Description: Passive House Premium
Building Type: Detached rural house
Location: Seymour Victoria 3660
Number of Apartments/Units: 1
Treated Floor Area According to PHPP: 192m2
Construction Type: Standard timber frame with rendered insulation, painted floor screed over insulation
Year of Construction: 2021


A Passive House as large as possible within the restraints of the budget. A light and spacious living area incorporating a bar area and a library with a concealed door within the shelving. Three bedrooms and three bathrooms. An attached swim-spa room (outside the Passive House envelope).


On the banks of the Goulburn River. Double height living area with generous glazing facing the sun. Fixtures include a library with a “secret” door, a bar and a boat suspended from the ceiling. Standard timber frame constructed off site with bushfire rated insulated render cladding, Concrete slab insulated above with floor paint on screed. Locally fabricated Upvc windows triple glazed against road noise.

The original design which was limited by the initial budget has now been supplemented with a gym and swim-spa room.

It was the first building in Victoria Certified Passive House Premium. It has a dedicated electric vehicle charging point and also meets Liveable Housing Standard and Bushfire requirements.

Special Features

The interior has some interesting features such as 5m high library shelves with a library ladder, a "secret" door in the shelves, a bar and a rowing scull containing lights suspended above the kitchen bench. We also really appreciated the care the carpenters took to achieve an air-tightness twice as good as the Passive House standard.

Challenges Faced

Achieving a spacious volume within the initially restricted budget.

Details on the Design/Build Process

Construction is a standard timber frame fabricated off site. The slab is insulated above with a painted screed floor finish over the insulation. The rendered insulation cladding provides the necessary bushfire rating. The local builders who had no previous PH experience were prepared to take the care necessary to create a great result.

Project Members

Architecture: David Halford 5c Sustainable Building Design
Building services: David Halford 5c Sustainable Building Design
Building physics: David Halford 5c Sustainable Building Design
Builder: Shearer Homes (Glen Shearer)
Certifier: Luke Plowman
Engineer: Laurie McGoldrick
HRV & Airtests: Passivtech (Drew Kroker)
Windows: Blue Sky

Thermal envelope

Exterior wall: Standard timber frame with rendered insulation cladding U-value = 0.158 W/(m2K)
Basement floor / floor slab: Concrete slab with XPS and screed over slab. U-value = 0.776 W/(m2K)
Roof: Timber rafters with glasswool insulation. U-value = 0.124 W/(m2K)
Window Frames: Kommerling Upvc frames, Kommerling bushfire rated Upvc U w-value = 1.1 W/(m2K)
Glazing Triple glazing U g-value = 0.7 W/(m2K) g -value = 5 %
Entrance door: Kommerling Upvc door U d-value = 1.16 W/(m2K)

Mechanical systems

Ventilation Zhender, ComfoAir Q350
Heating installation No dedicated heating equipment required. Reverse cycle air conditioning sufficient.
Domestic hot water Sanden reverse cycle split system DHW.

Additional information

Ecological aspects: All water from rainwater harvesting. PV array makes building Passive House Premium.

PHPP values

Air tightness n50 = 0.38/h
Annual heating demand 10 kWh /(m2a ) calculated according to PHPP
Heating load 11 W/m2
PE demand (non-renewable Primary Energy) 75 kWh /(m2a ) on heating installation, domestic hot water, household electricity and auxiliary electricity calculated according to PHPP
PER demand (renewable Primary Energy) 34 kWh /(m2a ) on heating installation, domestic hot water, household electricity and auxiliary electricity calculated according to PHPP
Generation of renewable energy 165 kWh /(m2a ) based on the projected area.

Manse Hill 
Manse Hill


Manse Hill
Manse Hill 
Manse Hill 
Manse Hill


Manse Hill
Manse Hill  Manse Hill