Seal It Tight and Ventilate Right

August 16, 2021

The goal: a comfortable, low-energy home, but how do we get there? Our July 28th webcast explored two different approaches. Using the Passivhaus approach, the building is sealed, highly insulated and operates using heat recovery ventilation when needed. Passivhaus has proven results over 3 decades in Germany and now 60,000 certified homes globally. On the other hand, proponents of free-running buildings point out that it is possible to design buildings that need no heating or cooling in most Australian climates. Why live in a mechanically ventilated Esky when you could live in a free-running building, cooled by breezes and heated by the sun? Passions run hot enough to create an urban heat island on this topic. CSIRO has asked representatives from Passive House Association, Earth Building Society, a building scientist and a tropical free running architect to discuss the issues. What is the best approach for Australia? How should regulators accommodate the two approaches? How should we be aiming to live in an altered climate?

Join us for an enlightening and entertaining discussion of one of the central dichotomies in sustainable design today. Moderator: Anthony Wright – CSIRO
Speakers: Jesse Clarke – Pro Clima
Peter Hickson – Earth Building Association of Australia
Kylie Mills – Australian Passive House Association
Phil Harris – Troppo Architecture

Video transcript:

Unanswered questions from the Q&A portion have been answered by the speakers and collated in the document below.

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Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme
Supported by data from the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)