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Webcast video Splice – LC




[Image appears of Anthony Wright on the main screen talking to the camera and participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Welcome everybody to CSIRO’s first webinar for 2021. We thought we were going to get a few more off the ground before this one but it’s proving to be a very busy year so thanks for bearing with us. It turns out you’ve all been looking forward to it apparently because we’ve got one of the biggest audiences we’ve seen yet and I’m very grateful for that. And I think part of that probably comes down to the topic we’ve chosen looking at free running mode versus passive house design. It’s a topic that is, it raises very hot passions amongst some people and I noticed there’s already been some conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn and some strong opinions being voiced. So I’m very grateful to have our presenters here to offer their views of the different options available.


Before we start though, I’d like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri People who are the traditional custodians of this land. I’d like to also pay respect to the Elders both past and present of the Kulin nation and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians present. Particularly in this NAIDOC week, it’s good to make that acknowledgment. I sit somewhere between Naam(?) and the place where the Mullum and Yarra meet and there’s a homestead there called the Pontville Homestead that was built by a guy called Charles Newman in 1844, after, according to him clearing all of the houses of the Aboriginal people who lived there. And he built gun slot windows, basically, in that house to keep those indigenous traditional owners away from the place. So, as I look up the Yarra Valley it’s kind of, it’s very immediate, that history, and so it’s worth making that acknowledgment and I’m pleased that, I hope that there is some indigenous people in the audience today and extend my respect to them as well this week.


[Image continues to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participant bar can be seen at the bottom of the screen]


We’ve got four speakers today and as I said they are all people very passionate about passive house design or passive solar design. And for those of you that don’t know the difference, potentially in the audience, you’re about to get an education, I think, because this is one of the big dualities in sustainable design at the moment. CSIRO occupies an interesting place in this regard. We build tools for the national regulatory system but we don’t always set the settings that go there. And, in doing, and in occupying that role, we have an interesting kind of tension there, between what’s going to work for delivering the policy outcomes. How do we actually get really low energy buildings in Australia’s very, very wide variety of climates and how do we prevent the kind of problems of mould and condensation and poor indoor environment quality? And I think both free running buildings, passive solar design and passive house buildings offer options to do that but they are coming from very, very different perspectives.


So to, to talk you through it, we will first have Jesse Clarke from Pro Clima. We’re then going to move to Peter Hickson from the Earth Building Association. Kylie Mills from the Board of the Australian Passive House Association will follow up. And lastly we’ll have a video from Phil Harris at Troppo Architecture. Sadly Phil has had a personal issue arise and kindly offered to record a session for us, so Phil will be presenting by video today. At the end of the presentations there’ll be the chance to have all of your questions asked by our expert panel. There are two sessions on the right, two sidebars on the right of your screen. One is a Chat and one is a Q&A session. Please use the Chat to chat amongst yourselves, to share links and interesting thoughts and whatever else, but that will not come through to the speakers, so we won’t be seeing that as we’re speaking. If you’d like to ask us a question, please put it in the Q&A box and that will come through to a speaker cue and I will ask those questions of the speakers at the end of the, of the four sessions. We are recording all of this, so please don’t let your passions get out of hand in the Chat. Keep it nice.


[Image continues to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participant bar can be seen at the bottom of the screen]


I think that’s about it except to say that there’s support in the Chat function and in the Q&A function, you’ll see a participant called V-Brick. That’s our very own Eric from CSIRO, who’s hovering about to help us all out and Lachlan Cheers will be in there too. I’m not entirely sure of his, his name. I think he just appears as Lachlan but he should be there to help you as well. So without going on and on, oh actually I am going to go on and on about one more thing. CSIRO’s conference the Australian Residential Energy Rating Conference is looking like it’s back on, on the 23rd and the 24th of November. We’re going to start communicating about that more widely very soon and you should see communications coming out. If you are not signed up to our website, you can go to our Australian Housing Data portal and click on subscribe down the bottom and you’ll get updates about that conference. It will be held in Sydney and it will be held come hell or high water, no matter what happens with COVID. We have plans to make it all online if needs be or anything from hybrid to fully in person along the way. So please register and we’d love to see you there. So I really will stop talking now and hand over to our first speaker. Jesse has been at these before. He needs no further introduction. I’ll just ask him to share his slides and kick-start the discussion. Thanks Jesse.


[Image shows Anthony listening and then the image changes to show a new slide on the main screen showing a map of Australia and text appears: … And the insulation is perfect, Engineering Energy Efficiency, Seal it Tight and Ventilate Right, Efficiency Without Sacrifice]


Jesse, you’re muted I’m afraid.


Jesse Clarke: There we go. Sorry, start again.


Anthony Wright: No problems.


Jesse Clarke: Thanks for the introduction, Anthony. My name’s Jesse Clarke as Anthony said. I’m from Pro Clima and I’m going to be presenting about Engineering Energy Efficiency, not just engineering the building but engineering the system to deliver energy efficiency, “Seal it Tight And Ventilate Right”, and we’re going to be, how we actually deliver efficiency without sacrifice.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: Why Regulate, “The main purpose of building codes are to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the construction and occupancy of buildings and structures”]


So the first thing I want to draw your attention to is the question, why do we regulate? And the main purpose of building codes are to protect public health, safety, and general welfare, as they, as they relate to the construction and occupancy of buildings and structures. And I picked this definition because I like it because it calls out those two specific requirements of health and safety.


[Image changes to show a table showing a flow chart of the reasons for building codes and text heading and text appears: Why Do Building Codes Exist?, Building Code, Safety, Health, Structural, Waterproofing, Thermal Comfort, Acoustics, Fire, Energy Usage – Unintended consequence, Internal Moisture – Unintended consequence of the unintended consequence]


So keeping that in mind, the building code sits there and we regulate the safety and health, health and safety of buildings. Under safety, we obviously have to make our buildings stand up structurally, is the most important thing we have to make our buildings do. And then we have the fire requirements stemming from big events like the Great Fire of London and when half of London burnt down. So we need to make sure we don’t spread fire and we keep life safety at the forefront. Then we go to health and there’s different things that make up health in the building code but, in particular, things like waterproofing or weatherproofing, thermal comfort and acoustics. So thermal comfort is actually a subset of health, keeping ourselves comfortable; it’s not a luxury, it’s a matter of course and we have to actually be healthy. So how do we do that? If we have a really poorly designed building we throw energy at it to keep ourselves comfortable. We use heating and cooling systems. So then that potentially leads to a perverse outcome, an unintended consequence of high energy use.


So we have to design our buildings, insulate them, make them better, the building fabric better, to retain that energy. And when we start doing that and we do that well we start to figure out that we have an unintended consequence of the unintended consequence, which is moisture. And that moisture is by the occupants, coming from the occupants’ internal moisture or from external weatherproofing that leaks into our construction systems. Both those moisture things make up part of the health discussion as well as keeping the building thermally stable, thermally comfortable, so that we don’t stress ourselves.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing photos of an air conditioner, some insulation in a roof, a ceiling fan on a roof, and a graph of peak electrical loads below the text heading: The Big Issues]


So the big issues that are affecting residential energy efficiency are: exacerbated summer cooling - so using too much cooling in the summer, more than we expect according to the calculations; peak electrical loads - so we accidentally create these afternoon peak spikes when everyone turns on their air conditioners to turn, to cool down their buildings; and we’ve got the health side, with thermal stability - making sure that we actually keep our buildings within a healthy comfortable range. We’ve got the perverse outcome of moisture coming out of the effects of insulating our buildings and not really insulating them in the right manner and understanding the effects of that thermal control on the, on the moisture balance of the construction systems. And then as Anthony alluded to indoor air quality and what happens and how do we keep the air fresh inside by maintaining healthy indoor conditions and adequate airflow in our buildings?


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a line graph showing energy efficiency, and text appears above the graph: Looking Forward]


So where we are now, 6-stars, generally speaking, across the country. 2022 we’re looking at moving to 7-stars. The question is are we ready, are we ready to take that on, to move to more insulation, understanding all these unintended consequences that might happen? And in doing that, I’m going to talk more about that in my presentation, and where we need to go in terms of managing all those risks.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing three different pictures of houses demonstrating how to achieve comfort, and text heading and text appears: How Do We Achieve Health?, Keep warm using heat sources and keep cool using building design, Provide more comfort using modern heating/cooling technologies, Provide more comfort using well designed building envelope and minimal heating/cooling technologies]


So there’s different ways we can address these issues but the fundamental question of how do we achieve comfort, not comfort, health? How do we achieve health? Because comfort is just a subset of health. So traditionally, in the old days, on the left, we’d keep warm using heat sources. We’d have a building that was basically designed very much like a cave-like structure, a lot of mass, so of course that mass would help us keep cool in summer. We didn’t have air conditioners in that day and age. We, so then we needed the sun in winter and we needed timber, wood-burning to keep ourselves warm. We’ve moved on from that. Where we are now is we provide more comfort, but let’s not talk about comfort, let’s talk about health. We provide more thermal health by using systems that are bolted on to our building fabric. We’ve got a mediocre sort of building fabric and then we add on heating and cooling systems. We add on PV, batteries, whatever else to try and offset the energy use of those systems. The more elegant way of doing it is to move to a system where we provide more health using an extremely well-designed building envelope and then we just have minimal add-on systems to keep ourselves thermally comfortable, so reducing the amount of systems that we need to do that.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a line graph showing the penetration in percentages and the years, and a split green and red vertical arrow appears on the graph, and text appears: Penetration by Air Conditioners by State]


What I’d like to draw your attention to is the penetration of air conditioners by state. So this report from the Australian Energy Market Operator in 2019, it looks at the amount of air conditioners across new and existing buildings in Victoria and New South Wales and Queensland. And that ranges from about 65% of air conditioners up to over 80% of air conditioners in Victoria. But this, when we look at this we’ve got two options. We either ban air conditioning altogether and go back to using the building fabric itself to keep ourselves cool and warm using the sun, or, sorry, or, we accept that we have air conditioners and people like air conditioners and they like to stay comfortable and we need to design our buildings to retain that energy and use it in the best possible way we can use the systems to keep ourselves comfortable and healthy. So then the option comes down to, we’re using a mediocre building envelope with a lot of systems plugged in, bolted on, to try and make it work or we’re using the elegant solution where we have a very well built and designed building envelope and minimal amount of bolted on systems.


[Image changes to show a Cold Hard Facts 3 report on the right of the screen, and text heading and text appears: A Cold Hard Fact, “In many Australian houses in 2016 there may be several reverse cycle, wall hung split AC systems, that provide both heating and cooling”]


Again, I’d like to draw your attention to this report which is “Cold Hard Facts No. 3” and a cold hard fact that you need to know is that in many Australian houses in 2016, there may be several reverse cycle wall hung split AC systems that provide both heating and cooling. This report also goes on to say new homes and apartments built in the last two decades almost always have at least one wall hung split system as a standard inclusion. So basically 100% of new builds are having air conditioning and reverse cycle air conditioning, so they’ve got heating and/or cooling.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a map of Australia “Housing Approval Data 2017-18 heat map NaTHERS zones”, and text heading appears: Where do We Build?]


So the other question we’ve got is where do we actually build? And this is a heat map of the NatHERS zones based on housing approval data from 2017 and ’18 and split down into the NatHERS zones you can see those red hot spots are where all the housing development is happening. So it’s happening in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne. OK, nothing new, we should know that. Some bits of development happening in Adelaide, Perth, other capital cities and then we’ve got spread up the Queensland coastline a little bit of development happening in relation to those other areas.


[Image changes to show a photo of Jim Masterton and Mark Simonds, and text appears above the photos: What Would Jim and Mark Say?]


The question that we need to ask is what would Jim and Mark say about this air conditioning/heating debate? So for those of you who don’t know who these two gentlemen are, Jim Masterton from Masterton Homes and Mark Simonds from Simonds Homes. And basically what they deliver to the market is buildings that will always have heating and cooling. Is that because they want to? I don’t know but it’s because the market demands it, the market wants it. So they’re delivering these buildings with heating or cooling and a lot of these homes.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: Have We Lost The Battle?]


