Trends New Zealand NZ New Home Trends Vol. 30/10 - Page 64

Raising the benchmark From the 32 photovoltaic panels to the airtight, highly insulated building shell, sustainability is taken to a whole new level with this house, designed to German Passivhaus standard – and an 8 Homestar design rating Above: Energy bills are nonexistent for the owners of this new home. The house was designed to meet German Passivhaus standard and generates its own electricity from photovoltaic cells on the roof. The building shell is airtight and features extra high-value insulation. Windows can be opened to benefit from cross ventilation in summer. The owners are currently driving a Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid SUV, which is powered by the electricity generated by the photovoltaic cells. 62 Every new home built today has to meet a raft of criteria aimed at increasing energy efficiency and creating a healthy living environment. But how much more can be achieved when the concept of sustainability is pushed even further? That is precisely what the team behind the design of this new house set out to discover. Homeowners Murray and Lee Ann Durbin commissioned architect Stephen Smith of S3 Architects to design their new family home to be certified under the German Passivhaus standard. The Ideal House, as it is known, was also designed to achieve an 8 Homestar rating. search | save | share at Smith says he worked in conjunction with structural engineer Paula Hugens from eZED, a company that undertakes thermal modelling with a focus on low- or zero-energy projects. “The rationale behind a Passivhaus is to have a completely airtight construction with very high insulation values,” Smith says. “The airtightness can be measured with a Blower Door that pumps air into and out of the home. This has been recorded at 0.45 air changes per hour at 50 pascals of pressure, which is well under the 0.6 level requirem