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A certified passive house

At its heart, a passive house is based on a holistic design that considers the aspect of the site and regulates ventilation and air-circulation.

Passive house 

Architect: Envirotecture
Land size: 932.8m2
Internal space size: 189m2

This the first certified passive house in Sydney. A passive house is based on a holistic construction process that takes into account the orientation of the house, uses appropriate insulation, quality doors and windows, well sealed construction, minimises thermal bridges and provides reliable, filtered ventilation using heat recovery.

A primary consideration in the design was to preserve the existing tallowwood tree and to design the home with consideration of views of the tree and  consideration of the path of the sun, to maximise the solar trajectory for heating in winter, while providing shade to keep cool in summer.

The large north facing roof allows for a significant photovoltaic system, sufficient to be energy positive for the whole year.


The house has 10 internal water tanks to assist in regulating internal temperature and to act as a room divider, framing the entry, while also capturing the sun through a huge north facing window that has a retractable shading blind for summer sun control.

Sustainable features

Thermal comfort
  • Wall insulation: 50mm PIR.
  • Floor insulation: R2 polyester batts.
  • Roof insulation: 100mm PIR Structurally Insulated Panel (SIP)
  • Thermal bridge free construction.
  • Heat recovery ventilation system.
  • Appropriate shading: overhangs, some fixed awnings, one retractable vertical external blind., one shade sail over deck.
  • Triple glazed, low-e uPVC windows; tilt and turn, lift and slide doors.
  • Northern orientation.
  • Ceiling fans
  • One split system air conditioner
  • Heat recovery ventilation
  • LED lighting
  • 5kw photovoltaic system
  • Induction cooking
  • Heat pump hot water
  • Gas-free project
  • Water
  • 17kL rain water tank
  • Low flow fittings
  • 17kL rain water tank
  • Low flow fittings

Estimated savings per year

This house is expected to make close to double the energy required for the building on an annual basis through its photo-voltaic system.

Overall comfort of the property 

The indoor temperatures are generally sitting within 20-25ºC, with no artificial heating or cooling at the time of writing.

The hottest day so far showed an outdoor temperature of 39ºC, indoor temperatures were 26ºC.

The occupants have been using night-time ventilation to cool the building ahead of warmer days, and the lowest temperature experienced inside is 18ºC.

The lowest outdoor temperatures experienced since occupation are 5ºC.

The owners have been very pleased with the comfort inside the home. The ventilation system has allowed them to keep windows closed during the recent bushfire events which has aided in retaining good indoor air quality.

If you would like your sustainable dwelling to be featured here contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Last updated: 27/09/2023