End of November I did a 2 weeks course to become a Passive House Designer. And while we were talking about all those amazing techniques to make your homes perform really well and barely needing any additional heating or cooling. It got me thinking why the building industry is so reluctant to change the way they are building…
We humans are a funny species. On the one hand we are all really different and diverse. With all our different cultures and believes. Some of us claiming to be very unique and special, and some thinking they might even be better or wiser than others…
But on the other hand, we are all very much the same. Or most of us humans are. In that aspect, that we don’t like change or the unknown. We like to stay in our comfort zone. No matter which part of our life. We like to keep/stuck with the things we know. Starting from the little things: like always getting our coffee from the same place. Or always ordering the same dish when going to a certain restaurant for instance.
We stay in relationships or jobs, even if we aren’t that happy. Because we are too afraid to step out of our comfort zone and try something new. Of course, there are always some people that are more adventurous. The ones that like to try out new restaurants and things all the time. But I think the majority of us humans like to stay within their comfort zone. Me included. Although I try to push myself sometimes to venture out into the unknown. Only by doing that you can grow…
Anyhow, the same principles can be applied to the way homes are build here in Australia and how people live. Pretty much everyone I know lives in cold and draughty homes. Most people complain about their horrendous energy bills. But yet, most people don’t question this situation. In order to save on energy bills they barely run the heater in winter and are used to wearing thick winter clothes internally. Or they just put up with the high heating bills. Because every one else is doing the same.
For me personally this is unimaginable. Probably because I grew up differently. I know how good it feels to live in a well performing comfortable home.
A similar comfort zone thing is happening within the building industry. Although the construction industry and techniques have improved significantly over the last 30-50 years. Most homes here in Australia are still getting build the same way they have been 50 years ago. Yes, of course, nowadays they are adding a bit more insulation than before. But the techniques are still the same, the same factors are overlooked, and the majority of the construction industry is hesitant of change.
They keep doing it the standard way, like they’ve always done it. Many not understanding the implications of draught sealing and thermal bridges. Building homes that are 6 stars on paper, just to get a tick for the building permit. But sadly, they are not considering the actual performance of the homes. It’s often just all about the looks and getting a building permit.
The aim should not be to reach a certain star rating. The aim is to build a beautiful house that creates thermal comfort. A home in which you and your family can feel at ease. Where you don’t have to wear a coat inside. Where your little baby can crawl on the floor and you don’t have to be worried that your little one could get sick, because the flooring is too cold. A place where you can live in peace with minimal energy bills and being less dependant or scared from rising energy costs.
Building an energy efficient home that gives you all that isn’t that hard. It’s just a matter of being open and adapting construction techniques that have been used overseas for many, many years. And getting a builder on board who is open to actually build according to those plans and techniques.
If you want to know more about how to create thermal comfort in your home or if you are interested to learn more about the Passive House (Passive Haus) standards please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Would love to tell you more about it.