Passive House Profile: PassivCourtyard

This certified Passive Home in Sydney, New South Wales breaks all the Passive House rules; poor orientation, sprawling form, complex roofs, too much volume; yet it works like a charm! It is a demonstration of Passive House at its best, performance driven design showing that, in the right hands, Passive House is a flexible, adaptable standard that can deliver healthy, comfortable buildings on ‘imperfect’ sites.

This home replaces a defunct weatherboard cottage that was well past its use by date. Once renovation was ruled out, the challenge of north to the street and a sloping block to the south was wholeheartedly embraced.

A north facing courtyard gives sufficient solar exposure for winter warmth while providing a sheltered space for outdoor dining when desired. The courtyard drives the planning which resolves elegantly in a connecting green roof that bridges the traditional appearance of the street elevation with the need for volume to the rear.

The curve of the ceiling accentuates the drama of the double height void while concealing the ventilation ductwork necessary for high performance homes. The simple lighting provides a great backdrop for the evolving artwork of this growing family.

The main bedroom enjoys the privileged view of the green roof which is taking now hold and providing visual relief as well as doing its part for mitigating the urban heat island effect.

A hardwood timber staircase and batten screen partition the living and dining areas. The forest-like rising of blackbutt adds depth and texture to the space, contrasting well against the burnished concrete floor.

The home is all-electric with just a single split system providing climate control as a supplement to the passive performance. High performance uPVC windows with aluminium facing externally provide a low maintenance solution.

Locally sourced, low embodied energy cladding materials were specified to limit the footprint of the home as much as practical.

Architecture: Envirotecture
Building services: Envirotecture
Building physics: Envirotecture
Certifier: DetailGreen - Luc Plowman
Craftsperson / parties involved: Distinct Building Services

For more technical details please see the Passive House Buildings database here.