Transcript from the Buildher Podcast 


How long is a piece of string?

Let’s say it really depends on who you talk to in the industry and where you’re building.

For instance, if you build in Sydney, that’s much more expensive than building in Victoria. Again, if you’re in a city, it’s a different thing than building countryside or Western Australia, Adelaide is different again.

In Melbourne, most people or builders would say you need at least between $4,000 or $4,500 per square meter to do a Passive House.

Some people even say you can’t build it for less than $5,000.

Having said that, we have a few projects currently sitting between 3,200 to 3,500 per square meter. But what we find is that if the houses get a little bit larger, then the square meter price would reduce. Because there are some one-off costs that cost a bit more.

I would say, as a generic rule, if you have a typical four-bedroom house or something like that with two living areas or extra study, then probably on the safe side, you would be somewhere between $700,000 and $900,000. Just to give a real rough budget.

We have a few projects that are aiming for less, but then these homes need to be quite compact or where people do owner-builder.

We also have quite a few projects, where we help the clients come up with a really high energy-efficient shell, either fully or semi prefabricated. Where the builder gets the house to lockup stage and then the clients take over in order to save money.

But it’s definitely not an easy journey to build a passive house, or a custom designed home for that matter, on a tight budget.

There’s a lot of things involved in that.

I’m a strong believer that if you have enough money to build a custom designed home: You DO have enough money to build a highly energy efficient home. Even a Passive House.

Often, when building a home, it’s the architectural features that do cost a lot of money.

 When you build a house on a budget, even more so if you are aiming for a passive house, you have to pick and choose your features. Not everything in your house can be custom built and bespoke.

This does not mean the house won’t be beautiful and look custom designed. Rather the opposite.

If you want to know more about why we love the Passive House standard, or if you wish to explore if Passive House standard is right for you, please get in touch.

Listen to full podcast here: