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  • Writer's pictureTeam at Redhawk

Passive House NZ - Warm, Dry Homes

What is Passive House? Passive House is a fabric-first approach to achieving healthy and comfortable buildings. A clearly defined standard and a quality management system that produces buildings that deliver on all aspects of occupant well-being while consuming very little energy.


Passive house principles are used widely throughout Europe and Northern America. It is based on 7 key principles.

  1. Building orientation & shading Utilising the sun to heat your home and shade to cool your home depending on the time of day.

  2. Building shape Minimising the surface of your home exposed to the elements, thereby reducing heat loss.

  3. Insulation & thermal bridges Keeping the cold out and the heat in by reducing the contact points between your home and the outside cold.

  4. Windows & doors Using the smart design of new window technology to significantly reduce where most of the heat is lost.

  5. Airtightness Blocking out the draughts and preventing it from penetrating your cozy home.

  6. Ventilation One of the most important aspects to keeping your home dry inside to promote a healthy atmosphere, free of fungal or mould growth.

  7. Heating Reducing reliance on heating by focusing on the 6 items above to keep your energy bills down.

How is this relevant to Redhawk? Aligning with our ethos and passion, keeping up to date with the latest innovations, designs and promoting warmer, dryer homes for kiwis. We are PHINZ (Passive House Institute NZ) members. Due to the new-ish concept, and old-ish NZ design methods, they regularly conflict. Our job as engineers can help navigate the Building Code to achieve both a compliant solution AND passive house design principles.


Traditional structural engineering conflicts with some of these principles such as having gaps! This is where we come in! We help navigate the NZ building code whilst still keeping focus on the passive house.


Get in touch today if you want to work with us - we can provide full structural designs to assist your builder and architect for Building Consent from conception through to construction completion.

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