The passive house concept is finding increasing acceptance in the building industry as it works towards a zero carbon target. Passive houses were initially planned as long-term sustainable buildings that provided a comfortable and healthy environment for their occupants; energy efficiency was a perk in a passive house design.

Though passive houses have begun popping up around the globe, initial obstacles such as the availability of products and materials in Australia and New Zealand have delayed the standard in the region. A new house designed by Passivhaus Perth located in the beachside Western Australian suburb of Cottesloe, has kicked off the race in WA by becoming the first certified Passivhaus in the state and the first Passivhaus Premium standard building in Australia.

This family home has a light and airy beach house vibe, and the passive house design does not compromise on the comfort factor. The phenomenal design and execution of the house have delivered important functional outcomes, especially in its super high thermal performance and excellent indoor air quality.

Kingspan Kooltherm K10 FM soffit boards and Kooltherm K12 framing boards were included in the building’s envelope to provide higher thermal performance than conventional insulation alternatives.

Passivhaus consultant Roger Joyner explained that they chose Kooltherm as it was able to provide high value thermal protection where the square hollow section steel beam penetrated the thermal layer and came close to the upper surface. Kooltherm was able to increase the thermal protection in this vulnerable zone and reduce the thermal bridge to an acceptable level, he added.

Offering one of the most thermally efficient conductivity and highest thermal performance values in the market, Kingspan Kooltherm allows for the profile of the insulation to be slimmer than alternative insulation methods and still achieve the same outcome.

According to Technical Services manager, Killian Smith, the slim profile of their product allows it to be used in spaces where other insulation can’t be used, while its rigid structure achieves continuous insulation in any application. A product such as Kooltherm assists passive house designers to be more diverse in their designs and bring more innovation to their solutions.

Smith comments that Kingspan works closely with architects and building designers during the design, specification and installation processes, and can provide customised solutions to get the best results from the insulation in any building.

Kingspan collaborates with companies such as Passivhaus Perth, who in turn assist clients, architects, building designers and builders to design their buildings to the Passivhaus standard and take these buildings through the Passivhaus certification process providing independent certified assurance of the health, comfort and energy efficiency of the building.

As sponsors of the 2018 South Pacific Passive House Conference, Kingspan’s commitment to sustainability is evident in all parts of its business.

Kingspan Insulation Marketing Manager, Neil Cox says Kingspan continues to be a leader in sustainable manufacturing practices within the built environment and their Kooltherm phenolic products are now a key component of passive house thinking in the northern hemisphere.

Image supplied by Passivhaus Perth.