David Dimovski reveals plans to build 'passive house' in NSW's Illawarra

HOUSING: David Dimovski is undertaking a 'passive house' project on a block of land at Dunmore. Picture: Anna Warr
HOUSING: David Dimovski is undertaking a 'passive house' project on a block of land at Dunmore. Picture: Anna Warr

While the 'passive house' approach to home design may be unfamiliar to many, there are clear benefits, says David Dimovski.

"There's the health aspects of living in these homes," he said. "The constant supply of fresh air for the kids is paramount for us.

"And you also get the benefits of being 90 per cent more efficient than a standard build."

Passivhaus, which translates as 'passive house', is a housing performance standard conceived in Germany in the late 1980s.

Passive house design principles are met via a specific criteria; a series of minimum performance requirements to achieve certification.

Mr Dimovski, 34, a draughtsman and certified passive house designer, based in NSW's Illawarra, and wife Michelle bought a 463sqm block of land at Dunmore last year to build their passive house project.

Mr Dimovski has designed the project, and will be building it.

"We bought that block because it's very typical of what's being sold in the area," he said.

"We aimed to put a four-bedroom house on there, so we can accommodate a family of four."

According to the Australian Passive House Association, the passive house approach is based around five key elements - thermal insulation, high-performance windows and doors, eliminating thermal bridges, air-tightness and heat recovery ventilation.

It utilises a combination of high-performance glazing, insulation and an airtight building envelope to regulate a home's internal temperature without relying on artificial heating or cooling.

The Mercuryhas profiled other passive house projects within the Illawarra in the past, and Mr Dimovski believed the approach's popularity was growing.

"The aim of the project is to show people that it's achievable to many people; it's not just a big expensive thing that looks like a science project," he said.

There are a few standards of passive house design, with the Dimovskis building theirs according to the 'passive house plus' category.

This certification category is designed to recognise the production of on-site renewable energy, such as solar.

An artist's impression of the Dunmore project.

An artist's impression of the Dunmore project.

Mr Dimovski estimated this approach would cost between five and eight per cent more than a standard build, but this would be off-set in the long-term by the home's energy-efficiency.

"It should be probably the most energy-efficient house in the Illawarra, or at least in the top two," Mr Dimovski said of their project.

It will be their family home, as well as a show home for his business, Davidbelle Design.

Construction is expected to begin in July, with the project due to be completed within about a year.

This story 'Ninety per cent more efficient than a standard build': passive house plans underway first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.