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Peddlethorp and Kāinga Ora celebrate first Passive House public housing development


Auckland, TUES SEPT 7, 12PM: Peddlethorp architects celebrates the announcement of the first public housing project funded by Central Government in Australasia to be built to Passive House standards, developed by its client Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.

The three-storey, 18-home building in Māngere, known as Bader Ventura, is designed to reduce embodied carbon as well as heating costs; tenants will save upwards of to 80% on energy bills over the winter period alone.

Peddlethorp Director Manuel Diaz, who led the architectural design of the development, says Kāinga Ora is setting an example of what is possible in the construction industry and providing the leadership needed to prove Passive housing can work at scale in New Zealand.

“We know the government’s Building for Climate Change programme will mean a quantum shift for our industry, whereby reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions will inform design from the first mark on paper to plans for end-of-life,” says Manuel. “Because of this programme, the building sector is propelled into a new stage of learning and discovery, and a fresh approach to building design and delivery. Kāinga Ora is leading by example in innovation, research and collaboration, and we’re thrilled to be part of its Bader Ventura team.”

To ensure new homes are built to be warm, dry and energy efficient, the Building for Climate Change programme will mandate a reduction in thermal demand from 80-90kWh/m2.a (kilowatt hour per square meter per annum) today, to 15kWh/m2.a by 2035. The Bader Ventura homes will meet the 2035 energy efficiency standards more than 12 years ahead of schedule.

Construction constitutes 20% of total carbon emissions in New Zealand, and reducing carbon emission is a key priority of government and the private sector in order to meet New Zealand’s international obligations.

“The sustainability strategy for Bader Ventura has influenced all of our choices, from material selection, mechanical systems, structural connections, and construction methodology,” says Manuel. “We’ve truly worked as a team because to meet the Passive House standard, we must have a high degree of collaboration and a detailed, holistic understanding of building performance before and after construction is complete.”

Kāinga Ora General Manager Construction and Innovation Patrick Dougherty says the team is thrilled with the depth and quality of Peddlethorp’s design detailing on such a complex project.

“Peddlethorp’s research-driven design and passion for new technologies have been crucial in helping us achieve Passive House design endorsement on Bader Ventura.

“Their expertise and commitment to delivering high levels of quality and amenity gives us great confidence in an outstanding final product. They’re a truly innovative, collaborative team, and we’re thrilled to be working alongside them on our first Passive House project,” he said.

“This is no longer business as usual. As designers, we are expected to lead the change of direction, and it has been both a privilege and an opportunity to work with the wider Kāinga Ora network to develop these new homes,” continued Manuel. “Public housing provides an opportunity for us all to go beyond the basic level of compliance to test and deliver homes that provide exceptional building performance and are great to live in.”

Design characteristics of a Passive House include the following:

  • A ventilation system that controls indoor air quality at all times
  • Openings within the building envelope that include thermal breaks and meet high insulation and air tightness requirements
  • A continuous layer of high-performance insulation around the building’s envelope to reduce indoor-outdoor heat transfer
  • Airtight construction preventing uncontrolled air exchange, thereby avoiding mould growth and structural damage
  • Space heating demand that cannot exceed 15kWh annually or 10W (peak demand) per square metre of usable living space
  • Space cooling demand that roughly meets the heat demand with an additional climate-dependent allowance for dehumidification
  • Primary energy demand that doesn’t exceed 120kWh annually for all domestic applications per square metre of usable living space
  • A verifiable air tightness maximum of 0.6 ACH (air changes per hour) at 50 Pascals pressure
  • Year-round thermal comfort for all living areas with temperatures not exceeding 25deg.C. for more than 10% of the hours in any given year.

About Peddlethorp

Peddlethorp’s core strength allows for the most complex and creative concepts to be articulated into reality through the depth and quality of our design detailing.

Our proven ability to deliver on projects of diverse scale and type is highly regarded throughout the construction industry. As acknowledged industry leaders across all project scales, our studio’s research-based approach to design is centred on client-focussed solutions that address all aspects of design, underpinned by our technical expertise. Along with genuinely innovative design capability, our expertise in team leadership, cost control and architectural practice has seen many of New Zealand’s most unique buildings delivered.

We embrace collaboration, and the drawing together of unique skills for the benefit of each project. Successful partnerships, utilising the complementary expertise of each practice, have been formed with local and international firms on projects ranging in scale and building type.

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