Not Just Passive House Designers!
It’s no secret, Fabric First love Passivhaus (or Passive House as we call it locally).
While our Passive House Certified Designers can take clients through the Passive House design process, we are a practical bunch and can help you work through more than a feasibility or design modelling exercise (PHPP).
From concept design all the way through to construction completion, we have the knowledge, contacts and construction experience to plan, design, procurement, build and help certify your projects. Put simply, we can take your project from a sketch all the way through to handing over the keys!
32 Rutland Avenue, Mt Eliza
Nestled between Ranelagh Beach and Mount Eliza village, 32 Rutland Avenue is a modern, zero energy, high-performance single-storey 4-bedroom family home excelling in design, quality and energy-efficiency.
The quietness of 32 Rutland Avenue, its focus on energy efficiency, quality, and exemplary construction, renders it as a very rare opportunity. As one of only a handful of projects nationally, 32 Rutland Avenue has been built to the Passivhaus Construction Standard with all energy being supplied by a 6.3 kW solar panel system. Reducing annual energy bills to zero, 32 Rutland Avenue is an ultra-healthy and comfortable home, being continuously supplied with filtered fresh air all year round. Internal temperatures are constantly maintained between 20 - 25 degrees.
From the street, the contrast between the warmth of Victoria Ash on the double garage and the sleekness of the black steel cladding makes a modern and refined statement.
Set over one level, the front of the home is the parents' wing, encompassing a master bedroom, ensuite shower and bath and second living space with views of the bay, ideal for a home office, playroom or home cinema.
As you step down into the 80m² of open plan living, the kitchen, dining and living area reveal both a beautiful natural lit space and a generous cathedral truss featured ceiling height peaking at nearly 5 metres.
The open plan kitchen features stone, high-quality energy-efficient appliances, including a Bosch pyrolitic double oven and a Bosch induction plate with integrated ventilation system on the kitchen island. A walk-in butler's pantry provides further storage and practical workspace.
From the heart of this space, access to a north-facing Victoria Ash deck provides light and connection to the outside via triple-glazed, high-performance glazing and double-glazed Velux skylights. Walking out on the deck reveals a private, secure and low maintenance garden, with a glimpse of the bay while being protected from the sun by a large pergola.
The back of 32 Rutland features three double bedrooms with build-in-robe, a large main bathroom and a mud/ laundry room with quick access to the back garden.
Mt Eliza's Zero Energy, Healthy Home
With relatively large amounts of glazing for a Passivhaus home, 32 Rutland Avenue calls for the best glazing we can find.
As such, we are pushing the boundaries for comfort and energy efficiency by using fully thermally broken triple glazed windows.
A combination of fixed, tilt and turn and lift and slide glazing systems will provide both high thermal performance but also ventilation as required.
In addition, external shading will be designed to avoid overheating, a common challenge in all high-performance homes across Australia.
Insulation (walls, roof and floors)
Typically, insulation levels are very low in Australia Class 1 dwellings. It goes without saying, for those considering quality and durability, combined with comfort and energy efficiency, insulation is an absolute must.
We are pushing the boundaries, providing 400 mm of fully insulated roof trusses using a product called Jet Stream MAX, a high-performance non-combustible glass wool made from 80% post-consumer recycled glass and manufactured by Knauf Insulation. By blowing in Jet Stream MAX into the roof, we will be filling all potential gaps to provide a continuous structure approximately twice the thermal performance of a typical Class 1 dwelling.
As for the walls, they will go far beyond the typical, being at least 235 mm thick in total and approximately twice the thermal performance of a typical Class 1 dwelling. Walls are of two key wall types, one will have 190 mm of insulation while the other will have 140 mm, utilising the best of the best from Knauf’s Earthwool® external wall products.
In the floors, we have insulated using Earthwool® FloorShield underfloor batts, manufactured from durable silicone coated glasswool and faced with an ECOSE® glass veil, providing protection from air movement under the floor.
Condensation is a large issue in new homes, as energy efficient regulations slowly improve.
In order to allow the roof and wall system to transfer vapour from the inside of 32 Rutland Avenue while providing a full moisture protection layer, special consideration of detailing has been undertaken. Check out some of the videos below.
On the roof, we have opted for Pro Clima’s Mento 5000, tapped with Pro Clima’s Tescon Extora flashing tape. While on the walls, we are using a Passivhaus classic, the Pro Clima Solitex Extasana.
Both products provide the benefit of the great moisture protection from the outside while allowing vapour to transfer through the structure from moisture generated through occupants, such as cooking or showers.
Airtight Building Envelope
Passivhaus or not, all high-performance homes must provide high levels of airtightness through a dedicated design and construction methodology. One of the reasons why a NatHERS energy rating is a meaningless representation of performance or comfort.
We have chosen a super smart technology called Intello Plus by Pro Clima, an intelligent air barrier that will be continuously wrapped on the inside of the building envelope.
By adopting a meticulous level of detail in construction, 32 Rutland Avenue will be 25 times more airtight than a typical Class 1 dwelling.
Ventilation + Air-conditioning
One the most fundamental applications of high-performance buildings are there ability to provide fresh air without increasing the requirement for heating and cooling.
We will be adopting a balanced so-called heat recovery ventilation system or HRV. Using an HRV product by Zender, we will be providing continuous ultra energy-efficient ventilation that is preheated or pre-cooled, helping the building stay between 20 – 25 °C all year, without additional heating or cooling.
Unusual for new homes, 32 Rutland Avenue will be providing minimum air-conditioning as a testament to its design. As an ultra energy-efficient home, only a single air-conditioning unit is required to cool the entire building during heatwaves or cold spells.