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:

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

Passivhaus Explained in 90 Seconds



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:

Passive House Tradesperson Course:

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:

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!