Passive House and Me

Earlier this week I was invited by Daniel Kress from Smart Plus Academy to join him online for their monthly Q&A and do a session on one of the 5 pillars of a Passive House, air tightness. It was of course, my pleasure to accept. Any chance to bang on about it right!

We talked about my experience in the Passive House course, what my main takeaways were, as well as challenges faced on site in blower door testing low energy homes and a few other things. What I want to talk about here though is what I learned during the Passive House Designer Course, as it is also relevant to Daniel’s upcoming webinar.

The biggest criticism about Passive House that we hear all the time, is that it’s too expensive. Interestingly and unexpectedly, my main takeaway from the Passive House course was that there is actually an integrated financial forecasting system integrated into it. What this means is, if you upgrade windows or insulation, you can enter in the additional costs and performance of the new product into the spreadsheet and get immediate feedback on the ROI; initial outlay vs energy savings over time. The financial risk is right there in front of you before you break ground and you can made informed decisions quickly. The budget estimate of a Passive House may be higher than a code compliant house, yes that is true, but there is no other thermal modelling framework that enables you to calculate ongoing costs and energy savings like PHPP does.

Having said this all of this, I do believe there is scope to design and build energy efficient homes outside of Passive House, of course there is. But after my years in compliance, I have found it very interesting understanding the scope in between the two (and beyond) and how both system are treated by different pockets of the industry.

You can find the public recording of the Q&A session here if you’d like to tune in and you can also have a listen to Daniel in his next webinar below where he goes into more detail about costs.

Webinar: Passive House in Australia – Is it too expensive? (Online LIVE) – April 13th

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