So the question is, have we lost the battle against these heating and cooling systems? Can we get rid of them and just build the old way? Well, I don’t think we’ve lost the battle. I think what we need to do is we basically need to build our buildings so that we can, well we accept that we’ve got these heating and cooling systems and build the buildings to retain the energy and use that energy in the most efficient way possible.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram of a house with heating and cooling systems attached, and text appears: Where are we now?, Where we are]


So where we are is this. The mediocre building envelope with all these bolt-on systems. We’ve got this whole-of-house thing being developed in the background by CSIRO and the NatHERS team which is essentially that. It’s a mediocre building envelope with a whole bunch of stuff tacked onto it.


[Image shows different houses appearing on the left and right of the house and a red arrow appears below pointing to the left with text inside “Less comfort, less energy” and a new text heading and text appears: Where we will go?]


So where do we go from there? Do we go back in time? We ban air conditioning, ban heating systems, and we provide less comfort with less energy. Simple equation – less comfort, less energy, less carbon emissions.


[Image shows a green arrow pointing to the right of the screen showing text inside: More health, less energy]


Or we go the other way and we provide more comfort, or sorry, more health for less energy? That’s a much harder equation but that’s, if we’re going to go forward, where we need to go.


[Image shows an equation appearing below the houses and text appears above: <40 years]


So in the past, well sorry, I’m an engineer, scientist, I like mathematics, so I like to look at things in limits, limits as we approach zero, limits as we approach infinity and the truth probably lies somewhere in between. So if we take the R-value of a structure as the limit approaches zero so 40 years ago when we lived in houses with no insulation. What do we need to keep ourselves comfortable? We need to have, we need to make up for that poor performing building envelope with lots of heat. So heat from the sun, heat from fire, heat from anywhere we can get it. If we go the other way and we go to limit of the R-value approaches infinity, so whatever insulation level you’re thinking of, double it, then you get a different equation and the equation is essentially, we don’t need the sun to keep ourselves warm anymore we actually don’t want the sun and to keep ourselves cool, that insulation also works.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a person inside a house with the sun beaming through a window and text appears: It’s a Cocoon (Chrysalis) – Not an Esky, What about overheating!!!]


So turning the page and having a look at that, what about this overheating thing? What happens when we’ve got sun coming into our building? What happens when we have this super-insulated well-built building envelope? If you do this, yes, you’ll end up potentially with a perverse outcome and create an excessive amount of cooling load. But when we do this super-insulated structure we don’t need the sun to make up for deficiencies in our construction quality.


[Image shows a layer of insulation appearing around the window in the house and text appears on the right: Insulation keeps heat out]


The construction quality is so good that the insulation itself, the insulation system, keeps the heat out and we don’t want to introduce that sun into our buildings.


[Image shows the insulation disappearing, and then the image shows arrows moving through the walls of the house, and text appears: Unless you invite it in through poorly designed windows]


Unless you invite it, or if you invite it in through poorly designed windows, that’s when you end up with big problems occurring.


[Image changes to show a digital aerial depiction of houses built closely together in a suburb, and text appears: Independence from Orientation]


So if we don’t need the sun to keep our buildings warm in winter and we can keep our buildings cool through blocking out the sun, then we have independence from orientation.


[Image shows the digital aerial suburb view spinning in a clockwise direction]


So when we do housing developments, it doesn’t matter which way we orientate that housing development, which way the houses are oriented. All we need to do is make sure that we block out the sun so that we don’t overheat our buildings.


[Image changes to show an Evaluation Report on the right of the screen, and text heading and text appears on the left: The Heat Issue, CSIRO 2013, “The average cooling energy use in summer was greater in (…) higher-rated houses in Brisbane and Melbourne (…), However it is not clear whether this was due to (…) behaviour factors (…), (including) the extent of window opening and closing during summer]


So this issue was raised back in 2013 in a CSIRO report and this Evaluation of the 5-star Energy Efficiency Standard for Residential Buildings highlighted it. It said up front somewhere, the average energy cooling usage in summer was greater in higher rated houses in Brisbane and Melbourne. However it is not clear whether this was due to behavioural factors and one of them is the extent of windows and opening, opening and closing during the summer. So the NatHERS system assumes people are running around opening and closing windows so we have 10-star occupants in the house doing this for us.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a line graph and text appears: Advanced Economies]


In advanced economies like California, Lawrence Berkeley and National Laboratories found that, they went out and did a study on how often people and close windows. They found some of the reasons people don’t open and close their windows is the fact that no-one’s home, or they might want to keep the rain out. If it looks like it’s going to rain that day, they don’t open their windows. So there’s various reasons why you might not open your windows.


[Image changes to show a new slide of a rear view of businessmen sitting in chairs at a Ventilation Forum, and text appears: Ventilation for Indoor Air Quality and Cooling (UNSW, 2018), Max Sherman, researcher from Lawrence Berley, National Laboratories, California]


And I want to play this video for you so hopefully this comes through but this is Max Sherman from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory speaking in a ventilation forum at the University of New South Wales in 2018.


[Image changes to show Max sitting on a chair talking into a microphone while the audience is seated around him listening]


Max Sherman: Now let me add on to that a little bit. People do adapt. They adapt by doing all sorts of things. Adaptation is a very bad thing. Adaptation is putting stress on people. They’re making them do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. We had exactly the same problem in the US when we first did these sorts of things. People took back savings and efficiency in terms of improving their indoor environment because it made them healthier and happier and more comfortable. Unless you evaluate, unless you value health, comfort, safety of people then you’re going to get the wrong answer because you see we’re talking about energy efficiency.


Well first you have to have a good indoor environment before you worry about efficiency and that’s what you have to do by improving the housing stuff so that people are healthier. You give them something that’s actually in the comfort range, not something that they can live with for a while. People die in heatwaves because their ability to adapt has stressed them so far that they no longer can do it. And if you start them off in a more fragile environment by stressing them all the time with a little bit of overheating, then that’s just going to be worse. So that you have to, that has to be built into the policy. Health has to be there first before you get into energy savings.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing two house designs showing areas where there is most likely to be air leakage highlighted on the buildings, and text appears: AIRAH High Performance Housing Project]


Jesse Clarke: So basically, taking these international learnings and applying them in the Australian context, the AIRAH Special Technical Group for Building Physics or the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, and Heating developed a project around high performance housing. This was a duplex in Wollongong and looked at all the key features that make up a well-designed well-built building including highly insulated building envelope, thermal bridging, which you’re looking at those circles, so the key areas where you might get excessive amounts of energy leakage out of your building, looking at airtight building envelope, looking at high performance windows and looking at ventilation systems to maintain indoor air quality and healthy conditions, as well as purge heat out of the building in summer.


[Image changes to show a new slide on the screen showing text: What does Chenath tell us?, 1. NatHERS (8.6*), R2.7 Walls, R6.0 Ceiling, No Slab Insulation, Air Inf = NatHERS, Awning 1.63, 0.46, Fixed, 1.67, 0.58, Sliding Door, 1.59, 0.32, Sliding Window 1.61, 0.31, 2. Seal Tight Ventilate Right, R2.7 Walls, R6.0 Skillion, R4.0 Slab, Air Inf = 0.6 ACH50, Sliding Door, 1.59, 0.32, Tilt n Turn, 1.61, 0.31, Validation of construction quality]


So I just want to take a deep dive into this and this is where it starts getting techy because I want to ask the question, what does Chenath tell us about this building methodology? So Chenath Engine is the engine used in the NatHERS tools, used in all the software tools used to calculate star ratings. If we take that duplex and we look at that under a NatHERS and normal assumptions with a high performing building envelope, well insulated, well performing glass, or good performing glass and the air infiltration is based on the NatHERS assumptions. There is no validation of the construction quality in NatHERS. There’s no blower door test required, there’s no post construction validation required, so you don’t actually know what you get at the end of the day but that’s a different story. So NatHERS 8.6-star is what that would achieve. If I go a step further and take well let’s seal this building tight and let’s ventilate it right, so we up the insulation a little bit, we down the air-tightness or make the air-tightness better to international best practice 0.6 air changes of 50 pascals and we put on the best performing windows we can find in terms of U-value and low solar heat gain coefficient.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a floor plan for a duplex below the text heading: House Specifications]


So this is the building, this is the floor-plans, duplex. We’re going to look at the eastern duplex, the top one there and we’re going to look at the star ratings of that.


[Image changes to show the roof on half of the duplex and the bedroom level being shown on the slide]


So it’s a two-storey duplex, the bedrooms are on the upper level at the front of the house.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a bar graph model of NatHERS Setpoints Base Model on the left of the screen, and text appears: 8.6 Star House & 10 Star Occupants]


So when you look at the heating and cooling loads in that simulation of that duplex you get around 2½, 3 kWhr/m2 per year for heating and cooling. That’s at 8.6-star rating.


[Image shows the new bars appearing showing NatHERS Setpoints in the Base Model with Closed Windows]


If we close all the windows on that building and re-run the simulation you drive up the cooling load 300%, 400%. So if the occupants aren’t 10-star occupants but they’re 0-star occupants and couldn’t be bothered opening their windows or just don’t know how to operate their building, that’s potentially what happens and then the star rating will drop to around 6.8-stars. The truth lies somewhere between. People will open their windows but maybe not like a 10-star occupant like we want them to.


[Image shows new bars appearing on the bar graphs showing the NatHERS Setpoints in the Super Insulated, Airtight, HRV & Purge model]


The next step is then, well what happens when we super-insulate that structure? We take into consideration air-tightness, we take into consideration thermal bridging, we use mechanical systems to keep the indoor air healthy but also to purge heat out in summer. Then we get an outcome that looks more like the last scenario and that would then bring the star rating back up to 8, 8.2-stars.


[Image shows a line pointing to the Base Model labelled “Ideal World”, and a line pointing to the Base Model Closed Windows labelled “Reality”]


So what we’ve got is a scenario in the NatHERS system or the assumptions in the NatHERS system that’s just assuming this ideal world and these ideal occupants, 10-star occupants that are operating their buildings. In reality, we may have the second case and the cooling load driving up massively. The truth probably lies somewhere between them but in the third case we can actually control that and actually deliver outcomes because we’re using controlled systems to do it.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing an Australian map and cards appear over the map showing place names, and a text heading appears: Moisture & Health]


The other issue we’ve got emerging is moisture as Anthony pointed out in the introduction and moisture issues in construction in Australia is not limited to just the coolest states of Australia. It extends all the way up to the tropics and going up to Mackay and Cairns and actually in the tropics where there’s more moisture in the air, outside air, then it’s actually potentially a worse scenario in terms of mould growth. So everywhere across Australia we’re ending up with moisture related problems.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram showing an Energy Leak, and a diagram showing a moisture leak and text heading and text appears: Energy Leaks and Moisture Leaks, Warming of the flow path in case of straight air path, No or only little condensation, Cooling of the air in case of slow and tortuous air path, potential of serious condensation]


So why is this? Well in the past we had buildings that were super air-leaky. The buildings were air-leaky. They had huge gaps. The windows would have 20mm gaps around them. The air and the energy would just go straight through that. The air didn’t have time to condense anywhere. It would go straight out and it would be generally harmless from a moisture perspective but from an energy perspective you won’t be getting what you paid for essentially. If we start to build semi air-tight structures then we create more tortuous more convoluted pathways through the construction systems. This gives the moisture-laden air from inside the building in the heating season more time to condense on the cooler surfaces on the outside of the building and that’s when you end up with big condensation problems happening. And this is probably where we’re sitting now, but we don’t really know because we don’t test, air-pressure test enough buildings to know how air-leaky or how air-tight they actually are.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram of an airtight wall of a building, and text appears: Seal it tight, Airtight, Healthy Building, No Worries!]


