• listen to your requirements and visions
  • I spend time to understand you, the site, the budget, time-frames, project restraints and your aspirations
  • respond using a range of technical and design skills 
  • To create & develop a design solution
  • And help you realise your vision
Passive House Principals
Passive Solar Design
Smart Architectural Design

Lets be smart, lets not change what we are doing, but look at how we are doing it

Passive House Principals

The 5 Basic Principles of Passive House Design are:

They are important for a healthy comfortable home. They all work together but each has an important role.


An airtight building stops heat and moisture from escaping from the interior envelopment through gaps in the construction. The benefit is twofold. Firstly it stops useful heat from escaping and secondly it stops moisture from moving into the construction. Moisture in construction leads to rot and mould.

Efficient Thermal Envelope

An efficient thermal envelope serves two purposes. Firstly it reduces the amount of heat lost during periods where we are actively heating our spaces, making our power bills lower. Secondly, it also reduces the effect of the suns heat that transfers through the building envelope, keeping our homes cooler in summer.

Minimal Thermal Bridging

Thermal bridging is the term used for weak spots in the building’s thermal envelope. By reducing the thermal bridging by designing out weak spots, we plug the leaks in the construction that transfer heat, both in warm and cold seasons simply by design.

Quality Windows

Windows and doors are the weakest area of the thermal envelope. But high-quality windows that are airtight and reduce the amount of heat transferred goes along way to improving efficiency. Quality windows assist in reducing wet windows during the cold season by using well insulated glass units.

Secondly, windows can offer free solar gains, so careful consideration to orientation, size and design contribute to an efficient healthy home. Shading to windows too is instrumental in reducing overheating in summer and autumn, reducing the need for active cooling.

Heat Recovery Ventilation

As moisture in airtight homes is an issue, ventilation is key to removing moist air from our homes and replacing it with dry air. Heat recovery ventilation allows for the heat transfer but not the moisture transfer of air, retaining up to 90% of the existing heat in a home and reducing the need to provide additional heating. Similarly, this system can be used in summer to create a comfortable indoor cool space.

These principals work together in balance so that a home is comfortable and healthy but also efficient. Its about getting it right from the start.

Let’s be smart about this. It’s not about what we are doing, but how we are doing it that needs to change.


Call Sharon for a chat and a coffee to see how Smart Living Spaces can be of service to you.

Offsite NZ Member    Licenced Building Practitioner    New Zealand Green Building Council Passive Designer Homestar Designer
Duotone Design