Passive House Event Report

More than 30 people turned up to Mount Aspiring College new building and became totally inspired and enthused about the Passive House concept. Introduced by Rafe MacLean – designer of the only certified Passive House in Central Otago, the evening started with a presentation of the passive house standard by local architect Jessica Eyers.
The standard consists in design and construction to ensure comfortable temperature year round with minimal energy inputs as well as excellent air quality, ensuring health and wellbeing as well as minimal ongoing costs.This is achieved with:
– uninterrupted insulation including windows, doors, with careful management of thermal bridges,
– airtight thermal envelope, yet breathable to prevent moisture
– using free heat from the sun, people and appliances
– continuous supply and monitored circulation of fresh air with recovery of heat from the stale air
In short a comfortable, well­ventilated building that needs very little energy.
The standard comes with measurement tools and performance tracking tools, including over time. For example, the graph below shows that 7 times a day, kids are breathing oxygen-deprived air in “normal” classroom, whereas Passive House standards keep the CO2 concentration low and fairly even. Stricking!
Classroom CO2 concentration
Despite its name, the standard applies not only to homes but also apartments, offices, hospitals and schools.
This is what Elrond Burrell set out to impress the audience with. Originally a Kiwi and back in New Zealand where he is director of VIA architecture, he spent 10 years working for Architype, UK leading passivehaus sustainable architects. There, he helped design 11 primary schools and one university block, each time improving the energy efficiency, usability and simplicity of the buildings. And two of these schools did not cost more to build than “normal” schools.
Elrond would “love to see the development of NZ schools to a higher standard of health, wellbeing and comfort, not to mention energy efficiency“. Considering the number of schools planned or forecasted in our area,  “the message of what is possible and desirable for NZ school buildings needs to get to governing bodies and school leadership teams” he says.
Some guests then visited the Wanaka certified passive house designed by Rafe Maclean.
For more information, here is a brochure about passive house or feel free to contact:

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