The solution to both these problems is simply, build it tight. Build it very tight and as tight as you can build it. That stops the  moisture from going into the construction system to places where you don’t want it to go and this is how you build healthy buildings. No worries.


[Image changes to show a house plan for the duplex, and the image shows day zones being highlighted in blue and the night zones being highlighted in pink, and text appears: Health and Zoning]


So then we want to, I want to look at health and zoning, how we zone up the buildings or what we assume to zone our buildings in a NatHERS system is we have day zones, we have night zones. But when you do this you create humidity in the occupied zones and in the colder zones that’s where all the moisture will be attracted to, the coldest walls in the house is where the moisture’s going to then be attracted to and create high humidity and then potential long term mould growth.


[Image shows the whole of the upper storey of the duplex being coloured in pink, and text appears: One conditioned space – Temp and humidity, Hydrothermally balanced construction systems – vapour controlled, External Sealed weather barriers – Air Sealed for Energy & Health, Internal air barrier to prevent water vapour migration if required]


So if we start to think about the buildings as a single holistic ecosystem, one zone, then we get a different outcome. We condition the whole building. We keep it all warm, we keep it all cool depending on what climate you’re in and we have the building fabric designed not just with insulation but with exterior weather barriers and with internal air barriers and vapour control layers and these can be tuned for whatever climate the building has been built in to get the optimal solution in terms of protection from damp and mould related issues.


[Image changes to show a bar graph on the left showing the NatHERS Zonal Model for three scenarios, and then the image shows another bar graph on the right showing Continuous Heating & Cooling 20 – 25oC for three scenarios, and text appears: For Health, Healthy and predictable outcome]


So taking this into consideration the NatHERS zonal model makes certain assumptions around how you heat and cool buildings, how the day night zones are working. If we then say, well, OK, let’s just continuously heat and cool this building 24 hours, seven days a week at 20-25OC what we get in the base model is we drive up the heating. So we’re using more heating but there’s a reason we’re using more heating because we don’t want to have cold zones at night because if we get cold zones at night, that’s where we get the mould growth. So it’s for health that we’re using more heating energy. Then you move to the second case which when you close all the windows you drive up the cooling load again but what you do notice is in the continuously running air conditioned model you don’t get the same amount of cooling load as in the zonal model. This is because you’re not creating the hot box effect and then having to draw down, use the air conditioning systems to draw down the temperature from the 35 or 40oC in a certain zone within the house when you want to maintain comfort.


Then, taking it a step further and you go to the super-insulated airtight system with heat recovery ventilation and purge ventilation which might be a summer bypass mode on the heat recovery ventilator or it could be a dedicated purge ventilator. You get an outcome that delivers a certain heating and cooling load but that heating and cooling load is going to actually be, deliver health and it’s going to be predictable in nature and what we don’t want to do is create this massive cooling spike or accidental cooling spike. So, the controlled ventilation systems can help us manage that as well as the indoor air quality.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a line graph displaying peak load and a duck can be seen in front of the line on the graph with the head and tail at the peaks and the back at the dip in the line, and text heading appears: Peak Load]


Lastly, I want to talk about peak load. So peak load, there’s an excellent article online on LinkedIn from the Passive House California about this but basically the duck curve which is the head of the duck in the afternoon where you create a big peak load spike in the afternoon and in the morning when everyone wake up, wakes up you end up with these two peak, potential peak load spikes.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing circled plotted star rating points in the NatHERS Zonal Model in the left, and in the Continuous Heating & Cooling model on the right]


But when you look at those same models I just showed you if you run the air conditioning 24 hours seven days a week you get a much lower peak load on the air conditioning and this is what we’re after so we don’t create that hotbox effect where we have to then get home from work, turn on the air conditioner and bring that energy or use excessive amounts of energy to bring the temperature back down to where we want it.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: “Health is not everything, but without health, everything is nothing”, Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher, 1788 – 1860]


So lastly, health is not everything but without health everything is nothing.


[Image changes to show various booklets on a webpage and text appears: Further Education,]


I just want you to think about that and if you want more information hot off the press we’ve got the Pro Clima blue book. This is over 100 different construction systems, some of which are very good in managing moisture and I would encourage you to download it and have a look and then we have,  you can sign up to our newsletter as well on our Pro Clima website and we also have a whole bunch of training going on that is constantly updated on our website as well if you want to have a look at that. So, thank you.


Anthony Wright: Thanks very much Jesse. Make sure you get your questions in the Q&A for Jesse. I see them coming through. I will relay them to him.


[Image changes to show Peter Hickson on the main screen listening, and then the image changes to show Peter inset in the participant bar at the top, and a new slide appears on the main screen showing text: Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture, … a solution for full Life Cycle Design, zero carbon, sustainable buildings now for anyone, anywhere and in any climate, Peter Hickson, Earth Building Solutions, President, Earth Building Association of Australia]


Peter Hickson: After 40 years researching, learning, and developing skills in sustainable design and construction, I realised there was a solution that works anywhere and everywhere and it always has. We are still learning, experimenting and improving though I am recommending a solution that is best described as Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture that is P-L-E-E-A, or PLEEA.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a world globe at the bottom, and text appears above: … we only get one chance, If human civilisation is to survive, we must all learn to make the transition here on Earth to a solar-sustainable, just & equitable society, There is no “Planet B”, We only have one Earth, We only get one chance]


To contextualise this debate, we need to consider the bigger picture. We need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as possible and as quickly as possible. We need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and transition to renewable economies by 2050. If we wish to be world leaders we need solutions that are equitable and accessible to anyone, anywhere on this planet.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing four photos of dead fish in a river, two people watching clouds of dust rolling into a township, a raging bushfire, and dead wildlife, and text appears: The effects of climate change]


It’s not a pretty sight, one we’re becoming more familiar with unfortunately. In Australia, our buildings need to be resilient in warming climates, able to cope with more unpredictable and unsettled weather patterns, more pronounced and frequent storms, droughts, floods, bushfires, cold snaps and heat waves.


[Image changes to show a new slide and Peter can be seen inset talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears on the slide: Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture, The essence of PLEEA – Unfired earth and natural materials, Appropriate climate responsive design, Natural ventilation – conditioning, Adaptive comfort, safety, health and resilience, Renewable technologies for full LCD zero carbon]


If I were to describe the essence of Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture with five lines there would be: 1. Unfired earth and natural materials; 2. Appropriate climate responsive design; 3. Natural ventilation and natural conditioning; 4. Adaptive comfort, safety, health and resilience; and 5. Renewable technology for full lifecycle design zero carbon performance.


[Image changes to show a new slide, and Peter can be seen inset talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears on the slide: Appropriate, sustainable, renewable technology, Strong, durable, non-combustible, sound & EMR isolating, Thermal – mass, stability, refuge, Humidity control, Adaptive comfort, ease of operation, Variable thermal characteristics through density and thickness, Local natural materials have low embodied energy]


Earth building is appropriate, renewable and sustainable technology. Unfired earth is the essential element that often provides the internal and external walls, though sometimes the floor and the roof. It offers a strong and durable structure with, and thermal mass with the lowest possible embodied energy. Earth provides excellent hydrothermal properties for balancing and controlling humidity. Earth is non-combustible and complies with the highest Bushfire Attack Level rating flame zone. It also has a fire rating of up to four hours and allows a barrier to sound and electromagnetic radiation. Earth elements provide the fabric energy storage necessary for thermal stability allowing maximum natural gains and balanced predictable, acceptable, adaptive comfort. The ease of operation, a thermal refuge, health and safety and the benefit of stillness and quiet.


The earth elements can be optimised for climate by varying density and thickness which adjusts thermal characteristics. Generally lower densities are suited to colder climates and higher densities to hotter climates and thickness increases thermal lag and storage capacity. Insulation needs to be appropriate to climate. By climate I mean external conditions including maximum and minimum external temperatures, the seasonal temperature differentials between inside and outside including diurnal fluctuation and solar gain potential. Climate determines where the bulk reflective or dynamic optimised mass insulation is required and where it is necessary and beneficial. Sometimes it’s inevitable we need to use steel, glass, cement, and other manufactured materials. Hopefully their embodied energy is being slowly reduced though the use of earth and other natural materials like stone timber and fibres, recycled materials keeps embodied energy as low as possible. Materials sourced as locally as possible are best. Ideally the earth material is from the building’s own footprint.


[Image changes to show a new slide, and Peter can be seen inset talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears on the slide: Appropriate climate responsive design, No one passive design fits all climates, Buildings must respond to climate – maximising natural gains like cool of night, heat of day whilst providing safety from extremes, Passive design principles for various climates, Design principles include orientation, window and doors, glazing choice, roof design, shading, ceiling height, zoning etc…., All of this varies so much with climate]


Appropriate climate responsive design means two things. Firstly, there is no one passive design solution that fits all climates. Secondly, buildings should, should respond to a particular climate, encouraging, allowing and maximising natural gains such as cool of night and cooling breezes and warmth of day. Through design, a building should achieve as much adaptive comfort as possible from freely available external conditions. Appropriate climate responsive design encompasses passive solar design used in temperate climates as well as passive design principles used in tropical, Mediterranean, inland, desert, highland and even alpine climates.


[Image changes to show a new slide, and Peter can be seen inset talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears on the slide: Natural ventilation and natural conditioning, Keeps the building safe/healthy though simple, Affordable/economical to build, maintain and operate, Mass-linked natural ventilation balances temperature and humidity, maintains IAQ and efficiency of fresh air changes, Natural conditioning – exchange between the humidity and temperature in the earth walls and fresh air changes, Negates RCAC or minimises and time shifts demand, Affordable natural alternative to MVHR units]


Natural ventilation keeps buildings healthy and safe. They are still simple and affordable to build maintain and economic, economical to operate. Through mass-linked ventilation there is a constant balancing of temperature and humidity. There is a constant two-way energy and humidity exchange between the earth elements and fresh air changes. This is best described as natural conditioning. This natural conditioning often negates the need for air conditioning or at least minimises its use or time-shift demand to when the sun shines. Indoor air quality is assured, condensation is eliminated, humidity and temperature balanced and predictable. Operation of the building is mostly through ventilation and the design does the rest. It’s like setting the sails on a heavy keeled sailing boat, though much easier. Often a few simple chores set the building for a day, for a night or for a season. The importance and extent of sealing is also related to climate and design intent. Sealing is less useful in massive buildings using natural conditioning and in buildings that rely on constant natural ventilation. Airtightness introduces a number of health and safety concerns so that mechanical ventilation becomes necessary. Relying on sealing and insulation for energy efficiency in effectively lightweight buildings leads to overheating and dependence on air conditioning and mechanical ventilation.


[Image changes to show a new slide, and Peter can be seen inset talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears on the slide: Adaptive comfort, safety, health and resilience, Adaptive comfort – naturally ventilated buildings only, Comfort related to place, time, season, prevailing external conditions, Comfort clouds – wide range of acceptable temperatures, Safe conditions with 12-30C always – without power, Health IAQ assured through natural ventilation, Climate changes resilient – wild weather, natural disasters and warming climates]


The science of adaptive comfort applies to naturally ventilated buildings only. The comfort expected by occupants in these buildings is related to climate and prevailing external conditions and acknowledges that, that occupants can manage their own comfort with clothing. The comfort cloud best describes this broad range. In homes the range can be greater than in offices because occupants have wardrobes and bedding on hand and at least one-third of occupied time is sleeping hours. Homes should always provide safe conditions. A thermal refuge within safe temperature conditions of 12 to 30oC always. Healthy indoor air quality is assured through natural ventilation. Well-designed buildings should be climate change resilient, maintaining comfort, health and safety in likely weather events, natural disasters, without power, into the future, given our generally warming climates.


