DuoGlass proudly took part in the recent construction of the first PassivHaus home in Western Australia in collaboration with Consortium Builders.
Initially created for cold European conditions, PassivHaus refers to a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, resulting in low energy heating & cooling – and thus a reduced ecological footprint. Almost 50,000 houses have now been certified PassivHaus worldwide, however this is the first of its kind in WA.
Residing on a 440sqm block in Cottesloe, the new home contains six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a library, study, home theatre, a two-car basement garage and storeroom, a roof terrace and a six-level, glass-sided lift (imported from Sweden). The European-style, double-glazed tilt-and-turn windows and doors can be opened anytime to let in the sea breeze, while the ventilation system maintains comfort all year round.
According to Andrew Abercromby from Consortium Builders, the most challenging aspect of trying to meet the PassivHaus standard in Australia was that ’tight construction’ was an almost completely unknown concept in the local building industry:
“The typical Australian house leaks 15-25 volumes of air an hour in a standard blower test; the European standard is less than 1.5 and the PassivHaus standard is 0.6.The Cottesloe house measured 0.25 on its first test, making it at least 50 times better than the Australian average. We had an independent expert come over from New Zealand to conduct the test and he declared our result an Australian and New Zealand record.”
“Above ground, all the walls and the roof structure were constructed using SIPS (Structural Insulated Panel System). We erected the walls, inter-floors and the roof of the five upper levels in seven weeks with a team of six carpenters. Because our team was completely in control of accuracy, we were able to have the uPVC windows and doors custom-manufactured while we were putting up the main structure – and mostly installed before we had the roof on.”
PassivHaus Cottesloe has also broken building-time records. While the complex in-ground works took four months to construct, the upper five levels were erected from ground level to lock-up in only seven weeks thanks to Consortium Builders’ focus on rapid construction methods. View the impressive timelapse video below!