Passive prefab: how can existing prefab systems be adapted to meet Passive House requirements?

  • YEAR
    Parker, Hannah
    Marriage, Guy
    2022 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


New Zealand housing faces a health and affordability crisis. Our existing housing stock is cold, draughty, and prone to dampness and mould. New houses are being built far below similar climate standards worldwide, and recent New Zealand Building Code Clause H1 amendments do not increase our standards to those comparable climate standards. In addition, current building practices are prone to delays, cost increases, and defects. Given these issues, this paper asks how Passive House standards can be applied to existing prefabrication systems to provide healthy and affordable housing? The research implemented an action research methodology incorporating the adaptation of an existing prefabrication system to Passive House standards. Various existing prefabrication methods were evaluated and the most applicable to the research was selected for further development. The prefabrication system selected was refined through a series of prototypes utilising the plan-design-test-evaluate action research cycle to incorporate lessons from each earlier test. The exploration into increasing an existing prefabrication system to Passive House standard provides a high-performance housing solution utilising current technologies. The panelised system is easily transportable to most sites and is simple to erect, maximising the number of projects which could use it. When constructed, the system meets the rigorous Passive House standards around New Zealand without large-scale changes in the design phase reducing design time and complexity. This research can show that by adapting current successful systems to Passive House standards, the health and affordability of housing can be increased throughout New Zealand.

Keywords: Prefabrication; Passive House; healthy housing; affordable housing.


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