Frasers Property Australia to put Passive House through its paces

Passive House Certification is edging closer to Australia’s mass market, with Frasers Property Australia locking in a builder for its first pilot of the energy-efficient certification scheme.

In a bid to become the first volume developer in Australia to achieve Passive House certification, Frasers Property Australia has selected Creation Homes to build the medium density Parkwood precinct in Melbourne’s Point Cook, which will include one Certified Passive House.

The idea of building one Passive House within the development is to test the economic and comfort benefits of a Passive House home against a standard family home.

Whoever buys the home will need to agree to take part in the trial to compare the results over 12 months.

With the builder to construct the Passive House (under Frasers Property’s direction) as well as the other 46 dwellings, it will also serve as an opportunity to see if the German construction method takes longer or throws up any other challenges compared to a standard site.

A Passive House is typically designed to reduce heating and cooling costs by 90 per cent per year compared to a standard home.

This is achieved by creating an insulated, airtight membrane (as appropriate to the local climate) and pairing it with a heat recovery ventilation system, which brings constant fresh air into the home and exhausts it again, all while using very little energy.

These airtight homes also don’t have problems with mould and condensation, and have less dust and allergens, which is ideal for people with conditions such as hay fever and asthma.

While Passive House is common in Europe, it’s yet to take off in Australia. The country’s first Passive House apartments were completed in Sydney last year, and Brisbane got one of the first subtropical passive houses earlier this year.

All homes aside from the Passive House one have already been sold on the Parkwood precinct site, which is inspired by the Fibonacci mathematical sequence. The first residents are expected to move into their new homes, situated 28km from Melbourne CBD, by spring 2021.

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