Cambridge Passive House - Architype | ArchiPro

Cambridge Passive House

This recently certified passive house project was designed and built for a couple relocating to the Cambridge from Auckland. They wanted to build a comfortable, energy efficient house that would suit their needs as they aged.

The building is located on a corner section of a relatively busy street in central Cambridge. The site is a long narrow triangle which runs parallel to the road to the south. The district plan rules required a large setback from the road which meant that almost the entire site could not be built on as of right. Architype’s response was to locate the building parallel to the southern street boundary, partly within the street setback. This created a strong edge to the street and opened up space to the north for private outdoor living. By layering up the building and landscaping using strong horizontal elements the visual impact of the house on the street was minimized. The wide eaves also provide excellent shading from high summer sun and reduce the frequency of overheating. From a planning point of view the program for the house is relatively straight forward. The bottom level of the house contains the master bedroom and all spaces required for the couple’s day to day needs. The upper level contains 3 guest bedrooms for visiting family & friends.

This was Architype’s first passive house project in the North Island and given the relatively mild climate in the Waikato they wanted to try to stick to a simple recipe to achieve the PH standard. In most of Architype’s South Island projects, triple glazing and relatively complicated wall and floor constructions are required. Here they had the opportunity to keep things quite simple. After modelling various options, they found that they could achieve the PH standard with simple structural insulated wall panels, good quality European timber framed windows with double glazing, and a simple albeit carefully modelled insulated floor slab.

Due to the importance of building services, mechanical ventilation and airtightness in passive houses, the building was designed from the outset with the achieving high levels of airtightness and facilitate the distribution of building services. The layout, structure, services and aesthetics of the building work tightly together to create a simple yet extremely high performance building which requires little or no heating to maintain indoor temps of 20-25C all year round.

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