[Image changes to show a new slide, and Peter can be seen inset talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears on the slide: Renewable technology reduces carbon energy and cost – full LCD carbon zero, PLEEA, Natural ventilation, ceiling fans, evaporative coolers enhance natural conditioning by adding humidity – inland climates, SHW, solar space heaters and coolers, Biofuels – reduce carbon + load on the grid + make the transition to renewable electricity easier + provide options during outages, Solar PVs surplus to full LCD Zero Carbon]


Renewable technologies like Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture keeps embodied and operational energy as low as possible. Ceiling fans, mass-linked natural ventilation, evaporative coolers, solar space heating/cooling and solar hot water systems keep operational energy as low as possible. The use of renewable fuel, so in stoves, space heaters, and hot water services reduces both energy and carbon keeping operational energy, keeping heating energy as low as possible. This reduces the load on the grid, makes the transition to renewables easier and, and provides options in outages. A PV array is then able to repay all the operational embodied energies. The strategy of Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture is to reduce energy in carbon every stage so the addition of a moderately sized PV array achieves full lifecycle zero carbon.


[Image changes to show a summer photo of a mudbrick home on the left and a winter photo of a mudbrick home on the right, and text appears: Earth Home – South Coast NSW, Australia]


My 28-year old mudbrick home is an older example of Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture. It relies on simple passive solar design for cooling and heating. Though heating is supplemented in winter by a solar space heater and wood heater. It is naturally ventilated and has 4.5KWhr PVs and solar hot water system fitted. Earth from the site, timber products and recycled materials like the fired bricks and brick pavers help reduce embodied energy. Newer earth homes obviously perform better, though it’s surprising how well this old home performs if judged by adaptive comfort, indoor air quality, health and safety, real cost of operation, as-built operational performance, and of course lifecycle design performance.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a bar graph of “Frequency of occurrence of temperatures over 12 months” on the left, and Peter can be seen inset talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears on the slide: Adaptive thermal comfort – NatHERs Free Running mode, Performance no energy, Red lines mark upper and lower safe limits, Never above 28C in a heatwave (no cooling), Comfortable between 17-24C (2-3 degrees less during sleeping)]


This graph of modelling in NatHERS Free Running mode shows how the building relies on its design response to a climate file to achieve a comfort outcome. This is the most useful part of the tool for us I think. I believe some of the performance is actually better than predicted due to the limited ventilation logic used. Winter performance is about right. I appreciate the benefit of predicting and realise winter performance could be improved with today’s roof insulation, with optimised windows, and other minor changes and I’ll be improving the design over time. However this building offers reasonable comfort in line with adaptive comfort expectations for most of the year and it achieves our desired comfort without carbon so it achieves the overarching objective. The red lines I’ve added, mark upper and lower safe limits. It achieves this. I’ve never recorded above 28oC in a heat wave without cooling and then only on the last day, so I know summer performance is slightly better in reality than was predicted. The home obviously doesn’t need air conditioning and it provides a thermal refuge in a heat wave or a cold snap and modelling shows it is climate change resilient as well.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a table showing the thermal performance rating of the house, and Peter can be seen inset talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears on the slide: Thermal Performance, Regulation Mode, House Rating, The house achieves a 3.2 star rating, The energy loads are shown below, PLEEA doesn’t require cooling – no RCAC is a big advantage, Heating load is large though dealt with through roof mounted solar space heater and carbon neutral wood heater]


These are the results generated in NatHERS regulation mode, which is used to determine predicted energy usage and thermal shell efficiency. The figure in the red circle also confirms that the building wouldn’t be dependent on air conditioning. Now that is a massive unrecognised advantage. It equates to safe thermal refuge in outages, no peak load on the grid, and ensures affordable operation. The heating load would be reduced by more than half for a, if it were a new build with better sealing and insulation and rated say 5-stars. Interestingly, modelling indicates that the predicted heating load diminishes over time to zero due to climate change though cooling is still acceptably low.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing an energy use table and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen and text appears: Hickson Home – energy costs (2017-18), Bio fuels, LPG, Electricity, Renewable mix, Very low cost, Low carbon, Adaptive comfort, Net positive energy]


This energy summary shows the building utilises a mix of electricity, carbon neutral and low carbon intensive energy and solar generation. Total operational cost for this 225m2 home of three people is less than $1000 per annum which is a fraction of the Australian average. We have all the usual conveniences found in Australian homes though no need for air conditioner or mechanical ventilation which keeps energy and costs down. During the winter, we use biomass in addition to design as solar space heater to achieve 17-20oC in living areas and we accept 2-3oC less when sleeping snugly under a doona. So perhaps surrounding radiant heat and stillness allows comfort at a lower winter temperature. Autumn and spring are perfect. In summer, the inside temperatures rarely exceed 24oC and generally sits around 20-23oC. In 2020-21, we imported an average of 3.8KWhr a day from the grid during the, during the night and utilised another 2.5KWhr from passive, from PVs by day. After returning imports there was a net positive contribution of 1,669KWhr to the grid which balances the use of gas for cooking and helps pay back the embodied energy.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a NABERS table and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen and text appears: NABERS 6 Star performance – based on actual annual energy usage + appliance choice]


The actual performance in NABERS couldn’t be better, six out of 6-stars we’re a leading energy performer. And NABERS reports in carbon which is a thing that needs addressing.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing coloured columns showing the Star Rating v eTool Life Cycle Design and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen and text appears: eTool Life Cycle Design – Only full LCD gives the picture of where we need to be by 2050]


These colourful columns represent the total operational and embodied energies used in our homes. Only full lifecycle design looks at all this and with the correct metric. The starting point was the average home around 2003 on the left column. For 18 years the focus has been on the red bit, thermal comfort at the tip of the columns. In theory 6-stars is aimed at reducing this total energy by perhaps 10%. Moving from 6 to 7-stars thermal efficiency is designed to achieve another 1.5 percentage points. Though how does this impact other energies? Improved energy efficiency of equipment and appliances, lights etc. all help though homes are becoming more highly specified, often for energy efficiency with double and even triple glazing, more insulation, sealing, air conditioning and perhaps mechanical ventilation and complicated wall assemblies. Potentially up goes operational and embodied energies. This is the carbon burp that concerns me. It requires oversight. I know from eTool assessments that embodied energy has been on the rise in the earth homes I’ve built. Also consider the unpredicted, the unpredicted rise in cooling demand discovered in newer thermally lightweight highest star rated buildings.


It will increase embodied energy and operational energy by 10, 20, 40%, attempting a 1-2% improvement to thermal efficiency that is obviously counterproductive. I know France, UK and New Zealand are looking at introducing embodied energy to regulations this year. We need to be looking at the big picture and keep an eye on the main game. That is reducing carbon. Around 2050 we need to shrink and then wipe the entire colourful column to the point where it is on the right hand side, the, the most right column, zero carbon, light blue. Now look at the Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture approach, 13% beyond zero carbon full lifecycle design. Thermal shell efficiency isn’t the only or the best sustainable practice. Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture deserves an express pass to compliance, where at the very least an appropriate assessment criteria based on other metrics that I’ve mentioned.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing the eTool Life Cycle Assessment Certificate on the left,

and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: eTool Life Cycle Assessment Certificate, Hickson PLEEA Home, Design embodied carbon down 41%, Operational Carbon down 152%, Total Design Carbon Emissions saving of 113%, PLEEA is an excellent solution, 28-yr-old, 3.2 Star mudbrick home is beyond 2050 target in 2014]


This is the eTool Global Emissions Certificate for my home. Designed embodied carbon is down by 41% on the base building. It is well down and certainly not up. Operational carbon is down an impressive 152%, minimizing operational energy and carbon and with the, with the simple addition of what is a moderately-sized PV and solar hot water system. Excess electricity exported to the grid is what achieves 113% zero carbon. We have conducted several lifecycle design assessments on old mudbrick homes and every one of them evaluated can achieve this or close to this with simple affordable renewables if grid-connected.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of a mudbrick home on the left, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: New mudbrick home, Tomerong, NSW, PLEEA – PSD, NatHERS 5.4 star, D.G. timber windows/doors, R 5.0 insulation roof, Mudbrick walls, Wastewater treated, Water self sufficient, Solar HWS, Wood heater/ceiling fans, 6kWh PV grid connected]


This is a mudbrick home I completed recently. It was rated 5.4-stars as assessed by Mike Purtell. Though it would struggle with achieving the new 7-star performance being introduced. I suspect eTool lifecycle design rating would be good although embodied energy would be up a little. It hasn’t been done yet. I expect this mudbrick home to last 100 years. Buildings need to last 50-100 years as they used to. The average is 25 years and this, we can’t keep sending buildings to landfill every 25 years and that’s the reality with new buildings that are full of toxic waste, too difficult to recycle or economical to separate. Mike modelled this to understand what impact climate change might have on its performance. Let’s have a look at that now.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing three Australian maps, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: CSIRO warming predictions in Australia 2030, 2050, 2090, Australian CSIRO Climate Analogue Towns allow us to look into the future for climate change resilience]


CSIRO Climate Analogue Towns allowed us to look at climate change predictions into the future, climate predictions in the future.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing the Climate Analogue Towns website on the left, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: Jervis Bay 2030, My climate near Jervis Bay 2020 will be like climates further north by 2030 like Kiama, Wollongong, Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Nelsons Bay, Port Macquarie]


My climate near Jervis Bay will be like these climates in 2030 according to CSIRO’s predictions. There’s a general warming, the same coastal climate moving northwards. You can see the, the dots on the coastline so Kiama, Wollongong, Sydney, Newcastle, climates that it will be like.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing the Climate Analogue Towns website with a predicted map of Jervis Bay in 2050 on the left, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: Jervis Bay 2050, My climate near Jervis Bay 2020 will be like climates further north by 2050 like Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Foster (Nelson’s Bay), Wauchape, Port Macquarie, Taree, Yamba]


And these are the towns that my climate will resemble in 2050. On the map you’ll see the grey dots indicating how my climate will shift northwards again further up towards Queensland, Sydney, Newcastle all the way up to Port Macquarie, Taree, Yamba.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing the Climate Analogue Towns website with a predicted map of Jervis Bay in 2090 on the left, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: Jervis Bay 2090, My climate near Jervis Bay 2020 will be like climates further north by 2050 like Kempsey, Grafton, Casino, Brisbane, Caboolture, Hervey Bay]


And in 2090 my home may be experiencing a Queensland coastal climate, anything from Kempsey up to Hervey Bay.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a line graph on the left, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: CSIRO Climate Analogue Towns modelling of future performance, The home rates 5.4 in Tomerong, 5.4 in Botany Bay, 5.5 Nelsons Bay, 6.1 Yamba, 6.1 Kempsey and 5.7 in Hervey Bay which is interesting, Almost within PH Classic Standard Criteria]


This graph indicates an indication of the climate change resilience of a new 5.4-star home. Predictive heating load, the orange line, decreases steadily from 75MJ at Tomerong where it is now, today quickly dipping below what I think is the passive house criteria maximum heating energy demand of 54MJ in around ten years. It continues to fall as this south coast climate resembles climates further north up the coast to zero heating by around 2080 with Queensland climates. Cooling load increases gradually from a low 20.3MJ through the north coast New South Wales to Southern Queensland where the design is ideal for climate through to Hervey Bay above Brisbane where it rises just above passive house classic criteria cooling energy demand allowance at 54MJ for the first time around 2090. At this point in the distant future the owner could easily introduce some tropical design principles. Performance and star ratings actually improve with climate change as you can see. And I believe the opposite will be true for effectively lightweight well-sealed buildings.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a bar graph of the performance of a mudbrick home in different places, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: Mudbrick home, Tomerong, NSW (2020-90), From modelling done by Mike Purtell using climate files for analogue towns]


This is a different way of looking at the, looking at it. At present the heating load, a more passive house criteria, the cooling load is much lower the building is able to perform without air conditioning and without heating in the future with minor operate, alterations in 70 years’ time. That’s a good result I think.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of a rammed earth home on the left and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: PLEEA – rammed earth home, Jaspers Brush, Designed to minimise heating and cooling using conservatory/verandah, as conservatory traps warmth in winter, as ventilated verandah shades and cools in summer, living/dining and bedroom 1 can open into this space]


Modern Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture, this is a healthy, safe, comfortable and desirable, sustainable home. It goes close to maintaining adaptive comfort through design alone.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing two photos of the inside of the home, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: Inside-outside living modern – PLEEA Australia, New rammed earth home designed to negate heating and cooling]


In terms of top-end specification it’s affordable, naturally ventilated, excellent indoor air quality, COVID safe, suited to Australian climates, lifestyles and climates with relaxed indoor outdoor living.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of a house in China on the left, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: World Building of the Year – World Architecture Festival 2017, Future of sustainable buildings for one world’s resources, A new vernacular?]


