A new partnership aims to drive the uptake of more efficient and comfortable buildings in Australia.

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) the Passive House Institute (PHI), and the Australian Passive House Association (APHA) have agreed to work together to promote ultra-low energy buildings.

Passive House (Passivhaus) is a voluntary building standard that delivers comfortable, energy efficient and affordable buildings that require little energy for heating or cooling. A typical Passive House uses 80 per cent less energy than standard practice.

Jorge Chapa

Jorge Chapa

GBCA’s Head of Market Transformation

“The Green Building Council of Australia recognises that the Passive House approach delivers an integrated approach to thermally-comfortable, super-efficient buildings,”

“Passive House demonstrates that we can deliver high levels of comfort and efficiency without significant increases to costs. As our industry works towards a carbon zero future, Passive House buildings play an important role.

“Our goal is to recognise Passive House certified buildings within Green Star to deliver a better built environment. We will be working together to provide the industry with guidance on how buildings with Passive House certification can achieve Green Star credits, because we want more buildings to meet Passive House benchmarks,” Mr Chapa adds.

The two organisations will work together to develop guidelines and co-host professional development opportunities, such as site tours and workshops.

The partnership comes after the GBCA proposed an update to the Green Star – Design & As Built rating tool, which would recognise a new Passive House pathway to achieve ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions’ and ‘Thermal Comfort’ credits.

Darren O'Dea

Darren O'Dea

APHA’s Chairperson

“The Green Building Council of Australia recognises that the Passive House approach delivers an integrated approach to thermally-comfortable, super-efficient buildings,”

“Up until recently, Passive House buildings have been the focus of passionate residential building owners looking for great designs that address both comfort and costs. As a result, we have more than 80,000 Passive House buildings around the world – and they are found everywhere from the cold climates of Canada to the scorching heat of Dubai.

“Today, the growing number of project teams working with Passive House is a sure sign of the future potential of ultra-low energy buildings,” Mr O’Dea concludes.

The GBCA has already established partnerships with the International WELL Building Institute, the International Living Futures Institute and the Living Future Institute Australia to align credits under the Green Star, WELL Building Standard and Living Building Challenge rating systems.

Australia’s authority on sustainable buildings and communities, the GBCA is leading the transformation of the nation’s built environment. The GBCA’s vision is for healthy, resilient and positive places for people and the natural environment, and it works with more than 700 members, industry and government to encourage policies and programs that support this vision. The GBCA educates thousands of people each year on the design and delivery of sustainable outcomes, and operates Australia’s only national, voluntary, holistic rating system for sustainable buildings and communities – Green Star. A trusted mark of quality, Green Star has transformed Australia’s built environment, with more than 1,450 certified projects – the equivalent to 21 million sqm of space – delivering environmental efficiencies while boosting the productivity, health and wellbeing of occupants. www.gbca.org.au

The Australian Passive House Association is an independent, not-for-profit organisation which aims to promote Passive House principles as a way of providing superior indoor comfort and air quality while reducing energy use and carbon emissions from Australia’s buildings. Passive House (or PassivHaus) was originally developed in Germany and has since spread throughout Europe. The standard continues to evolve and is now finding popularity in diverse climatic regions including California, Japan and Indonesia. To date 40,000 houses, schools, offices, and other building types have been built to the Passive House standard around the world. www.passivehouseaustralia.org