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Jon is a director of eHaus. He has been involved in designing and building the passive house way for over 10 years now with eHaus. He shares his experience of living in a passive house.
The comparison of living in an old, cold villa vs a certified passive house
I think my family’s story is typical of many of us here in Aotearoa that have experienced raising families in a cold home; reliant on a wood burner for the main living area and then struggled to heat the rest of the house. This became a huge worry when our babies came along and keeping their rooms warm? We did our best but despite our efforts our first child developed respiratory issues and suffered from asthma because of our cold Villa. There is no question that our homes are linked to our health, and this is even more so when thinking about our more vulnerable young and old. For my family the contrast when we moved to the eHaus was so radical and had such a positive impact on our way of life and of course our son. Basically, the breathing issues that are associated with asthma disappeared, and the inhaler was forgotten about and put away in a drawer.
How do you create a healthy living environment?
There are many contributing factors that create a healthy living environment but the most crucial are the temperature and air quality. This is well documented with the perfect temperature range being between 20 - 25C and a clean dry supply of fresh that is fully exchanged every 3 hours. It is absolutely no coincidence that these are locked in as key deliverables for every eHaus that we design and build.
How does a certified passive house perform?
We have worked with Auckland University to monitor houses that we have built, and the book Positive Energy Home includes performance data from an eHaus. My own home is using a sophisticated monitoring device that captures the Temperature, Relative Humidity, CO2, TVOC, PM2.5, CO, NO2 and Ozone. Here is a snapshot showing you the figures taken on September 10th 2021.
As you can see all the figures are in green and the overall summary is “Air Quality is great. All parameters are within optimal range, enjoy clean air and keep up the good work”.
The reality is, when living in an eHaus there is no work to do apart from changing the filters on the MHRV once a year, yes it’s that simple!
Asthma & Respiratory Foundation New Zealand
One in seven children, and one in eight adults have asthma in New Zealand, with unhealthy housing conditions a key contributor to these statistics. These statistics can't be ignored.
Constructing the healthiest, energy efficient homes is our goal, and the work the Asthma & Respiratory Foundation does is a perfect fit for eHaus. Which is why we are proud to be partnering with them and offering some solutions for the respiratory health of New Zealanders.