Sustainability Summit

Passive designs, Passive houses and multi-residential builds

The Australian climate requires that homes be designed or modified to ensure that the occupants remain thermally comfortable with minimal auxiliary heating or cooling in the climate where they are built. So does passive design fit into the eight climate zones in Australia and how is this design managed by the National Construction Code (NCC)? And while the northern European-derived passive house design is not always the best solution for Australia’s climate, do we need to instead concentrate on vernacular design and focus more on local needs, local materials, and local traditions and how does Australia’s growing love of high-rise apartments fit into all this? Do we need an Australian version of passive house design and what would that look like?


At the end of this panel, attendees will be able to:

  • Name at least three types of passive designs used in Australia.
  • List all 8 climate zones in Australia that affect passive design.
  • Show how passive design and passive houses can help with livability and sustainability.
  • What are some things that the NCC covers in terms of multi-residential builds that could be considered as being like passive design?


AACA Competency Standards related to this session:
4.7 Coordination and integration of appropriate environmental systems, including for thermal comfort, lighting and acoustics.


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Download the CPD Answer Sheet for the Summit: CLICK HERE

Please note you are required to attend the full Summit program, and hour of each session to redeem your 5 formal AIA Refuel points.

Session Information

View the 2023 Sustainability Summit on demand.


Suzanne Toumbourou

ACOR (The Australian Council of Recycling)


Chris Barnett

Habitech Systems


David Kaunitz

Kaunitz Yeung


Kylie Mills

BluKube Architecture


David Baggs

Global Greentag


Jean Graham

Winter Architecture


Melissa Herrmann

Fairview Architectural