The results are displayed in the pages of the Australian Passive House Association’s book of Passive House projects in Australia and beyond, introduced at the South Pacific Passive House Conference recently by APHA Board Member and Strategy Working Group Leader Andy Marlow, a director at Envirotecture.
The book, which features 22 Australian buildings, features a full range of Passive House projects that vary in regard to shape, size and use.
The large-scale Monash University’s Gillies Hall was replaced as the southern hemisphere’s largest certified Passive House building by another building at the school, the Woodside Building for Technology and Design.
The five-storey, smart-technology building adheres to the strict energy reduction standards while still supplying natural light for students. Unlike Gillies Hall, built from engineered timber, the technology building is primarily steel.
Other projects that display the flexibility of the building technique include Heathmont in Victoria, which comes complete with a saw-toothed roof and high ceilings to provide generous views and natural light.
The building was built with the prefabricated Panellite system for the roof and walls, which simplified the build, rendering it faster and less wasteful.
In his presentation, Andy Marlow also referenced the Owl Woods in the Victorian town of Trentham, which boasts extreme temperature differences, as another sample of a Passive House certified home with a unique design.
The separate wings and entwined courtyards proved a design challenge as they supplied more wall area exposed to the weather—yet the design met energy efficiency requirements by boosting insulation values and utilising triple-glazed high-performance windows.
Another project detailed in the book took the form of Sapphire in NSW. With the site in a BAL-FZ (Flame Zone), Marlow states that the building faced the challenge of building a bushfire resilient home to Passive House standard.
Also cited is the Torrens Early Learning Centre, a day care and kindergarten facility and the sole privately-owned Passivhaus educational centre globally.
The book also features international homes and those who were not certified—but symbolised honourable attempts at achieving the Passive House look and ethic.