5 KEYS

A GUIDE TO BUILDING AN ENERGY EFFICIENT HOUSE IN AUSTRALIA

WELCOME

What makes a Passive House or Energy Efficient home?

As you read through this guide you will find the 5 Keys we use are the same (or similar) to the 5 Pillars of Passive House construction. The reason being, the same principles apply when building an Energy Efficient home as when building a fully certified Passive House.

An Energy Efficient home is constructed to extremely high performance standards and will deliver exceptional economic and environmental benefits to the home owner. Fundamentally both Energy Efficient buildings and Passive House Standards are about great design.

Well built Energy Efficient houses rely on balancing building physics, carefully integrated building services and the use of up to date technology to ensure the best result. Working with a builder and designer right from the start of your build will ensure your home is built to perform – without compromising on the efficiency OR the architectural features of your new home.

5 BENEFITS

OF BUILDING AN ENERGY EFFICIENT HOME

energy

efficiency

Passive Houses and Energy Efficient buildings are designed and constructed to use up to 90% less energy than a standard home.

This is achieved by using window technology that ensures minimal heat loss, external insulation and efficient heat recovery systems to reduce ventilation heat losses.

This means very little additional heating or cooling is required to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures, resulting in lower utility bills across the life of the building.

comfort

year round

Building using Energy Efficient principles ensures your home is free from draughts, free from cold spots, never over heated and provided with a constant supply of fresh, clean air.

A year round stable temperature means no need for reverse cycle heating/cooling, unless desired If other means of heating or cooling are desired (ceiling fans and/or fireplaces) the outlay is minimal.

health

benefits

Energy Efficient homes provide a healthy and quiet indoor environment. We now spend a significant amount of time in our houses and know the buildings we spend time in impact on our health and wellbeing.

The ventilation systems installed in Energy Efficient buildings provide a constant supply of fresh air, ensuring pollutants and odours are removed from the building.

The air-seal and HRV technology ensure doors and windows can be closed ensuring an allergen free environment year round.

built

to last

Building an Energy Efficient home means you are creating a building that will stand the test of time.

In a Passive House there is no room for short cuts or half measures – all work needs to be carried out perfectly to ensure maximum efficiency.

Energy Efficient houses deal with moisture correctly ensuring a dry timber frame which aids in protecting the long term integrity of the building. The avoidance of steel in the construction process (due to thermal bridging) eliminates corrosion which can compromise a building over time.

UpperHermitage_39

cost

savings

When pricing an Energy Efficient build we encourage clients to consider both construction and operating costs of their new home.

While some components of an Energy Efficient house are more expensive than those used in a conventional build, the significant energy savings and use of high quality components means operating and maintenance costs are significantly reduced.

A life cycle cost analysis carried out by EnCraft proved that a Passive House costing 10% more to build would still have significantly lower costs over it’s entire lifecycle than a traditional building of the same size.

5 KEY INCLUSIONS

OF AN ENERGY EFFICIENT HOME

1. AIRTIGHT CONSTRUCTION

House Builders Adelaide

A fundamental of Energy Efficient and Passive Home construction is ensuring your building is airtight.

This doesn’t mean you can’t open the windows and doors! On the contrary, as Australians, we love the outdoors and our connection with nature. We also love being able to shelter from the harsh extremes of climate that we experience throughout the year.

The beauty of an air tight home is that when you do close up the doors and windows, you are completely in control of the temperature of your home. You are also insulated from the outside temperature, with warm being kept inside your home and preventing cool air from leaking in (or visa versa during the warmer months).

From a construction perspective ensuring a building is airtight lessens the risk of damage to the building envelope that can be caused over time by condensation entering the building due to the humidity caused by daily activities such as heating, cooking, bathing and breathing meeting with colder surfaces. This also helps to eliminate mould build up inside the home.

To achieve airtight construction we outline a clear strategy during the design phase of your building, working with your building designer or Architect to identify what materials and components will be used and how junctions and penetrations will be eliminated.

Airtightness is measured using a blower door test. You can read more about how we ensure our homes are airtight in various articles on our website.

2. HEAT RECOVERY VENTILATION SYSTEM

Do you suffer from allergies? Asthma? Hayfever?

Passive House Standards require a high quality heat recovery ventilation system be installed in every build. Each unit comes complete with a heat exchanger that passes incoming and outgoing air over each other via plastic membranes that prevent the air being contaminated.

These membranes act as a filtration system that removes the large majority of air borne contaminants from the incoming air to your home. This results in significantly less pollutants entering your home. Ideal if you suffer from allergies or asthma.

The heat recovery ventilation system not only provides air that is better to breathe but helps to prevent fungal growth and will recover up to 90% of the energy that is normally lost through open windows and return it back to the heating system. Better for your health AND your bank account.

3. QUALITY THERMAL INSULATION

When you have an air tight building, the effectiveness of your insulation is significantly increased. None the less, in an Energy Efficient home we make maximum use of the air tightness by increasing the amount and quality of the insulation around your home to ensure heat losses or gains are minimised.

4. HIGH PERFORMANCE GLAZING

The glass in your home is often the most overlooked component when it comes to creating an Energy Efficient building.

The science behind what makes a good window depends on many factors, however there are some underlying fundamentals that are always adhered to when you build to Passive House Standards;

– No all metal frames

– Double glazing on all windows

– Careful assessment of manufacturing standards to ensure all doors and windows seal well, all..the..time!

As certified Passive House builders and following many years working in this niche area of the building industry, we have an outstanding team of suppliers on board so we can specify the best performing products on your build.
The final, and most difficult to understand part of building a Passive or Energy Efficient home is the need to eliminate thermal bridges.
Thermal bridging occurs when materials used during construction allow the transfer of the outside temperature, inside. Eliminating thermal bridges requires considerable planning and care during the design phase.
Failing to address this issue can result in significant levels of condensation and may cause mould to build up in the home.

5. ELIMINATION OF THERMAL BRIDGES

The final, and most difficult to understand part of building a Passive or Energy Efficient home is the need to eliminate thermal bridges.
Thermal bridging occurs when materials used during construction allow the transfer of the outside temperature, inside. Eliminating thermal bridges requires considerable planning and care during the design phase.
Failing to address this issue can result in significant levels of condensation and may cause mould to build up in the home.

There are plenty of builders out there who will tell you they can fulfill all your wishes, but do they really understand what you want?

At Enduro Builders we pride ourselves in being different in all the ways that count. Especially when it comes to building an Energy Efficient or Passive House.

The Enduro team love working with clients who bring passion, enthusiasm, fresh ideas and an expectation of high quality to their build. You will benefit from our attention to detail and exceptional commitment to building and maintaining client relationships.

Our trades people are professionals who take great pride in producing quality workmanship they know will be part of your home for many years to come.

Enduro are the type of builders every home owner dreams of collaborating with.