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This is number 33 on our list of high-performance homes and our first house to be certified with the Passive House Institute in Germany.

This home has a fully insulated MAXRaft slab, which needed another 60mm layer of XPS insulation under the polystyrene to achieve the certification criteria. To support to its brick cladding, it also has a separate, thermally broken footing. The use of SIP panels makes this home very stiff and airtight, with the blower door test coming in at 0.4 air changes per hour at 50pa, which also helped with certification. 

We really enjoyed working with Mark and Fenton at Fairfield Construction. There was a real collaborative approach once the build got under way. We must also mention the Procore Document Management system that Fairfield Construction use. It was special to be able to follow the project along from a distance, almost in real time. 

This is a build team that really believe in high performance, passive, healthy homes, and it shines brightly in their work as the below article testifies.

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We were involved in this house from its inception and provided the data for choosing NZSIP as the preferred Structural Insulated Panel Supplier.

The recent blower door test was a pleasing 0.46 air changes per hour at 50 pascals. We put this back into our PHPP energy model and realised that we were getting pretty close to the Passive House Institute Low Energy Building Standard, (subject to certification). Either a better final blower door test or insulating the service cavities would likely be enough to meet this standard. (see graph)

However, the client is very happy with the house and its current performance, so has decided against certification. 

The house is progressing nicely as you can see from these recent photos.

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This is house number 19 on our high-performance project list. It’s common not to mention the engineer in architectural and construction sectors as we’re seen as a necessary evil, rather than a key part of the project team.

However, consider this, without the engineer designed, raised and retained thermally broken MAXRaft foundations, where would Tania and Hayden’s house be now? 

What would the performance levels be like with the steel beam poking through the thermal envelope?
eHaus is the one builder in the country that build healthy homes in volume. This is to be applauded.

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Dunstan and Abi, are a young couple with two young children and one on the way. They are wanting to build an off grid healthy home in Central Otago at an altitude of 330m above sea level.

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Anna & Paul are an inspirational couple with a super message to others building a high performance healthy home.
See the work-in-progress VIDEOS...

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Ir-Razzett Home, Napier

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Stacey's Home, Paraparaumu

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Manchester Street, Super Reno

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Auckland 24th May 2021

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Stark Bros, Lyttelton

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Woodville Street, Christchurch

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NZSIP Smart70 Install Workshop Thursday 29th April - Sunday 2nd May 2021

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Rata Street Superhome

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A Tale of 2 Hemispheres
Webinar/Damien McGill

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Ir-Razzett Home, Napier


To get the best design/construction/engineering quality available.

To reduce future outgoings by investing at the build stage (the only resistive electricity use will be the oven/stove top and the electric jug, no heated towel rails needed.)

To build a home where every room in every season over 24 hours was within a comfortable humidity and temperature range without any system turning on or off heating, cooling or de humidifiers.

To build a home where all cooking and other smells managed by the balanced ventilation system (no range hood or bathroom/toilet fans to be turned on) a filtered air home to eliminate ‘in house’ acquired hay fever.

A future proof home ‘tomorrows home today’.

An additional benefit we have learned is that the home will be very well insulated from outside noise because of the full insulation and the vapour barriers as well as the high spec German window design that seals a bit like a ship porthole.


Richard and Carmen engaged eHaus architect Vlada Acimovic to design a passive home to meet their wish list above.

A passive home is the gold standard in comfort and energy efficiency and eHaus have built more certified passive homes than any other home builder in the country. 

The Healthy Home Cooperation was appointed as structural engineer to this build because being a certified passive home consultant we understand what is required to design a resilient home of this standard.


A fully insulated MAXRaft slab resting on 650mm of compacted gravel, supports 140mm framing and a 45mm insulated services cavity with Ecoply as the rigid air barrier and exterior bracing element.

A trussed upper storey roof contains 315mm of insulation. The gable shading structure and moveable screens are to reduce the risk of overheating in the hot Hawkes Bay summers.

High performance timber windows and double glazing provide visual comfort to the home owners and allow solar gain in winter time. A mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery is a given for a home of this standard. 


