Building performance simulation tools such as the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) can be invaluable for improving energy-efficiency in housing design. However, achieving improved energy performance is also a sociotechnical issue, and how this is dealt with during the architectural design process seems less well studied. This collaborative design research project for a low-energy prefab house with an industry partner, a manufacturer of Structural Insulated Panels (SIP), is used as a case study to show that it is possible to achieve high energy performance while addressing specific socio-technical concerns within an Australian volume homebuilding market. A key issue that emerged in this project was the perceived tension between passive design expectations in Australia and those promoted through the Passive House software tool.
- Passive house