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Topic: Passive house

by Guess what? 16 Aug 11, 35 replies : Last Post Sort by:
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191 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 18 Aug 11 4:40 PM
Does anyone here have such a house?

Yes or close too, my house build just north of Masterton over the last 18 months Walls 250mm poly with cavity & weatherboard = R5.7. pink batts in roof between joists R3.6 with a layer of R2.2 going across. uPVC double glazing R?? (not sure). 100mm poly under slab, 25mm edge poly approx R4 (I think). Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. Small windows on south side, larger on north. Wood burner is a free standing model but sits within a concrete block fireplace i.e large thermal mass in centre of house, mass gets quite warm when fire is lit.

Things to note - been moved in since April - only had wood burner/wetback installed last Wednesday (just in time ae) beforehand was a bit nippy in the evening but nothing compared to rental houses I've been in while building and those were with heating. Ventilation set on lowest setting with humidistats in bathroom and ensuite to kick in boost as required - no condensation at all :) Coldest room in house is a music room for the kids above the garage, R3.6 ceiling, R2.8 walls in standard 90mm framing. The contrast in temperature to the rest of the house is very noticeable. This alone has convinced me to never build a std framed house if ever I build again in the future. Not completely tracked all bills but spent approx $500K for a 380m2 home for 6 people, so approx $1350/m2.

491 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 18 Aug 11 10:25 PM
Hi Nikoftime

yes we use the intello system and the windows are uPVC R .77 with roller shutters or imported uPVC windows with approx. R 1.0.
The imported windows come with a better glass performance while the frames are the same.

64 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 20 Aug 11 9:37 PM
Certainly not achievable with any window available in NZ... particularly because of the low quality glass.
A good uPVC or timber window can get you close and add triple glazing to it (my triple glazing units are traveling in 2-3 weeks form Europe... glazing has R 1.4 with argon and two soft coated lowE panes - Guardian Clima Guard Premium).
Also, worth mentioning that solar heat gain definitely is a very important part of the passive house concept. For example the glass can only get a passive house certification if the nett energy gained is positive... This means the insulating component can not reduce the solar heat gain coefficient, so you always win the energy.

491 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 20 Aug 11 9:52 PM
Yes the glass in New Zealand has performance issues, some of the European systems availabe in NZ come with the same window frames as in Europe.
Would be interested to know how you get your triple glazing from Europe in 2-3 weeks :-)

80 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 22 Aug 11 9:25 PM
Hi RobertM. The work that Pete has done has been and inspiration ( We broke ground today on a house in Feilding designed along PassivHaus lines. Lots of attention to Passivehaus principles - insulation, insulation, insulation, minimising thermal bridges (or introducing thermal breaks where dictated by structural requirements). Most glazing on North side (with deep overhang). Minimal glazing on W, E and S sides, etc, etc.

Plan calls for 250 mm EPS panel for walls, roof and (suspended) floor. Eurowindows turn and tilt joinery (double glazed, low-E), mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, heat pump water heater with cooling recovery.

1 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 25 Oct 11 7:35 PM
Hello i want to build a house with passive qualities. finding the knowledge for slab insulation and eliminating thermal breaks and to achieve air tightness not easy or costly. How did you do it?

69 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 26 Oct 11 8:11 AM
I'm in the process of specifing an insulated concrete slab for a client using maxRAFT, eliminates thermal bridging altogether from the ground, but the problem for the client is, he's a little on edge because he thinks he's pioneering a new system (and thinks, what if it fails) because no one in our town has used this particular product yet! And yet they have been using variations of this product in europe for years for passive type houses. We're 20yrs+ behind the rest of the world. ( and a further 20yrs behind in our particular town!) 'Sheep tend to follow sheep.'
Bri, check out and 'Little Greenie' if you haven't already, to see what can be done with standard nz framing in regard to your question about thermal breaks and air tightness.

491 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 26 Oct 11 8:39 AM
Just do it

I understand that you can build a passive house with so called standard framing.
But isn't to labour intensive and therefore quite costly?
I am leaning towards this for the walls.
It is quite economical to assemble and gives peace of mind with regards to vermin penetration which is often happening in framed structures.

It comes in various very large formats (only limited by the container dimensions in our case) and thickness from 57-278mm.

It is ISO Standard certified for structural application in floors, walls, ceilings and roofs.

69 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 26 Oct 11 9:33 AM
Yeah, seems ideal for our shakey country.
The only hurdle is to convince building officials here that the timber doesn't need toxic chemical treatments. (Do they use accoya treated wood I wonder?). Pretty sure any engineer here would pass the structure for strength.
Have you done a cost comparison of a completed home between the crossplan system and nz stick frame?

491 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 26 Oct 11 9:41 PM
I am enquiring whether it can be used fo my kitset.
I guess it is all "alternative solution" like every passive house would largly be.

40 posts
Re: Passive house 
Posted 2 Nov 13 4:48 PM
This is a rather old post, but for the benefit of anyone still following: there's a rather easy explanation for the apparent 10W/m2 and 15 kWh/(m2a) discrepancy: apples and oranges. 10W/m2 is the maximum load allowed in a Passive House - if the house was a car, this would equal horse power - and 15 kWh/(m2a) is the maximum permitted consumption. Staying with the car example: the fuel used on an annual basis. Both metrics are of course quite closely linked, but only one of these needs to be met for a Certified Passive House. More infos on Passive Houses can be had at or .



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