Asquith Passive House

This family home is a pure expression of high-performance design. A street-to-north orientation will see the front yard dominated by food producing raised garden beds in front of an optimised façade that captures just enough solar heat for winter warmth. Located in the Northern Sydney suburb of Asquith, the design approach follows the simplicity of Passive House with simple geometry and optimised window openings yet also challenges the conventions of window placement.

A south facing rear yard creates a tension between solar access and contemporary lifestyles yet the robust modelling of PHPP allows for confidence that south facing glass can create the connections desired without compromising comfort and performance. A geometric facade emphasises the cubic form while a green roof and climbing landscape soften the home into its surrounds.

Home to APHA Board Member Chris Nunn, Maylynn Nunn, and their three young children, Chris was keen to incorporate sustainability features, chief among which is achieving PassivHaus Certification, but also a green roof, a HEPA filter cassette on the MVHR to catch particulates from bushfire smoke and roof top drenchers to combat ember attack for the next bushfire season, low embodied carbon timber construction including LVL structure and weathertex cladding (composite timber board made from waste sustainable Australian native timber), rainwater harvesting and greywater reuse for landscape irrigation, a beehive and bee friendly plants, lots of food growing planter beds, all electric appliances including a heat pump for hot water and an induction stove, a bench-integrated compost bin, electric vehicle charing point, a novel bike rack system, and of course an enormous photovoltaic system.

The build features the CarbonLite PassivHaus Certified modular wall and roof panel system, and a simple built form in order to achieve the air tightness criteria. The photovoltaics cover the entire north roof, again, sized perfectly to maximise electricity production for both home and (future) vehicle, plus some extra for giving back. A green roof over the garage will provide a beautiful outlook from the second living space while also providing a home for beehives and a native garden.

The home is the first certified Passive House Premium building in NSW. It is also a pilot project in the GreenStar Homes program. The blower door test result was 0.35ACH50. This house is the fruition of a lot of dreaming, planning and saving, and it's exciting to share it with you as it now becomes home to Chris and his family.

The thermal envelope is a prefabricated panelised system from Carbonlite. It was erected in three days, as seen in the time lapse video here. The home participated in Sustainable House Day 2021. Chris made a video tour of the home available here.

Architecture: Envirotecture
Building services: Envirotecture
Building physics: Envirotecture
Certifier: Clare Parry - grünconsulting
Craftsperson / parties involved: Superior Constructions

Full specifications available in the Passive House Buildings database here. It was also featured in an article in the local paper here.

Thank you Chris for taking the time to record these tour videos of your home. Please click below to experience a virtual tour of Asquith Passive House.

Jesse Clarke and Sean Maxwell at Pro Clima took the time to record some videos about air tightness and blower door testing. Click the links below to view:

- Intro to air tight and weatherproof membranes
Blower door testing & air tightness
- Air tight tape and sealing membranes