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Residents are preparing to move into the first residential development in Australia to achieve Passivehaus Plus certification.

The development at Life in Point Cook, Victoria, has met the stringent criteria for one of the world’s most progressive sustainable building benchmarks.

Frasers Property is the first major developer in Australia to get behind the Passivehaus movement – a high performance and sustainable building standard which originated in Germany and is already well-established in Europe.

Passivehaus certified buildings are designed to achieve outstanding energy efficiency through features such as double (or triple)-glazed windows, continuous thermal insulation (as appropriate to the local climate) and airtight measures to reduce air leakage.

These homes have better regulated temperature control and drastically reduced heating and cooling costs.

The goal is to reduce energy use while improving air quality and comfort levels.

The site will also benefit from 18 new solar panels kindly donated and installed by GI Energy.

The solar panel system will utilise the latest shingled cell technology, producing on average 24kWhs of energy per day across the seasons, reinforcing the high level of sustainability of the home.

With the certification of this pilot project, Frasers Property becomes the first volume developer to explore Passive House design and construction techniques in standard Australian home design.

The developer’s general manager of development in Victoria, Sarah Bloom, said there are currently around 40 individual Passivehaus certified buildings in Australia, but this pilot is a first for a large-scale developer.

“Now we’ve executed the application of Passivehaus design and construction techniques, we can look at influencing our systems and supply chains to provide a more energy efficient, sustainable standard to all our customers,” she said.

“Some of the materials used in the construction are extremely specialised, like the double-glazed windows which had to be imported from Germany. Some of the design elements are intricately detailed, such as the thicker walls and the design interplay necessary to ensure they meet the floors and ceilings in a way for the house not to bleed heat in winter or lose its cool in summer.

“The key to making Passivehaus homes available more broadly will be to improve supply chains for such products and techniques. To be able to access expertise locally and cost-effectively, rather than having to source them from overseas.

“If we can create these specialised products and source this expertise locally in a cost-effective way, we can work toward making these technologies part of standard home design in Australia.”

Passivehaus at Life, Point Cook weas built by Creation Homes.

The company’s project manager, Greg Pollard, said it was a challenging but rewarding build.

“It has been one of our most rewarding builds given the additional time, effort and education that went in to achieving such stringent constraints around heat retention and air tightness,” he said.

Australian Passive House Association CEO, Paul Wall, said consumers are becoming acutely aware of the positive effects on their health and wellbeing of a good indoor environment.

“This project represents world’s best practice, delivered in an Australian context, using local climate data and construction techniques, expertly delivered by the Frasers Property team,” Wall said.

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