This award winner in China is a, is the sustainable future I see. Elegantly simple, passive, low energy earth architecture, healthy, safe, adaptive comfort, low energy, low carbon, potential for zero carbon for lifecycle design, all achievable. This is how earth building could be revitalised in China and elsewhere to create a new sustainable vernacular utilising one world’s resources.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of a female sewing inside the house, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: New rammed earth, earthquake proof home in China, PLEEA China, Healthy, safe, comfortable, desirable, sustainable new earthquake safe rammed earth home in China, Would this comply with “thermal shell” efficiency as required by NatHERS Regulation Mode?]


Inside and it’s comfortable, durable and full of light. How beautifully simple is this passive, low energy, rammed earth home?


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of an converted 18th century barn on the left,

and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: 18th century barn conversion – Voiron, Rhone Alps, France, Comfortable in a challenging climate with a small wood heater used in winter, Cooling with natural ventilation, Owned by an architect forced to design modern air tight compliant homes]


The surrounding built-up towns, villages and farms in the countryside here in France within sight of the snow-covered alps is, is covered with these beautiful 18th Century vernacular pisé rammed earth, buildings up to four storeys. The architect who owns it believes it’s elegantly simple, comfortable and sufficient and I’m inclined to agree. With renewables, this Passive Low Energy Earth Architecture would be beyond zero carbon for lifecycle design.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of a Bamboo Reinforced Cob home on the left,

and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears: Bamboo Reinforced Cob, PLEEA Philippines, Asia…, Earthquake proof, Tropical design, Low embodied energy, Zero heating and fan for cooling, Safe, healthy, comfortable, affordable, sustainable]


This is a low-cost disaster-resistant earth home I developed and built in the tropical climate in the Philippines and I’ve stayed in that in hot steamy conditions; a pedestal fan does the job of cooling.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of protestors holding a sign, and Peter can be seen talking in the participant bar at the top of the screen, and text appears on the sign: Ask not what your planet can do for you, ask what you can do for your planet]


So, how Australia best secures a sustainable built environment requires some serious contemplation and investment in research. We could do well to retrace our steps learning from the wisdom found in vernacular architecture rather than continuing to put all our faith in techno-optimism. Only sophisticated modelling and suitable metrics and expectations can be utilised in the design of elegantly simple, low energy, low carbon solutions. Australia needs a multi-disciplinary approach to developing sustainable building solutions. It needs to include, architects, engineers, building biologists, builders and ecological auditors. We need to remember that carbon is the final arbiter and beware the, beware the carbon burp. Never judge things how they appear on paper. It’s all about performance, outcomes and best meeting objectives.  Thank you.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing the Australian Passive House Association logo and information on the website]


Kylie Mills: So, just introducing you to the Australian Passive House Association.  We’re an independent, not-for-profit group which aims to lead, educating and promoting the Certified Passive House Model in Australia. What we’d like to sort of achieve overall is to, for everyone to live and work in healthy low energy resilient buildings and everything that everybody’s actually talked about to now is made up of all of that as well. So the Australian Passive House Association is made up of a small number of employees presently and they’re growing as are our volunteers and members and our board of directors which doesn’t grow but that’s what I am part of presently. So you can contact APHA through a whole range of different methods if you want to get in touch with us. Alright.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of Kylie Mills on the left and then a collage of photos of homes and buildings can be seen on the right and her details appear beneath her photo]


OK, a little bit about me. I’m a registered architect in New South Wales and Queensland. I have been doing some education through Sydney University and New South Wales TAFE and I also run my own architecture practice.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram of a passive house on the right and text appears: Passive House, A building standard that is truly – energy efficient, comfortable, affordable, and ecological at the same time, Passive House is not a brand name, but a construction concept that can be applied by anyone and that has stood the test of practice, A Passive House is more than just a low energy building]


So a little bit about passive house now. So we do have the five main principles of a passive house which I will talk about in detail and sort of introduce you to, hopefully in a slightly different format than what we’ve actually had already but it’s really about having energy efficient, comfortable, affordable, and ecological, all at the same time, type of building. So we’re not just talking about homes, we’re talking about all structures that we actually live and work in. So that’s what we’re trying to sort of get to but, look, housing is a great place to start because working from home at the moment I was very tempted to put my puffer jacket on to actually present because I was a bit chilly earlier but coming up to the presentation, I’ve warmed up a little.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing information about the Australian Standards, the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard and the PHPP Standard below the text heading: AU Standards, ASHRAE & PHPP]


OK, so going into why we actually have some of these things. We have Australian Standards. So Jesse covered a little bit earlier about how, what building codes do and our building code references an awful lot of our Australian standards and part of that is about how we don’t actually have a look for thermal comfort in there. So in New South Wales we are regulated and we have BASIX so we have to meet those requirements and there’s other requirements that we have to meet there. We have a thermal standard that we could apply which is ASHRAE 55, and how the PHPP sort of joins in with that. We’ve actually been verified against the AHSRAE 140 which means that we can actually use that as energy software under various different types of regulatory systems around the world which is great so it applies everywhere.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of a crowded beach and text appears: Summer]


So coming back to what passive house sort of utilises and I want to just get everyone to sort of think about you know six months ago when it was a little bit warmer, we were at the beach, so this is just a nice slide of Bondi and strangely enough humans have this ability to adapt and put on a pair of swimmers, you know, go to the beach and feel comfortable, get into the water to cool down. That works. That’s summer. That’s great.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing photos of five different types of puffer jackets and text appears: Winter]


Coming into winter, try and get the slides to move, we start adapting, next slide, and we start putting on warmer clothes. We do this naturally. We change, we adapt. Strangely it sort of reminds me of the presentation of the video that Jesse ran and look yep, we can easily adapt. We can put on whatever we like to keep warm. We need to actually think about our building structures, rather than being in tents and things that are well ventilated all the time. So if we didn’t, if we wore one of these outfits to the beach in summer, I can imagine you’re now thinking, not comfortable and it would actually be quite sweaty, right?


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of insulation on the right, and a thermal image of a row of housing on the left and text appears: Thermal Insulation, For Passive House certification Thermal comfort must be met for all living areas during winter as well as in summer, with not more than 10% of the house in a given year over 25C, For a complete overview of general quality requirements (soft criteria), All opaque building components of the exterior envelope of the house must be very well-insulated, For most cool-temperate climates this means a heat transfer co-efficient (U-Value) of 0.15 W(m2K at the most), For example a maximum of 0.15 watts per degree of temperature difference and per square metre of exterior surface are lost]


Not a good thing, not very pleasant either to experience but you would maintain some sort of temperature on the inside and passive house actually looks at having good thermal insulation. So, the criteria, I’ve actually put on the slides here so that you can actually read through it, I’m not going to read verbatim because I’m pretty sure you all can do that but what I do want to point out is that in that image there on the left hand side you can actually pick which building has been retrofitted out of the row of housing there through the thermal imaging and it’s quite often a slide used in training and what have you.


So the one that’s insulated is the one that’s blue. You can see all the heat coming out of the one on the left and the other one’s where you can actually see the various different types of insulation sort of qualities on that. So being aware of how your building’s performing on the outside can actually be seen. So you might think back to when you’ve been out in the mornings you might be able to see the neighbour’s new renovation. You pop out and you can see all the studwork, where it’s sort of got a nice sort of layer of moisture on the outside of the building and there’ll be some warm sections that may not have that same sort of level of moisture on it. The PHPP which people in passive house refer to calculates the, oops, we’ll just go back one more, it calculates, well you have to input the information, it does actually look at all the R-values and U-values so we actually look at how that works for the building so we have to understand what’s actually going in to the building so we’re designing for climate which is super-important and each climate obviously will need slightly different thicknesses of insulation and things like that.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing photos of various windows on buildings and a photo of a child writing on a frosty window with his finger]


But then when we look at our building and you can take a really good, hard look even in the room you might be in right now, what is the thinnest part of your wall system right now? And I dare say it’s probably the windows. They may look quite generic like most timber windows or aluminium windows, steel windows, even. You might be in an office block if you’re not working from home, which is probably a lot of us are right now. You might be looking at a curtain wall façade. You may have woken up in your house this morning given it’s winter and you may have found that you’ve got some condensation on your windows. So just down here on the left a lot of people are experiencing this at the moment. That is actually rather common. OK, so to prevent that we need to stop using buildings OK, but we have those so that we are comfortable and we’re trying to live in more healthy environments.


I do remember myself growing up and doing what this young lad’s doing here on the right and writing on the windows and my mum would get so annoyed because then you’d have that there for the rest of the day, whatever you’d scribbled on the windows. Which is kind of a nice sort of thing but, you know, even brand new windows can have moisture come in, like if you’ve got double glazing perhaps in this scenario here, you might actually have moisture coming in through the frame rather than actually through the glass. So a new retrofit scenario may actually also have its problems so you do have to be aware of what sort of things you’re doing to your building so talking to people in the industry and understanding what’s actually happening.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing diagrams of various types of windows, a chart, an open sided design of a house, a Smartphone, and a female looking through a wooden frame]


Windows are great. We’ve always designed, well as an architect we’ve designed windows to capture views, open, yes we can open windows to give you light because daylight’s actually really good for our health and well-being which is really important. If you’re lucky enough to have views of a garden or things like that so bringing that sort of natural environment in so that’s part of the things that we like in Australia is to be able to open the doors and windows and you can do that in passive house, OK. There are no rules to sort of having an airtight building otherwise we’ll be living like this all the time. So capturing our views, you can have lots of shading on windows, if you’re facing, you know, an inappropriate sort of sun angle that  type of thing, and when you actually go in and have a consultation or with a passive house consultant they will actually input all of your windows, same as what an energy assessor would do into the PHPP and put all your indoor shading, your frames, the entire window system and how it’s installed in the wall is actually calculated to become more energy efficient.


So that is actually really important that all of those things are looked at so the different orientations of your building, north, south, east, west, all of those things are taken into account which they should be. OK, for me that is what I would deem a normal thing but some people just don’t see that.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing various window designs on the left, thermal imaging of the window designs on the right, and text appears: Passive House Windows, The window frames must be well insulated and fitted with low-a glazing filled with argon or krypton to prevent heat transfer, For most cool-temperature climates, this means a U-value of 9.80 W(m2K) or less with g-values around 50% (g value = total solar transmittance, proportion of the solar energy available for the room), Airtightness tapes applied to external in internal face of window ensuring a continuous air tight layer, with no draughts or air leakage]

I have actually seen differences in using just the BASIX system of a horizontal versus a vertical window of the same issue being problematic because of their orientation facing due west. So all of those things can actually have a, their own sort of impacts. So what does passive house actually require? So passive house requires thermally broken windows so we’re not having an energy transfer through the frame so what we don’t want is heat flowing through our frames so we actually have a thermal break and you can actually see the different types of construction in this, in these frames. So we’ve got the three primary different types of frames that you can have, you’ve got your aluminium, you’ve got timber and then we’ve got a composite, you can actually get your PVC as well.


So they’re quite common in the industry and they all come thermally broken, double glazing, quite common for passive house  and the rumours are, is that sometimes to get triple glazing, you might find that that cost-competitiveness is pretty similar to double-glazing right now because of the way they’ve actually set up some of the things and where people are actually getting those windows from. So looking at how it’s installed in the window, in the wall system is actually important as well. So quite often people will say the window has to be installed in the insulation layer. OK, so they’re talking the big, cool climates. But here in Australia our wall systems are much thinner so we actually have to look at how all of that works together so being aware of how those things work together is actually super important.