This home has just been submitted for consent so stay tuned for updates throughout the build process.

In Cooperation with

Designer: Vlada Acimovic

Builder: eHaus

Windows: EcoWindows

Foundation: MAXRaft

Stacey's Home, Paraparaumu


Our path to a high performance home was long and crooked. Looking backward I’d say we had no other options but it wasn’t that obvious from the beginning.

The houses on the market in 2020 were either too expensive, or poorly made, or both. We did a couple of good cycles through all stages from denial to acceptance and ended up buying land.

A few months later we had almost settled with the conventional kitset house when my friend invited me to the Superhome open lecture. The more I listened, the more I thought that the kitset house wouldn’t meet our expectations of warmth without overheating, low maintenance, durability and sustainability. I also always wanted the house to be of a compact size, smart and future-proofed.

I’m an Analyst so pretty much into modelling and planning. Having the house performance verified through the computer modelling was another point that supported our choice.

Then it was a matter of weeks to find a designer and builder and the journey began...


I met Stacey at the first What Makes a Healthy Home Seminar in Wellington. That was the first event on the Superhome Movement’s Roadshow to publicise the Healthy Home Design Guide. I recommended Superhome participant NZSIP and their smart kitsets to her and things developed from there.


Stacey chose to customise a Smart 70 kitset to her requirements. 115mm R4.5 wall panels were combined with 165mm R7 roof and floor panels to create a highly insulated thermal envelope. A service cavity behind the walls and under the floor is further insulated with Terra Lana R1.2 wool insulation. High performance windows and doors are used along with a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery to create a super healthy home.

In Cooperation with

Designer: Energy Architecture
Builder: eHaus
Panels: NZSIP



WHY: Margaret loves her transitional villa. The rubble foundations were munted following the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010-2011. She simply wants it restored to look as good as its twin next door.

From my point of view, we need housing that is enough not to have to rely on insurance companies, as that DOESN'T WORK.

HOW: I've been working with Margaret since 2014 as she singlehandedly battled EQC. With single-minded super determination, this solo mother of two, now teenage boys, has now obtained building consent for a SuperReno unlike any we've seen in Christchurch to date.

However, we are not out of the woods, yet. We still have to get sign off from Earthquake Commission (EQC) or the ground improvement costs. They are being their usual difficult selves.

Margaret's tenacity, determination and fortitude to continue pushing for what is only right and equitable, is truly inspirational in the face of overwhelming Davina vGoliath odds, from a deny, delay, defend government organisation.

How she continues to forge her path to the goal of a healthy family home is an inspiration to me and part of my why for the Healthy Home Cooperation.

WHAT: We have Building Consent to demolish the rear of her house, lift it onto rails, slide it to the back of her section, sheet pile, then dig out the worst part of 2 metres of silt and peat, add cement stabilised gravel and a new earthquake resilient foundation, before putting the house back and starting the superstructure repairs to make the 1913 transitional villa a SupeReno superhome.

We will take the weatherboards off, add ply as a rigid air barrier, fully tape up the joints to make the home as airtight as possible, replace as many windows as I can negotiate, before adding battens and reusing as much of the existing cladding as we can. Inside we will remove the lath and plaster, insulate, install a vapor barrier, batten and GIB, before putting back the original skirtings and architraves. We will install a balanced mechanical heat recovery ventilation system to ensure that the internal air quality is streets ahead of what was there before.

OUTCOME: The old villa will be given a new lease of life and from a healthy homes' perspective, perform way ahead of the new units across the road. The project will prove that Healthy Renovation is a viable option in the modern low-carbon friendly world.


