granny flats

Premier Homes and Granny Flats have always held a significant interest in the development of technologies and methods within the building industry that work towards creating a more sustainable future.

By adopting some of these methods, as well as up-skilling our tradespeople and expanding our knowledge and understanding of how to reduce our carbon footprint, we have been steadily working towards becoming a more environmentally aware company.

One development in particular will see our company take on a new and exciting chapter in our history and evolution. We are proud to announce that the construction of our very first Passive House is underway in our Bayswater North display village.

Aptly named “Genesis”, this new design marks the beginning of Premier Homes’ journey into the sustainable housing movement.

The new floorplan for our latest display home “Genesis”

Passive House refers to a high standard of energy efficiency in a building that significantly reduces its’ carbon footprint. Passive House takes a fabric first approach to building. This means it focuses on maximising the performance of the materials and methods used during construction as a way of reducing the carbon footprint and boosting the houses’ energy efficiency, before considering the use of mechanical or electrical building service systems.

Not only does building homes with a smaller carbon footprint have less negative impact on the environment, but it also means a significant reduction in the cost of running the home. With Passive House standards in energy efficiency being so high, the need to heat and/or cool the home is significantly reduced, thus reducing the amount of money spent on electricity and gas.

In addition to the ecological and financial benefits of living in a Passive House, are the health benefits. The use of a heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) ensures that the air in a Passive House is cleaner and fresher than in a standard house. The HRV continuously brings fresh air into the home, while simultaneously exhausting old, stale air. The air coming into the Passive Home is filtered through an air filter, removing pollens and other particles, while also recovering 90% of the heat. The whole system runs on just 12 watts of electricity. The air in a Passive House is exchanged with fresh, filtered air nine times a day, making the internal air quality far superior to a standard home. This makes a Passive House a fantastic option for those who suffer from respiratory issues, like asthma, as well as other diseases such as fibromyalgia. The HRV system also massively reduces and eliminates airborne pollutants from within the home, as well as excess moisture, helping to prevent molds and mildews from occurring. Using the HRV system ensures a healthy home with a high standard of air quality, which can greatly improve the quality of life for those affected with respiratory issues and it can also significantly reduce the risk of individuals developing health issues, which can occur after long exposure to homes with harmful air pollutants and poor air quality.       

The concept of the Passive House standard began in 1988 during conversation between educators Bo Adamson of Lund University Sweden and Wolfgang Feist from the Institute for Housing and the Environment in Germany. Both men became noteworthy figures in the industry, with Feist going on to found the Passivhaus Institut in Germany, which developed the standardization system by which all Passive House constructions must comply. While the pair made significant progress in setting the standards for the Passive House concept, they did not pioneer the concept of building highly energy efficient homes. Builders in North America sought to build very highly energy efficient homes during the 1970’s, and a considerable amount of their research and experience was used to create the early incarnations of the Passive Houses we know today.

Despite being three decades on from the birth of the Passive House standard, its’ implementation has been slow-moving beyond Germany, Sweden and to an extent, the U.S; where Passive House begun to gain some traction in the early 2000’s with architect Katrin Klingenberg , who reintroduced the modified Passive House standards after studying architecture in Berlin.

While there are some fantastic examples of the Passive House concept here in Australia, we at Premier Homes are proud to become the first building company in Australia to have a Passive House display home. We understand that people might not have a strong understanding of what a Passive House is, or how it differs to the usual standard of modern homes. We aim to bring more awareness to Passive Houses through the opportunity to come in and view one. We believe that being able to experience first-hand the differences and similarities between a standard home and one built to the Passive House standards will help to educate people on the benefits of building a Passive House home.

We will provide regular up-dates on the progress of this exciting new venture, and we hope that you all are as excited to see the finished product as we are.