Anthony Wright: Kylie, it’s just Anthony here, I’m sorry to interrupt, I just wanted to let you know we’ve got about four minutes left for your presentation time if…


Kylie Mills: I’ll keep going.


Anthony Wright: …our last presenter.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing two diagrams of air flow through a passive house in summer and in winter, a photo of a window, and a weather report for Sydney for 10 July]


Kylie Mills: Alright, no problem. OK, so what we’ve got here is an example of what the weather will be expecting in Sydney on Saturday. We have some winds coming up, yeah, light, possible rain, so that means, you know, the sunlight’s not going to be around so that has an impact on how one might actually use their building. So that’s problematic. Trying to fly through it really quick. We’re going to rely on possibly human behaviour to open windows. Not usually a good thing, but if the wind stops, and I’m just going to see whether this will work here, yeah, if there’s no wind, how do you get that air to follow through in the building. It’s notorious for not following, you know, the directions that we’ve drawn on the plans. Particularly if you, you know, there’s no wind outside and you open the windows, there’s not going to be any wind inside either. Those things are really important to understand that, you know, and to rely on human behaviour. Are we going to actually make sure that everyone is going to open those windows when they’re supposed to, to ventilate their buildings? Not necessarily.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram of a single storey house at the bottom, and a single storey house at the top on the left, and text appears: If you build tight, Ventilate right, May include MVHR, HRV, ERV, Opening windows - automatic operable windows for night purging, Heating System - small energy efficient heating system depending on climate, Cooling system – small air conditioning unit depending on climate, Dehumidisation – Depending on climate]


If we’re going to build passive house, we’re going to ventilate it correctly. So you may have any combination of any of these elements here so you could have an MVHR. You could open your windows. You may have a heating system that may range from having a heated towel rail, using a hair dryer, possibly a small heater, small kilowatts, OK, a very small cooling system, depending on climate and depending on climate again, dehumidification.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing diagrams and photos of the inside of an MVHR unit and information about the unit on the right, and text appears: Adequate Ventilation Strategy, The Space Heating Energy Demand is not to exceed 15KWh per square meter of net living space (treated floor area) per year of 10W per square meter peak demand, In climates where active cooling is needed, the Space Cooling Energy Demand requirement roughly matches the heat demand requirements above, with an additional allowance for dehumidification, Efficient heat recovery ventilation is key allowing for a good indoor air quality and saving energy, In Passive Houses at least 75% of heat from the exhaust air is transferred to the fresh air again by means of a heat exchanger]


Must ventilate, OK. So it doesn’t matter how any of those methods are actually applied. Really important that that’s actually done. So what’s actually on this slide here is the insides of an MVHR unit and how the air actually exchanges. You’ve got your heat and cool passing each other so intake air passing the exhaust air and that heat is being transferred and the constant temperature’s actually being maintained inside of the building. The different installs, the different types of ductwork through there.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing photos of different Eskys, thermal imaging of areas of a passive house, a male holding his breath, and a female looking through a crossed window frame and text appears: Myth, You would run out of air in a passive house… would be like holding your breath, It would be like living in an Esky, Really? They are great for keeping things cool when camping though]


Alright, so living in a passive house doesn’t mean it’s going to be airtight OK. It’s not an esky. They’re really good for keeping you cool, your food cool. There are lots of, strangely enough lots and lots of videos and information guides on how to actually use a cool box which I found was really interesting, so cool it first, put your food in, ice, cooled food, otherwise it’s just not going to be effective and some of these cool boxes actually work really well for three or four days depending on how often they’re opened. So on the left hand side of this slide here we’ve got our thermography differences, so, currently in our Australian stock, we probably have a bathroom exhaust fan, that’s what it might look like in summer time and the power points are the same. We might have heat and cool coming through the wall system if we’re not insulated well. And taken a couple of years ago, I had a client send me a thermography image of her lovely bifold doors in her living room at this stage and you could see the cool coming in, just there and it tells us that it was 16.5oC coming in through the door which was interesting then.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing diagrams of how the red line air tightness test on the left works, and then photos of a partially built building, and a door at the bottom]


So testing. That airtightness test, through design is actually important so the red line test which is the example on the left, so not only in plans does that get tested, the detailing of how that gets built has to be done in sections and any detailed drawings actually have to be thought about and then all of that gets verified on how well the building’s actually sealed through an air tightness test and the requirements for passive house are quite specific


[Image changes to show a new slide showing thermal imaging of a house on the left, a graph, and a photo of the inside of a house on the right, and text appears: Airtightness, Airtightness is the fundamental building property that inspects infiltration and exfiltration (the uncontrolled inward and outward leakage of outward air through cracks, interstices or other unintentional openings of a building, caused by pressure effects of the wind and/or stack effect)]


and all those final details are important that you’re not just chasing one element. You are chasing a group of elements together to create a certified passive house. So the final test will give you at least 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 pascals so that’s important so an air blower door test so that was the red door image there.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of thermal imaging from a kitchen, thermal imaging of a balcony of a building, air flow out of a building, and a thermal bridge in building]


And then we get onto thermal bridging. Currently, so some thermography for you, on the top left here we can see in, this is my client’s house again, she just took a picture of her kitchen and she’d just made herself a cup of tea, so you can see the cup of tea here. She’d used the toaster and the kettle so they’re all the hot elements. You can see it’s still cold outside and you can see, you know, energy flowing through the building, as you can do here. So this is an image you can find on the internet as well and this is the balcony coming out of the building. So a lot of three storey walk-ups that you’ll see around, particularly Sydney, and any other built-up area really will actually be like this. So, being aware of how the energy’s flowing through your buildings.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a building shape with circled thermal bridges on the left, and then diagrams of thermal bridges on the right]


What do you ask for when you actually want a good healthy building? You don’t want mould forming in corners. You don’t want things going wrong and that’s what we’re trying to design out here and a minimisation of risk corners, so where we see intersections of walls and roofs, where it’s not well-insulated, you might actually find that that causes mould on the inside of the house and that’s bad for your health. So we’re actually really aware of that and they’re all the things that need to be modelled and designed and built accordingly. OK, so everything gets verified on the way.


[Image changes to show six photos of buildings on the left, a diagram of a thermal bridge on the right, and text appears: Thermal bridge Reduced Design, Absence of thermal bridges, All edges, corners, connections and penetrations must be planned and executed with great care, so that thermal bridges can be avoided, Thermal bridges which cannot be avoided must be minimised as far as possible, The Renewable, Renewable Primary Energy Demand (PER, according to PHI method), the total energy to be used for all domestic applications (heating, hot water and domestic electricity) must not exceed 60 KWh per square meter of treated floor area per year for Passive House Classic]


So identifying any thermal bridges, so in intersections of the building that may actually have an impact need to be designed out and as a result you can have a building that looks like any shape, size, design. It’s, there’s no particular look for a passive house. Reducing thermal bridges is really important and you can introduce other tool standards if you wanted to. You could build a larger building in conjunction with the WELL standard, the Living Building Challenge, you can apply other things to it, you don’t just have to stick with the one but I think passive house is a good start to actually reduce the energy consumption in bringing everything together there.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a table displaying Passive House Criteria]


The main criteria is about energy reduction. And to do that you keep your building system, which is your building envelope, so your walls, your roof, your floor, you’re keeping those in sound condition for the longevity of the building so it’s more sustainable. We’re not going to be knocking down these buildings really quickly. They’re not going to rot, they’re not going to cause mould, we can maintain them and look after them for the long term.


OK, so that’s the main criteria there and just to sort of point out, Peter was talking about passive housing in terms of classic, so there we’ve got the energy criteria of what the classic needs to achieve and then we’ve got another level up from that which is the plus and then the premium, so it’s all about consumption and what you’re putting back into the environment and using.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing Passive House Energy Standards including the Passive House Classic Plus and Premium, the Low Energy Building, and the EnerPHit Classic, Plus and Premium]


And as a result you can actually be certified with any of those criterias and you can retrofit which is actually super-important as well so rather than knocking down old building stock you can actually improve it and that’s something that I’m embarking in myself at the moment, to go down that sort of avenue with a few buildings. And then sometimes when people test they don’t necessarily achieve the 0.6ACH or they might have some thermal bridging that didn’t quite work in construction, how something may have gone just slightly awry. They may achieve a low energy building rating which is, you know, that’s still being a, sort of, high passive house, so you’ve got those ratings there.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a comparative table of energy costs for the top 30 countries with most expensive electricity around the world, and text heading appears: Why?]

But, why would you do it? Energy costs are increasing.


[Image changes to show a diagram displaying the cycle of carbon and text appears: Climate Change, The cycle of carbon, The emissions from natural sources are marked with black arrows and anthropogenic emissions are marked with red arrows, The black numbers in the figure stand for the amount of carbon that was a part of the carbon cycle before industrialisation, and the red numbers stand for the extra carbon that has become active in the system since the industrialisation]


We do want to actually be aware of climate change.


[Image changes to show the Sustainable Development Goals webpage, and text heading appears: Why Wait! To be Regulated]


And that has an impact on everybody so as things start changing and a passive house is actually a good thing, OK. We can apply all of this to meet requirements before the government even tells us to and there’s a number of people out in, out in this lovely country already doing that. So sustainable goals. How many of those you want to take on, is how you apply it.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a circle of sustainable goals to be achieved, and text heading appears: When you can make changes now]


And we’ve just got a lovely little circle there that enables us to sort of go through and check through all those sustainable goals that one can actually achieve. This is readily available also, on the internet, as well.


[Image changes to show a new slide showing a booklet “PassivHaus in Australia” with a QR code on the right, and text appears: End]


That is the end of my talk. Hopefully that’s been helpful for you and if you do want to know more and check out some case studies, check out the QR code and you can do a free download for passive house buildings in Australia. Thank you.


Anthony Wright: Thanks so much Kylie, I’ll just ask you to stop sharing your screen. It’s hover up the top and stop and I’m going to switch now to Phil Harris’ presentation which is a video. Phil is a principal architect at Troppo architects and I’ll let his video speak for itself.


[Image changes to show Anthony on the main screen talking to the camera and the participant bar can be seen at the bottom of the screen]


It goes for 15 minutes so we are going to go overtime. If our speakers are able to stay around, I would love it if they could try and answer a couple of questions, but we might try and answer most of the questions offline after this meeting. We might just pick out a couple of key questions after Phil’s video. I will just share that video now and we will get started.


[Image changes to show Phil Harris on the video talking to the camera]


Phil Harris: Happy Birthday all.


[Image changes to show photos of various houses]


So you know where I come from, this is the kind of architecture that has inspired me and that I’ve become used to making too.


[Image changes to show Phil talking to the camera again]


It’s also a kind of architecture that has difficulty getting approved today, especially anywhere north of Sydney and that’s over half of our island but also it has difficulty getting approved down south. To the topic, well what arrogance, “Ventilate ‘Right’”. Right for who? What anonymous who? Right for what particular day or evening? Or what particular moment along the string of the daily vacillations of sun, shadow, breeze and [15.08] drafts.


This ‘right’ is of course a right determined by the building codes formulaic approach to energy efficiency. That is, this right is determined by some lowest common denominator computer modelling. Some algorithm underpinned by the autocratic assumption that an individual sense of comfort can only be delivered by the addition of measures of mechanical heating and cooling. Then for efficiency we’ve got a heavily insulated and perfectly sealable shroud, undisrupted by ventilation. Abominably, it assumes some sorry picture of climate, held in averages, and within that postcard shot some mythical human with some specific average biological response to temperature and humidity, and intolerance to the joy of wind through hair and sun on a cheek. And somehow, this lowest common denominator response is going to reduce our planet’s greenhouse gas emissions and so save us biodiversity in the face of climate change. Let’s backtrack a bit.


