APHA Newsletter August 2019

Scroll down for the latest news, training and events. Some highlights include:

  • SPPHC 2020 - First Round Ticket Offer Closing Soon
  • Call for Papers: Sydney SPPHC 2020 - NOW OPEN!
  • The Fern Passive House Apartment Sydney - Tour and Competition
  • Sustainable House Day - 15th September - call for volunteers
  • PH Certification Workshop - November - Save the Date
  • WA Chapter Catch-up and Stiebel Eltron visit
  • September Webinar - Byera Hadley Research - Decarbonising our Built Environment
  • International Passive House Conference Windows Workshop
  • Certified Passive House Training - new Box Hill Institute course added!

If you have news of interest to our readers please don't hesitate to get in touch at admin@passivehouseaustralia.org



Limited release ticket offer - closing soon!

There's only five tickets left so act now to secure the last of these limited early release heavily discounted tickets at the amazing price of $686.00 (plus GST) - that's a 30% reduction!  

With a further 15% member discount on top of this already low price our members will be able to purchase tickets for an incredible $595.00 (plus GST)!

Don't miss this incredible introductory ticket offer! 


Call for Papers


If you would like to present at SPPHC 2020 please use the below form to submit your application. Abstracts should be maximum 500 words and their duration should be 15 - 20 minutes. 

The deadline for submissions is Friday 29th November 2019 COB. Acceptance will be emailed to all those who submit by Friday 31st January 2020.
Good luck and thanks in advance for your proposal!



The Fern Completion Tour & Accommodation Prize

The Fern is seeking to be Australia’s first certified Passive House apartment building. And we are excited to announce that it is now done and literally dusted and open for visitors. 

APHA will host an exclusive tour together with the architect/builder Oliver Steele on Tuesday 17th Sep, 5 - 6pm with the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, attending.

COST: Members: $20.00; Non-members $50.00

The event will continue from 6pm with an informal social catch-up at the Lord Raglan Hotel close by. 

Tour ticket holders also have the opportunity to win a free night’s accommodation at the Fern on Thursday 5th September. 

TO ENTER: Buy your ticket/s before midnight Tuesday 3rd September and then email admin@passivehouseaustralia.org with your details to enter the competition with the subject line FERN COMPETITION.

The winner will be drawn and notified on Wednesday 4th September AM so get in early!

The unit accommodates two people in one bed and check-in is at 6pm on Thursday 5th September with check-out at 10am on Friday 6 September. 



Sustainable House Day & Call for Volunteers

Take a peek inside some inspiring Passive homes this September 15th when Sustainable House Day 2019 takes place.  With a mix of certified, not yet and nearly certified homes open on the day it is an event not be missed. 

Passive Homes open this year include Thornleigh and Faulconbridge in New South Wales, NoonameenArmadaleHeathmont and MM House in Victoria, and North Beach in Western Australia.

For further info and the full register of open homes please visit the link below. 

If you would like to share your knowledge and enthusiasm of Passive House and support a local open house owner consider volunteering at an open Passive House near you (see some links above). Email admin@passivehouseaustralia.org and we will assist in connecting you. 

Sustainable House Day is a great day out where like-minded people gather to exchange information, stories and their passion for sustainable building. Make the most of this fantastic day!



PH Certification Workshop - 20th November 2019

Aimed at designers, consultants, architects and those who have a Passive House project to be certified, this workshop aims to assist first time teams understand certification requirements.  

Including topics such as process, timing, the Passive House certification platform and documentation, the workshop will address areas that typically cause confusion, such as PHPP items.

More details to follow soon and we will keep you posted! 




WA News

APHA WA Chapter Rep Nathan Coote recently attended APHA company member Stiebel Eltron's Perth Showroom grand opening.

Nathan (left) is pictured above with Dr Nicholas Matten and Managing Director Andrew Whitney in front of their HRV units. 


WA Chapter Catch-up

Please join Nathan and the WA Chapter for a coffee catch up. All welcome! The catch up will followed by a personal walk through of Stiebel Eltron's new showroom (next door to the cafe).

Date: Friday, 13th September
Time: 2pm

Location: Repeat Offender Cafe
Address: 121A Hay St, Subiaco



NSW Quality Building Boom 

The completion of the first two Passive House Certified buildings in the Blue Mountains and Sydney respectively, mark a major milestone for NSW. 

The Blue Mountains house is located in a Bushfire Attack Level Flame Zone area adding to the construction complexity but showing that careful design and construction can overcome all technical barriers.

The Thornleigh house is sandwiched between a busy local road and the main Northern trainline. The airtight construction and quality windows provide a quiet indoor environment, even as the freight trains labour past the rear yard. 

Both homes use conventional Australian construction techniques. The teams behind both projects see these as the first of many as demand increases to deliver more homes to the Passive House standard making healthy, comfortable efficient more affordable for more people.


Technical Working Group Update

The Technical Working Group is collating a response for the future direction of the National Construction policy "NCC 2022 and Beyond". Any APHA members interested could take a look through the Scoping Study and associated Consultation Comment. As a summary, the ABCB is proposing to analyse the regulatory impact of two sets of NCC provisions to determine the appropriate option for adoption in the NCC 2022.

The two options are as follows: 

Option 1 residential buildings having a level of thermal comfort equivalent to 7 stars NatHERS and net-zero annual energy use for the regulated building services, i.e. space conditioning, heated water systems, lighting and pool and spa pumps. 

