Research, Insights and Case Studies

We don’t know everything… as we learn we also share, to help others make great things too.

Selling Indoor Environment Quality

While sustainability professionals understand the concept of Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ), it remains largely academic and defined in ways that are not communicated to, or lack engagement from, consumers. There is an excellent opportunity for...

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The skin we’re in

"When done well, a high-performance façade can have as much bearing on the performance and comfort of a building as any other design element. So why aren’t they fnding their way into every project?" An article published in AIRAH's Ecolibrium magazine, from...

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Are More Airtight Buildings More Energy Efficient?

An airtight building doesn’t sound all that appealing – how are you meant to get fresh air? How does the building ‘breathe’ (whatever that means)? What about the children!? It’s an undercurrent that rages in the Passivhaus vs ‘standard’ construction realm,...

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Disclose NatHERS Before Mandating Disclosure

15th September, 2015 | Jessica Hogg
The Victorian Government, in their desire to improve the energy efficiency of residential properties, is considering introducing mandatory disclosure of the energy performance of dwellings.

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Magical Glass, The NatHERS Solution

8th July, 2016  | Jessica Hogg
When you decide to utilise the deemed-to-satisfy route for residential developments, you’ll end up producing a NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) model.

Given that it is a building envelope assessment, as part of the process you are required to enter information about the dwelling (be it a single-occupancy house or apartment block) including the geometry, envelope materials and thermal performance.

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Building Code: An Important (Thermal) Bridge to Span

12th October, 2016 | Jessica Hogg
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) recently confirmed that they’re undertaking a process for developing Section J 2019.

This is a sure sign that industry is being engaged and workshops are taking place. Although a three-year timeline is of concern if the code is falling short, it finally allows time to really explore and develop the code response and properly engage with stakeholders.

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Why NatHERS is not an Assessment of Comfort

11th November, 2016 | Jessica Hogg
Energy modelling software can create its share of frustration, none more so than that used for assessing dwellings against Section J of the National Construction Code – the modelling analysis also known as NatHERS.

There are a lot of fundamental issues here – the black box nature of the analysis (leaving energy modellers in the dark about the calculation), the absence of accounting for thermal bridging and air permeability, and the lack of education around the WERS database and more.

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Debunking Some Myths About Passivhaus

14th January, 2016 | Jessica Hogg
As a Certified Passivhaus Designer, I’ve had some interesting discussions with both friends and colleagues about their perceptions of what they think a Passivhaus building actually means.

It’s time to shed some light on a few of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Passivhaus concept.

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It’s Time for the Passivhaus Revolution

12th April, 2016 | Jessica Hogg
Working in the construction industry as an environmental engineer can be disheartening at times, as you watch key attributes of a project get value managed away into the ether.
Design elements are removed that would inherently improve the quality of the building, ensuring indoor environments that would maximise the health and well-being of future building occupants.

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Building a Passivhaus

Clare Parry
There are several techniques that can be used when designing a building to ensure that it is naturally cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Clare Parry clarifies the confusion surrounding Passivhaus design and how builders can become experts in this area.

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Fresh Air without the Heat Loss (or Gain)

Clare Parry
As we seal up our homes for better energy efficiency, mechanical ventilation becomes important. Can we have homes that don’t require heating in the depths of winter, or cooling in summer, and yet remain optimally comfortable?

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Embodied Energy in Passivhaus Buildings

19th January, 2016 | Clare Parry
A hot topic in Passivhaus circles for nearly as long as the standard has been around, the net effect of building ultra-low energy buildings.
It is widely accepted and communicated by those involved in Passivhaus, as well as the policy makers of the EU, that the target of net zero energy buildings (NZEB) is neither useful for reducing energy use (net or peak) nor an accessible target for most buildings…

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Section J 2016: An Industry Comment

Grün Consulting was part of the industry response group to the proposed changes to the NCC for 2016. This consultation aimed to provide transparent commentary on Section J - NCC 2016 Volume One Public Draft (V2), with the view that the proposed changes did not...

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Passivhaus Standard

So what is Passivhaus? Also known as Passive House, it better translates as ‘Passive Building’ and applies to any building typology you can think of. Passivhaus buildings are always comfortable, and use around 90% less energy for HVAC than a typical building, and up to 80% less energy overall. Passivhaus is a simple, proven design and construct methodology…

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Affordable Social Housing … and Passivhaus!

28 October, 2015 | Clare Parry
Imagine, for a moment, that you are a developer, or even just a property investor. You believe you have found a way to guarantee that the properties you own are hotly contested on the open market, both those you build new and those you are upgrading…

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Why I want a Passivhaus house

27th May, 2015 | Clare Parry
When we bought our home, we fell in love. We loved the beautiful little cottage that was now our sanctuary, and was representative of a major milestone in our lives: our very own house! But, like nearly every other home purchaser, we didn’t consider – not even a little bit – what the house would be like to live in day-to-day…

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