While you may not have heard much about it, passive house is a standard of building on the rise in Australia – while you wouldn’t have found a single certified passive house in 2012, today there are over 200 across the country. This relatively new building concept focuses on using select materials, orientation and clever design optimisation to maximise carbon efficiency and provide a comfortable lifestyle.
But how much does it cost to build a passive house and why should you be interested? Read on for insights from the experts at iConstruct.
Passive homes are still in their infancy in Australia
There isn’t much precedent for passive house building in Australia as of yet and as a result it’s difficult to estimate how much they cost to build. While some sources suggest estimates range between $3500-$4500 per square metre, we do know, from inside sources, of some being built for around $2000 per square metre at present.
The truth is that there is so little data available on build costs that some builders are sceptical about giving fixed prices. In fact, many builders are confused by the simplicity of the design, having become used to architecturally ornate residences with custom considerations.
If you are willing focus on the building’s efficiency rather than its materialistic fixtures, fittings and gadgets, then a passive house is very much within reach of most budgets. At iConstruct, we know from experience that a well-built passive house has the potential to save you big bucks in the long run while offering a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle in the process.
Regular houses are significantly less efficient
The main argument for a passive house being cheaper than a regular home boils down to one word – efficiency. While much of the scepticism regarding building a passive house may revolve around design and availability of materials, this is outweighed by their ability to save you an enormous amount of money on bills.
Passive houses are designed to include light-filled spaces and feature an orientation that makes the most of the natural elements throughout the year. Combined with a ‘building envelope’ that is completely airtight, it goes way above and beyond the performance of a ‘traditionally’ built house in Australia.
The result of an airtight building envelope? Savings of up to 90% on regular heating and cooling bills, not to mention excellent air quality via a heat recovery (HR) ventilation system. Many passive houses eliminate heating costs altogether by employing solar heating panels during the winter months. Did we mention that they’ll also drastically reduce your carbon footprint? When it comes to paying the bills, building a passive house will significantly lighten the load.
Materials are becoming more readily available
While they may not be readily available at your local hardware store, finding the appropriate materials locally is becoming easier each day. As passive house grows in popularity as a standard in Australia, there are an increasing number of certified suppliers who work specifically with passive house designers and builders.
Building a passive house is about reforming the practices and materials used to promote sustainability and carbon-free living. Even regular concrete is growing in popularity as a long-life material known for its thermal qualities that fits within the sustainable-build ideology of passive homes. Building a passive house is also becoming cheaper as the concept grows in popularity and people no longer need to rely on expensive import costs.
Building a passive house requires an experienced builder
iConstruct is a proud member of the Australian Passive House Association, and possess the expertise required to plan and build a passive house suited to your lifestyle and budget. We understand the design principles that make building a passive home such an energy-efficient and financially savvy choice – get in touch to discuss how a passive house could benefit you!