Option 2 residential buildings have a level of thermal comfort equivalent to 7 stars NatHERS and a moderate amount of annual energy use for the regulated building services. 

Option 1 is likely to optimise the level of energy efficiency by considering more ambitious provisions sooner and adopting a more holistic approach to energy use in residential buildings, having to consider condensation, heat and cold stress. It is also likely to provide the industry with more certainty about NCC changes by clearly identifying the provisions that will be adopted in NCC 2022, as well as those that may be adopted in future.

There is potential for Option 1 to recognised the Passive House Standard as a suitable provision to achieve net-zero zero through a step-change policy. Here we can look to international examples, such as the City of Vancouver, which rewards developments that exceed the code requirements.



Vote for Passive House!

At this year's Green Solutions Awards almost a third of the international building contestants are Passive House buildings or projects using Passive House components!

Read more about the Passive House entrants, including the Monash Student Accommodation project, and a brand new Perth Passive family home in the Construction21 article and click the 'vote' button of your favourite projects to help them qualify as a finalist in the Award Ceremony during COP25 in Chile! 



Member Feature

This month we would like to introduce Sven Maxa of Maxa Design.

Who are you?

I often ask myself that question! My name is Sven Maxa. Born and raised in Melbourne to an Austrian father and Australian mother. I love Aussie rules footy and strudel. I’ve been lucky enough to travel in younger years, highlights being Antarctica and Nepal (although the beer and strudel in Austria was pretty bloody good!). I started Maxa Design in 2004 and have had the good fortune to work on many Passive House buildings for our amazing clients, from Medical clinics to off-grid vineyard houses. 

Why are you a member of the APHA?

I joined after completion of my Passive House course to ensure I kept abreast of the Passive House ‘movement’ in Australia. I was also enthusiastic to learn from my peers, and connect with those that shared my belief in a better way to design & build. I have enjoyed the conversations/debates on the APHA Facebook discussion group, but also at the conferences.


The conference earlier this year in NZ was as informative as ever (I learnt all about the craft beer scene and their amazing gin!), and I met some great people that we have now started working with. I look forward to up coming events in the near future also.

What inspires you about Passive House?
It is immensely satisfying and inspiring seeing the many Passive House projects come to life, and the educational journey we travel with every project we conduct here is so rewarding. Some of our projects have been on the drawing board for several years, so it can be a long wait to realise the project and of course the benefits of a Passive House building.


I am constantly inspired by my peers (and our clients) who grasp the benefits of Passive House principles and bring them to life in such interesting ways. I find it particularly refreshing hearing builders talk excitedly about a Passive House construction method or principle: it’s like a light-bulb moment for them, an experience I have been through myself earlier. 

Any fun facts or interesting snippets about you?
In my teens I really wanted to be a skiing instructor (mostly to justify my name). While snow skiing remains a passion, I’ve turned my attention to road cycling and am looking to complete my second Peaks Challenge this coming March… just so I can visit the ski resorts at a more affordable time!


See one of Maxa Design's Passive Houses up close on Sustainable House Day on 15th September - see above to register. 


If you would like to be featured in our member directory please get in touch at admin@passivehouseaustralia.org



Pro Clima Install Training

APHA members Pro Clima are running a series of install training designed for builders, tradespeople and those keen to learn about weathertightness, airtightness and installing Pro Clima products.

These workshops are free to attend and will take place around Australia. Register by

by clicking on the link HERE



Box Hill Institute - Introduction to Passive House

Learn about Passive House principles and the methodology to create high performance, thermally comfortable and super energy efficient buildings. This course is a useful introduction for building designers, architects, engineers, consultants, thermal performance assessors, builders, tradespeople and home owners seeking to build a highly sustainable home.

People considering studying the technically demanding Passive House Designer Consultant course and internationally recognised exam will find this introductory course beneficial in their preparation. 

Date: 16-18 October 2019

Box Hill Institute - Certified Passive House Designer Course

As every Architect, Draftsperson, Engineer and Building Designer knows, sustainability is a major focus when it comes to attaining approvals and permits to build. It’s also a factor for consumers, who are increasingly seeking to align purchases with their ethical and environmental concerns.

Date: 25 Nov – 5 Dec 2019


Box Hill Institute - Certified Passive House Designer Exam Preparation

This one day session is a practice ‘mock’ exam for the Passive House Designer/Consultant exam. Participants will be provided with exam like questions and exercises similar to the format and type of the International IPHA exam. Your trainer will assist you with calculation exercise solutions and feedback in preparation for the exam.

 6 Dec 2019

Box Hill Institute - Certified Passive House Tradesperson Course

As every Builder knows, sustainability is a major focus for councils and consequently, building designers and Architects. It’s also a factor for consumers, who are increasingly seeking to align purchases with their ethical and environmental concerns. This course is aimed at building contractors looking to learn the skills and knowledge required to understand how to build to the International Passive House standard. This 5 day course covers the Building Envelope and Mechanical Systems specialities.

Date: 11-15 November 2019 




Smart Homes Plus Sydney Certified Passive House Training 

 Certified Passive House trainer Daniel Kress offers a comprehensive program of certified Passive House training and events. To find out more please visit the link to his education academy. Pictured below are some of Daniel's satisfied students!


WUFI Training - 2 dates remaining