I am often asked about testing buildings for air tightness, and specifically about what qualifies as “good” or “bad” construction. Believe me, I could talk about it for days but quickly the discussion gets abstract.This is an effort to get back to basics so that the discussion makes sense in real terms. This question matters to building standards, whether they are best practice like Passive House or minimum practice like the National Construction Code.Decades ago, Passive House wrote its standards in terms of air changes per hour at 50 pascals of pressure (ACH50). Is it possible that they picked the wrong metric? Here is an explanation of a better way of talking about building air tightness in the context of construction standards.
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
Research on the energy efficiency of the different components of buildings – their shell, built-in appliances, plug-in appliances, floor size and floor plan, as well as position on site – all have contributions to make to amount of energy consumed. When combined with renewable...Read more
When South Eastern Australia was in severe drought at the beginning of the century, a whole array of efforts went into addressing the water shortage. Councils introduced, and then increased, water restrictions. Government handed out low-flow showerheads and shower timers,...Read more
In the almost 10 years since we launched with The Fifth Estate we’ve learnt three important things about offices, the topic we covered at our event in Brisbane on 27 March 2018, Bring Your Office to Life.
One is that offices are capable of huge sustainability gains; they can achieve massive cuts in energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
Addressing energy use in the built environment is just one aspect of the carbon reduction challenge, according to The Footprint Company chief executive Dr Caroline Noller. Addressing the embodied carbon in building materials is also vital.
This paper demonstrates that the integration of passive features during the design/construction of sustainable buildings requires thorough modelling at the design stage as some features may have unintended consequences resulting in occupant dissatisfaction, and resulting in the building using more energy to maintain comfort.