[Image continues to show Phil talking to the camera]


And I’ll begin my message. Back in ’64, Professor Max Freeland was able to write, “A country’s architecture is a near perfect record of its history. Every building captures in physical form the climate and resources of a country’s geography and the conditions of its society. Every building explains a time and place in which it was built”. Well, the times, they seem to have changed. The rise of an architecture of sameness has coincided with the globalisation of media and entertainment, the common availability of air conditioning. It’s also coincided with increased emission of greenhouse gases through the rate of domestic and industrial consumption of electricity. North and south of the tropic, inland and on the coast, as we soak up more and more electricity we’re also becoming a single flavour country.


Let’s jump off the runaway train of consumption for a moment. Let’s pause and reflect to centre ourselves. [01:17:33] planet that sustains it. And the planet is not a dumb ball of stardust. It’s an intricate web of life in strange and myriad form. It has elements; earth, air, fire, water and the planet has awesome power. It turns evenly, yet unpredictably and at times it seems to turn on us, destroying, then again, renewing, nourishing us. We can’t separate our well-being from this sustaining web. Let’s think about it in an Australian way.


[Image continues to show Phil talking to the camera]


As Big Bill Neidjie, Kakadu man says in his poem Feeling, “Trees move. What about you and me, [18.13]? Might be something new. But if you’ve got white no matter me. Now this the story and you can’t speak ‘im. You can’t change ‘im, you can’t do anything. His story, you’ve got to keep ‘im in your feeling. Tree for us, eagle, anything. Eagle, bear, animal, rock. This the story. Listen carefully, carefully and the spirit he come in your feeling and you’ll feel it. Anyone that, I feel that, my body same as you. I tell you this because the land for us. Never change around, never change. Places for us, earth for us. Star, moon, tree, animal. No matter what sort of animal bird or snake. All the animals same like us. Our free land. This story, you can listen carefully. And how you wanna feel your future. The feeling coming through your body. You go right down foot and head, fingernail and blood through the heart and you can feel it because you come right through. And when you sleep in my dreams I do.”


That’s a call for the ongoing duration of this planet, our island as part of it. In this material world, it’s hard to believe we’re from the same universal tree as Big Bill’s from. From the same background as so many in the so-called less fortunate world and even of the same blood as our forebears, for by  comparison to us, how little our parents and grandparents lived with. How little so many people on this planet still live with. How little all people once lived with


[Image continues to show Phil talking to the camera]


Remember the magic of sleeping on the back lawns on heatwave nights, the family camping trip, of riding fearlessly to school and rollicking along in the back of your Dad’s ute. For those younger than me, for better or for worse, maybe not, I’d argue habits of the past hold the low energy future not the habits of now. For now, the climate it seems is an enemy to be tamed. We must air condition a wrap for ourselves and our homes, our workplaces and when mobile. We cannot possibly exist without it, even if it means crashing the grid.


So we air condition apace. And in order to convince ourselves that we’re curating the planet, to be seen to be tackling the emission of greenhouse gases within the building code, we’ve developed those energy efficiency provisions. We now have a building approval framework that is predicated on the inclusion of air conditioning. The product of these provisions to nutshell it is a sealed, insulated box, and a rather large one at that. It’s able to sprawl in footprint because the more expensive things, individual and fiddly things that adjust and open and shut to ameliorate climate don’t need to be there. A switch on an air conditioner is cheaper. In essence, it’s a very large esky with a little lockable drain hole. It has become the ultimate energy efficiency, building pirate paradigm, and it is highly consumptive of resources.


[Image changes to show a slide showing the naked emperor standing at the head of a line of people while a small boy points at him and laughs]


Isn’t this a case of the emperor’s new clothes?


[Image continues to show Phil talking to the camera]


Once upon a time when our houses’ greenhouse gas emissions were way less every [01.21.49] drop that left the blinds open, and shut its perimeter to work as best it could in its given climate, its seasons and the day it was. This served us for millennia, served most of our population. They were free running buildings. Today there is no ready approval path for a free running, solar, passive design building, an unairconditioned building, unless it also adopts, seal it up, insulate it, step detailing as well as the opening and screening that an environmentally engaging building will have to have which of course also costs, costs on costs.


This creates concern for us at Troppo. Well, not everyone, our clients included, want to evaporate a budget with this seal her up air conditioner up lowest common denominator stuff. At least not at the expense of being able to afford the joyful place responsive free running componentry. As a rule our free running tropical buildings build on tradition and with the lowest imaginable energy inputs. One review in fact received zero of the maximum say 5-stars, even when they win sustainable architecture awards. Down south to get to afford to build we have to do an approval time. And on site, in due course, switch to more pragmatic skins with more adjustable elements that enable the house to better work to enjoy the beautiful day that it usually is and keep the budget intact.


[Image continues to show Phil talking to the camera]


Why bother? Why be the young boy calling out the emperor? Why? Because the environmental and social results will be better. I’ll explain. Sure, flood, drought and fire, colour our impression of the difficulties of this country. And then there’s storms and cyclones, epitomised most extremely by Darwin’s Tracy and pre-heralded by Xavier Herbert in 1938 in Capricornia where he said, “Here, to meet the winds larger than man”. Yet despite all that our climate is not that of Mars or Venus. It’s what supports us. It’s the atmospheric cloak that enabled us to be here at all. In most parts of Australia it’s damned good 300 days a year. And a memorable socially binding talking point for the rest.


So throw away the so-called energy efficiency provisions in the building code. We bring back intuitive design that is based on understanding tradition with what has worked in the past. Pay a serious penalty to add energy consuming air conditioners and give credit to buildings that can operate well 300 of 365 days of the year and operate well enough without air conditioning. As Max Pritchard architect elder once [Inaudible 1:24:30] staff, “If you’re cold, put on a jumper”. Perhaps in the North, it’s “Get out a beer”. The free running approach is humanly involving and intuitive. It’s humble and it’s interdependency with nature.


[Image continues to show Phil talking to the camera]


It’s aware of inputs and outputs. It stands a good chance of reflecting place. In terms of mindfulness it makes us contemplate shelter. Surely architecture’s core purpose, food, sex, and shelter. These three things are what all creatures need and do. The great triumvirate that enables life before we get to the café, the chat, or the opera, or the oval, or the mountain bike track. All creatures need and spend  much time getting the food that fuels them. All creatures copulate in order to pass on their genes and many do so to cement nurturing relationships. And no creature can get through the passage of day and night and seasons, and support its hunting and gathering, or its rooting and nurturing without shelter. But what is shelter? We skip over this too much as architects although we imagine that’s where we fit in. Though of course we eat, and drink, and screw around a bit too.


We, at Troppo say, architecture’s not an artefact. It’s not about a material thing, nor about style or decoration. Controversially perhaps we think it’s not much about that inert lump called a building. Shelter proffers an ideal with all creatures. We creatures don’t always shelter from things, we shelter to be able, to be able to better interact with our surroundings. Think of an eagle, perched adjacent its perfectly-sited historic nest awaiting the moment to dive and kill. Think of a fish parked in sea grasses awaiting a new tide’s passing nourishments. Think of a possum, crawling, snoozing in a tree hollow or perhaps your roof space, connected in a trice to its arial network awaiting a night’s gambolling. Shelter’s not just refuge, it’s about being able to be protected out there and of course being able to retreat from being out there.


[Image continues to show Phil talking to the camera]


At its best, shelter enables us to interact with the world in many ways as well as to offer us a means of retreat and revival. Shelter is potentially a dynamic and an energising force in our lives and it’s potentially didactic, an educative force. Locked away, disconnected from our environment, how can we hope to be wise to all of the social opportunities around us, those chance interactions that aren’t preselected by a digital fence? How can we hear and smell and not just view nature? How can we begin to appreciate the intricacy of the planet’s web of life that sustains us? How can we take on the role of curators for the place where we live?


Can good food be from a production line chemically fabricated? In that, where’s the mind food, the connection with land, season and harvest? Can good sex, the simply physical, anonymous, out of the manual, or robotic? In that where’s the scope for caring naturally and empathetically for others, for building love? Can good shelter be an operable, sealed [01.28.06] box? In that where is the scope for social interaction and growing an environmental awareness, for truly bonding and actually curating? Architecture that understand shelter as a basic dynamic in our lives will go beyond the merely tangible of a building. It will deliver a program that energises us, gives us scope to fully engage in living mindfully. Such an architecture, even if it has air conditioning, rarely will resort to its use, rarely lock itself away in the mind numbing spaces that that brings. Rather, it will extend our environmental connection and social opportunity. It will likely reflect on place. This is an architecture that development plans and building codes should state support for on Page 1. If those things are delivered, what else comes near to importance? We have distantly considered free running dwellings to be exempt from the lowest common denominator, the air con presumptive energy efficiency prescriptions. Let’s breathe in this planet of ours. Young hearts, run free. Cheers.


[Image changes to show Anthony Wright talking to the camera and the participant bar can be seen at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Thank you to Phil Harris for providing that for us. We are over time now. I am very grateful to see that my three non-video presenters are still with me and I am going to go through some quick questions. I will end this when either Lachlan, who is out there amongst you participants, tells me I should because our participants have dropped off, or when our presenters tell me they need to leave. So please speak up folks if you have concerns and need to get to other meetings. So I’m going to, let’s try and keep our answers short too, if you don’t mind so we can get through the questions and poor Lachlan doesn’t have to compile written questions after this which would number a couple of hundred people in the crowd. It could take him a while. So the first question for Jesse. Does the heat recovery ventilation system also take care of humidity control? How is mould and condensation managed in an airtight home? Sorry, Jesse, you’re on mute.


[Image changes to show Jesse on the main screen talking to the camera]


Jesse Clarke: Yes. The answer is yes, HIV systems are designed in that they bring in outdoor air. The outdoor air is generally dryer than the indoor air. If it’s, if it’s a well-sealed building it reduces the indoor humidity. It’s a little bit different if you start going into the tropics. But, yes is the answer.


[Image changes to show Anthony Wright talking to the camera and the participant bar can be seen at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Great, thank you. We’ll stick with a simple yes for this answer about humidity thanks Jesse. Another one for you. If a 6-star NatHERS compliant house has 10-star occupants will it deliver a healthy and efficient home?


[Image changes to show Jesse talking to the camera]


Jesse Clarke: If it, is this for me?


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera]


Anthony Wright: That’s for you.


[Image changes to show Jesse talking to the camera]


Jesse Clarke: So we’ve got a NatHERS house with 10-star occupants?


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera]


Anthony Wright: Yep. 6-star house with 10-star occupants.


[Image changes to show Jesse talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Jesse Clarke: Yes, I think, I think anything that has 10-star occupants will deliver a low energy outcome, and that also talking to Phil’s presentation is exactly what he’s designing, and I don’t think he should be restricted, and his team of architects should be restricted from designing that stuff, because the people that are thinking i.e. Phil, Kylie, Peter, they thought about the design stuff that they want but they are niches at this point, they’re all niches.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Great, thank you. We’ve got one for Peter next. There’s a couple of questions in this vein Peter about how can earth building adequately respond to dense urban conditions? Examples all seem to rely on large blocks with unobstructed solar access and ventilation paths. Are there any successful examples of constricted inner suburban sites, and do you see this as being a mainstream type solution at any point?


[Image changes to show Peter talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Peter Hickson: I think it, it could be mainstream, I don’t think there’s any problem with it being mainstream and you have to do a lot more education and, you know subcontractors need to, you know, a lot more subcontractors would have to come on board but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be. The, I mean, the, earth, earth and, and solid brick like a cavity brick are very similar, in, in, in the way they are designed and, and there’s plenty of solid brick buildings in, in Sydney and other capital cities at, and Wollongong and so forth. I’ve lived in, in brick buildings in Sydney and Wollongong and been very comfortable there, I can’t see a problem with them. Not all of them had, had good solar access. A lot of them had poor solar access or, or incorrect orientation and they were still quite comfortable.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Thanks and that, that’s actually a reasonable segue to a question, a personal question about your house. How cold does it get in winter? How much are you relying on your ability to tolerate extremes of temperature?