Date: 25th May 2021
Ponsonby Cruising Club, Auckland

Damien McGill, Superhome Roadshow

Bob Burnett, Superhome Roadshow

Katheren Leitner, Asthma New Zealand, Superhome Roadshow

Metro Glass Team, Superhome Roadshow

Nick Manarangi, Superhome Roadshow

Mike Standord, Superhome Roadshow

Panelists, Superhome Roadshow

Richard Holland, Superhome Roadshow

Brandon van Blerk, Superhome Roadshow

Q & A, Superhome Roadshow

Joseph Lyth, Superhome Roadshow

“The fundamental purpose of a building is to keep its occupants safe and healthy!
...If it’s not achieving this, it is not a good building”

This was a super popular event with over 100 people turning out to hear what actually makes a home healthy. A super engaged audience had plenty of questions during question time, and queued up to ask more at the conclusion of the event. It was super exciting to korero with the speakers and audience face to face.

Pretty much everyone stuck to their allocated time, except Brandon who raced through his slides once again! Particularly enjoyed listening to Nick and his journey to learning to understand what is a really healthy home.

On the back of the super sucess of this event, Pro Clima have offered to organise an event in July.
Watch this space for further details!


Great evening! Positive energy and some tough questions being asked. Now time for action 👍 how does one join the movement?

Well done all great to see and hear from a good range of people,
not just building science geeks.

What a fantastic event. Great speakers with a great message.
Let’s do it - let’s build truly healthy homes.

Damien McGill we really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in the event last night and judging by the conversations Simon Cator and I had afterwards with various people, there could be a real ground swell of ‘super’ homes being built up this way soon which is very positive. A great event format, thanks for organising.

Thanks to the Superhome Team (Damien McGill and Bob Burnett) for the great event tonight here in Auckland championing real healthyhomes
. Thought provoking presentations by a diverse group of speakers including Richard Hollard, Nick Manarangi and Brandon van Blerk and of course our own Joseph Lyth on what makes a home healthy. If you missed this one I highly recommend following the Superhome movement ( and booking in for the next event. Looking forward to the Superhome tours in a couple of months!


Stark Bros Transport Yard: Lyttleton

WHY: The stormwater and trade waste were dated and confused, being some 40 years old, with the resultant possible pollution of Lyttelton harbour.

HOW: It's not a Healthy Home, but we've managed to assist with improving the water quality in Lyttleton Harbour by helping this transport yard to separate their trade waste from their stormwater. It is Healthy for the Planet!

We've created a larger truck wash facility, that will discharge into a petrol/sediment interceptor and this along with the separately seriously treated trade waste, will be pumped into the Council sewer system for the very first time.

The stormwater from the two hardstanding areas is being treated by a Hydrosystem interceptor and pumped to the Council's stormwater system.

Both pumps will be alarmed and controlled so that any spills will not contaminate the stormwater system and get into the harbour.

OUTCOME: The Council were very happy with the upgrade that separates trade waste from stormwater and only discharges treated stormwater into the harbour. I'm very proud to be a small part of improving the water quality in Lyttleton Harbour.


Stark Bros Ltd.

Contractor: Gillon & Mahar Plumbing Ltd.

Council: Christchurch City Council

NZSIP Smart70 Install Workshop
Thursday 29th April - Sunday 2nd May 2021. 26 Tamatea St, Pahia, Riverton

PURPOSE: The purpose of this event hosted by NZSIP was to educate, inspire, and facilitate change...

The goal of the event from NZSip's point of view was to give builders the confidence and in-depth knowledge to install their product with ease. "To provide our clients key knowledge to make an informed choice when it comes to choosing their build method for their new home."

Held onsite in beautiful Southland we put up the shell of a SMART 70 unit including windows to lock up stage in three days. There were workshops and talks held as the build progressed.  

I graduated from engineer to tape boy – I'm now an expert in Pro Clima tape installation and presented the Healthy Home Design Guide to participants on behalf of the Superhome Movement.

One of the most enjoyable events I've ever had the pleasure to be involved in. Would love to do another one!


This is a house that simply signifies what we are all about.Warm, dry, resilient energy efficient homes should be a basic requirement for every family, not something to marvel at like a zoo exhibit!

Ph: 027 348 1110

Healthy Homes for all Kiwis. Housing is about people. People working together in cooperation to provide Healthy Homes for people to live in.
Damien McGill: Engineering Happy Healthy Homes for People & Planet