it is in solar passive design and is not constrained by the complications of adding thermal mass.

Solar Passive Design will provide reasonable indoor conditions in domestic buildings but the range of temperatures cannot be guaranteed and occupiers must have a good degree of comfort tolerance and the willingness & ability, at the appropriate time, to manage their indoor environment in order to achieve such conditions.

For the 85% of the population that have low tolerance and high expectation in relation to their interior comfort levels this process will always lead to disappointment and, even now, there will be solar passive clients out there that are adding mechanical systems – especially cooling – to bring their homes in to line with their higher levels of expectation.

It is unlikely that this 85% of the population will ever be convinced that the solar passive solution will satisfy their expectation and they will continue to rely upon high energy use to provide the level of comfort they can get in their car!

There is already some confusion between Passivhaus and solar passive design with the use of the term ‘passive house’ to describe the latter.

It is vital that the two are not confused as the energy use focus within Passivhaus is totally different to the employment of traditional orientation, ventilation and thermal mass concepts of solar passive design.

Passivhaus steps far beyond the rules of thumb of solar passive design and it is imperative that the differentiation is understood.

Solar passive design certainly has a place in Australia but Passivhaus achieves far more than this, can satisfy the desires of the less tolerant without excessive energy consumption and should not allow itself to be confused with a lesser proposition.

I’m with Passivhaus!