[Image changes to show Peter talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Peter Hickson: Well, you’ve picked, you’ve picked a very cold week. Last week, I was lighting the fire at night and letting it go out. This week it’s been like 3oC overnight and 14, 15 during the day which is not ideal. So I’ve had to light the fire and keep it going a bit through the day as well but my trigger point for lighting a fire is 16.5oC, 17oC I’m quite comfortable. I don’t know whether that’s just me or whether it’s the fact that I’m surrounded by mass and still air. I don’t know but that’s my trigger point so it gives me quite comfort, quite comfortable.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: OK, thanks Peter. I, Kylie, I’ll open this one to you because I haven’t given you a question yet but this could equally well be answered by others and others may want to venture an opinion. If we, if we assume a plus 3oC world which is a pretty scary assumption, does that change anything about whether passive house, or passive solar is the appropriate way to go in Australia?


[Image changes to show Kylie talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Kylie Mills: Good question. Personally and also I do know that you can future test the modelling in passive house which is great. You can actually, I think it’s, they go to the 2030 model and you can actually future test it or, to see whether or not it would cope with a 1½ or a 3o C increase and still see whether or not your design for your fabric works. So it is possible that you can still do that.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Great, did anyone else want to offer an opinion?


[Image changes to show Peter talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Peter Hickson: Well, I’ve just done that, I don’t know whether the slide was there long enough for people to see but we looked at climate resilience out until 2090 using CSIRO climate analogues and swapping the postcodes into the NatHERS engine and it, it was working mudbrick actually improved performance until it got to the Queensland border, and then because all the, all the heating load’s disappeared completely which they did into Queensland too, but the cooling load slightly rises but we were able to counter that. In, in 2090 you could do things to the house to make it a better tropical design.


[Image changes to show Jesse talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Jesse Clarke: Yeah, so I’ll, I’ll add to that. I think the, the issue is yeah, if you go down the path of do you have an air conditioner or do you not, when it does get to 45o C outside, as it has in many parts of Australia, or even warmer, it’s not going to help you. A breeze is not going to help you. So the best thing you can do is lock up your house, keep the cool air in your house and try not to die. So, so basically, yeah, those extremes is when a highly insulated envelope helps you and when it’s goldilocks conditions outside i.e. nice and comfortable, you can open up any house and live indoor/outdoor alfresco lifestyle and that is, you know, temperature between 20 to 26oC, any house can open up.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Thanks, Jesse.


[Image changes to show Peter talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Peter Hickson: I’d like to return to about in the heatwave. I’ve got 200 tonnes of thermal mass here last heatwave, like with 40, over 40o temperatures, the maximum I’ve ever recorded in this house is 28oC and that is on the last day of a heatwave. It gradually would go from, 20 up to 22, 23, 24 and then right at the end of the heat wave it got up to 28.


[Image changes to show Jesse talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Jesse Clarke: Yep, and that makes sense. It’s like I was trying to talk about in my presentation which is a lot of thermal mass which was traditionally done before we had air conditioning, keeps your building cool. But the question then is, what’s it like in winter?


[Image changes to show Peter talking to the camera and then the screen flicks to Jesse on the main screen and then back to Peter again and the participants can be seen at the bottom of the screen]


Peter Hickson: Well it is winter now. This is the coldest part of winter.


[Image changes to show Jesse talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Jesse Clarke: Yep, so, so you’ve got to light the fire and keep it warm.


Peter Hickson: I’ve got a fire, yeah.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: I’ll, I’ll leave that question here in favour of one that I think is a fantastic question and have an opinion on myself but does it have to be a choice? Can we have both? Can we have a house that’s capable of running, free running and passive house, and is that necessarily more expensive than either of the other, either of the options on their own?


[Image changes to show Kylie talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Kylie Mills: Ooh. I’ve got an opinion on that straight away. Now, as Australians we have the second highest or largest size homes in the world. If we downsize that, we have totally affordable housing. We have to put that in perspective. Yes it is, it can be definitely affordable.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: And it’s possible to have a passive house and passive solar house?


[Image changes to show Kylie talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Kylie Mills: It would depend on how you use your thermal mass, whether or not your earth coupling is slabbed to the ground. There, there’s all sorts of different things that you can take into account. Yes, it’s possible it  just depends on how, and what, and what climate.


[Image changes to show Peter talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Peter Hickson: I just think it’s… you sort of go one way or the other. I think, if you’re, if you’re going to spend more money on sealing up airtight and putting in a mechanical ventilation machine which is $14,000 or something to buy, then you’re really stuck with that path. You don’t want to waste, waste all that money and then start opening up your windows and enjoying the climate. I think you sort of make that decision when you fit your house. This, this…


[Image changes to show Kylie talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Kylie Mills: People do that all the time with normal air conditioning systems. They go and spend $20 grand on ducted heating and cooling systems and still open the windows and doors, so the argument is not really valid.


[Image changes to show Peter talking to the camera and laughing and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Peter Hickson: Not me.


[Image changes to show Jesse talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Jesse Clarke: So, it’s, yeah it’s, I think, I agree with Peter in some respects because I think what Phil Harris is doing, if you make the decision right up front, “Am I going for a pure solar passive design and I’m going to not have air conditioning?”, then you design it that way. Otherwise you go the other way to design the building to make sure that you can efficiently contain the warm or cool air in your building. But in saying that it doesn’t mean you can’t open up the bi-folds and have an al fresco barbecue. You don’t have to use that. And if you count the number of hours in the year that you’re actually entertaining your friends on the deck, it’s not 8,760 hours a year. You’re lucky to get 20 hours a year.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Cool, thank you. I’m, I’ve got another one where I’m paraphrasing a few people as well, but we’ve got a growing population in Australia, we’ve got growing, you know, consumption issues, we’ve got climate change issues. Which of these, can we ever get, either of these approaches adequately applied to mass housing of the type we see in the suburbs at the cost we’re currently delivering that housing?


Yeah, I’ll hand over to you Jesse because you were nodding most. [01:40:40] to begin with.


[Image changes to show Jesse talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Jesse: Yeah, that’s what, that’s what my presentation was about. I was pointing to the mainstream market. That’s what the regulations are for. As Phil correctly pointed out, the lowest common denominator. They’re the people that are going to try and build the cheapest house and sell it for the most possible money. So the, in my opinion, the, the methodology that passive house is employing, there’s a lot of learnings from that, and some of the systems and technologies out of that can be, can be deployed in the mainstream market to get a better outcome than we’re currently getting in that mainstream market. But that means we can’t pretend that we’re building these hybrid, solar passive design houses, and everyone’s 10-star occupants, because every, I think we’ve got like somewhere like 500, 600 people on the call, that’s probably everyone in the country that’s actually likely to be a 10-star occupant.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Oh, Jesse I hope there’s a few more out there that couldn’t make it.  And we’re, we’re down to about 250 at this point of the presentation.


Jesse Clarke: Ah, OK.


Anthony Wright: Did anyone else want to venture in an opinion on that or?


[Image changes to show Peter talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Peter Hickson: The whole of Western Australia used to be mass building like the double brick, cavity brick construction. It is the mainstream over there and I think it’s a shame it’s not the mainstream in other places in Australia. It’s sort of, I don’t know what way but, everyone sort of out on the east coast has gone with lightweight building, probably cost issues, I’m not sure. But over there it’s cheaper to build double brick. So you know the embodied energy in brick’s a bit, a bit higher but it lasts a long time but, it could be substituted for earth. Rammed earth could be a good substitute, so. They are all built in suburbia so there’s no reason why you couldn’t build those houses in suburbia in Sydney or, they used to be all mass buildings in Sydney.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Thanks Peter. Kylie did you have anything to add. … before we get back to you Jesse?


[Image changes to show Kylie talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Kylie Mills: I, I’ve now got my fingerless gloves on because I am sitting in my double brick home that is freezing. So look, I’ll open the windows and doors, just to get fresh air in the house during winter for an hour max but oh really, there’s better ways of building. Brick veneer is actually thermally better performing than double brick.


[Image changes to show Peter talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Peter Hickson: A slab, are you on a slab or are you a timber floor?


Kylie Mills: Both, I’ve got both.


Peter Hickson: I think it’s probably better on a slab.


[Image changes to show Kylie talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Kylie Mills: I’ve insulated under that.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: And Jesse I’ll let you close out before we enter into a debate.


[Image changes to show Jesse talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Jesse Clarke: So what I was going to say is the passive house system doesn’t exclude rammed earth, mud brick, straw bale, anything. It’s quite contrary to that. It, it actually is great if you use those eco-building technologies and Pro Clima was born out of the eco-building movement in Germany. And in the eco construction industry you use natural material, wood fibre insulation, timber, cellulose fibre. All those materials, one of the fundamental problems is, if they get wet or damp for too long, they start to go mouldy and eventually they rot. And that’s why Pro Clima refused to manage the water, moisture in the building structure. Whether that’s a passive house or whether it’s a just a stock standard build it doesn’t matter. But the point is, the rammed earth, the mudbrick side is where we came from. That’s, that’s our bones.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Thanks Jesse. Kylie I’ve got a couple of questions for you. I’ll roll a couple of slightly dissimilar questions into one and say, could you provide some comment on, you know, evidence around how passive house performs in the wet tropics? And on top of that how do you feel about Jesse’s claim that passive house is independent from orientation?


[Image changes to show Kylie talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Kylie Mills: Ooh. The claim I would pretty much agree with because I’ve had a number of situations where designing out issues, you can design completely passive solar, which I was doing and then I moved to suburbia in Sydney where quite built up and then my clients were similar situations. There is nothing stopping those breezes from being changed from your neighbour’s building a two storey building next to you. There’s nothing about other buildings and structures and I’ve got a massive hospital being built up near me at the moment and that’s changing how the air moves. And if I didn’t have this double brick house I would want a passive house. I still want a passive house because then I wouldn’t have to worry about the orientation, I could still get sunlight in but I can use it to my advantage rather than sort of, you know, it’s about feeling comfortable and well-being that, that healthy mindset and things like that, rather than, sort of just looking at all of that, and also you’ve got privacy issues in suburbs. And the other part of your question, now I’ve got to go back to it. The beginning part…


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: The tropics.


[Image changes to show Kylie talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Kylie Mills: The tropics, look as far as worldwide, there are a number of buildings that have been built in the tropics. So there is a factory in Sri Lanka that’s been built to passive house standard, works perfectly. And there’s one in Dubai, there’s some in Mexico, there’s some in Spain, and there’s a variety happening around the world. So it is, whilst it’s been born out of the cooler climate it is actually becoming more popular in the warmer climate because there’s advantages of using it in both places. Like, it’s just, it makes perfect sense. It’s building science.


[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the participant bar at the bottom of the screen]


Anthony Wright: Great, thank you. I might end the questions there. We’re coming up on 2.30pm which is half an hour longer than we meant to go. Thank you for hanging around, speakers. I really do appreciate you sharing your expertise with our audience. We got quite a lot of questions, some of which are a bit technical. I’ve tried to roll them up as much as I can. If anyone’s got specific questions, I know some of the technical questions will be answered in the document Kylie linked to in her presentation, and there’s other resources linked in our presenters’ presentations. We will make all of this available with our presenters’ permission after the webinar, but please give us a little bit of time.


As we work for government, we are required not to release them until we have done all of the transcripts and so on for accessibility purposes. So you have to wait while we have transcripts typed of what has been a very long and interesting presentation. I apologise in particular for those of you that are keen to get hold of Peter’s slides. I know there are a lot of people that didn’t quite follow some of those slides as we were lurching about a little bit but we will get them to you as early as we possibly can. Thanks very much to my support crew, Lachlan and Eric out there. Thanks to the presenters and we will be in touch about the next webinar as soon as we have it organised. Thanks everyone.


[Image shows Anthony smiling at the camera]



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