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  • Writer's pictureRydePassiveHouse

How Did We Get Here?

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

We started by coming up with a concept for the look of the house and some potential floor plans. I had a pencil and paper, but apart from that, no idea where to start. Fortunately, I found Amelia Lee's excellent Undercover Architect podcast series called Get it Right. The ideas and enough knowledge to move forward flowed from here.


We then found a draftsperson to work with. She was very experienced, but had not been involved in passive house design. We did some research and made some early decisions about construction materials, which windows and doors we would use and the exterior finishes of the house. Then we found a passive house consultant.


With this information, professional concept drawings, floor plans, elevations and early materials choices, the consultant was able to do the PHPP and WUFI calculations. He was able to report back to us how the house would perform and whether it could achieve the passive house standard.


The report specified insulation ratings for walls and roof, and how much mechanical heating and cooling would be required to keep the indoor temperature stable. He also created drawings for a builder to ensure that the risk of thermal bridging in the frame of the house was avoided. The passive house consultant agreed to do site visits to supervise the building of the sections that he designed and the elements that make a passive house different to others.


The next step was to find a builder. The pool of passive house accredited builders in Sydney is slowly increasing, but it was quite small. There was not much choice, nor competition at the time. The builder we eventually found was a passive house certified tradesperson but had never built a passive house.


Our draftsperson did the BASIX certificate and referred us for a landscape plan and stormwater plan. We submitted the DA to council and arranged the demolition of the old house.


We were ready to go and broke ground in December 2020.



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