Occupants wanted for Passive House trial
Frasers Property Australia has announced it will test the economic and comfort benefits of a Certified Passive House home for the mass market in Australia against the outcomes of a standard family home, with the aim of applying the findings to its national residential construction operations.
Already well established in Europe, the Passive House movement utilises features such as double-glazed windows, continuous thermal insulation and airtight measures (as appropriate to the local climate) to reduce air leakage, better regulate temperature control in the house and drastically reduce heating and cooling costs, while improving air quality.
“Air leakage in buildings is a big problem and can result in comfort and air quality issues,” noted Certified Passive House Designer Clare Parry. “It can account for half of the energy costs of heating and cooling a home. In effect, building leakage is like leaving your front door open.”
Parry said the Passive House standard has been established in Europe for almost 30 years and data showed that healthier homes were having a positive impact on people suffering from illnesses such as allergies and asthma.
“In a Passive House, mould and condensation are designed out, and because the home is airtight and mechanically ventilated there is also reduced dust and allergens, so for people with conditions like hayfever and asthma there are real benefits.
“Current interest in the Passive House standard does seem to be driven by health and wellbeing, though a Passive House also substantially reduces energy consumption and costs.”
Now, as part of a project to assess the long-term benefits of a Passive House, Frasers Property will build one at its Life, Point Cook community, which will be available to purchase. The purchaser must agree to take part in a trial with the company, comparing the results over 12 months between a Passive House with that of an equivalent, typical new home.
“This is a first for the volume home market in Australia,” said Rory Martin, Sustainability Manager – Residential, Frasers Property Australia, whose team has been working with Parry for guidance and to ensure the house meets strict Passive House principles and criteria.
“It’s early days still, but we have spent the past couple of months meeting the design requirements of Passive House, which in itself has been an incredible journey for our in-house design team, and we look forward to moving to the construction phase in the next couple of months.”
Parry added, “There are only about 30 Certified Passive Houses in Australia at the moment, so this initiative is certainly a first coming from a large-scale developer.”
Frasers Property is planning to begin construction of its Passive House at Life, Point Cook early in 2019 and hopes to have a family living in the home to start the year-long trial by the start of 2020. To find out more about the project, visit www.frasersproperty.com.au/vic/point-cook.
Phone: 02 9767 2000
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