FRASERS Property Australia will bring the passive house concept to its Life residential community in Melbourne’s western suburb Point Cook, sussing out the viability of the sustainable building standard that is well-established in Europe.
Passive Houses use features such as double-glazed windows, continuous thermal insulation and airtight measures – local climate permitting – to reduce air leakage, better regulate temperature control in the house and reduce heating and cooling costs, while improving air quality.
The house will be available to buy and the purchaser must agree to take part in a trial with the company that would allow it to compare results over 12 months between the passive house with that of an equivalent, typical new home, Frasers will then consider how to apply the findings to its national residential construction operations.
Rory Martin, sustainability manager – residential, Frasers Property Australia said this was a first for the volume home market in Australia.
“Some of the benefits of passive house include a reduction in a home’s heating and cooling needs by up to 90% and in Europe it has also shown to improve the health and wellbeing of occupants,” he said.
Frasers is working with certified passive house designer Clare Parry to ensure the house meets principles and criteria.
There are currently around 30 certified passive houses in Australia.
Parry said the passive house standard has been established in Europe for almost 30 years and data showed that healthier homes were having a positive impact on people suffering from illnesses such as allergies and asthma.
“In a passive house, mould and condensation are designed out, and because the home is airtight and mechanically ventilated there is also reduced dust and allergens, so for people with conditions like hayfever and asthma there are real benefit.”
Frasers Property is planning to begin construction the passive house early in 2019 and hopes to have a family living in the home to start the year-long trial by the start of 2020.
Australian Property Journal