Enabling change in our Society, Environment and Economy (SEE)

Passive House, Chifley

Passive House, Chifley 

Woden SEE-Change hosted a visit to this Passive House in Chifley.

About 26 people visited the morning of 23 July 2018, on a 10 degree C max day. The house was a toasty t-shirt wearing 20 degrees.  Winter layers quickly came off and shoeless feet were warmed on the sun exposed concrete floor.

Harley, the owner/builder and Passive house consultant provided extensive information about the difference in materials used to build the two houses on site five years ago and the current office being built next to the house.  The key difference is the use of Logikhaus walls rather than imported SIP’s (structural insulated panels). Logikhaus uses recycled shredded newspaper rather than unsustainable polystyrene for its walls, floor and roof insulation.

This house is one of twelve in Australia built and certified to the International Passivhaus standard.

It features high levels of insulation, construction with no thermal bridging across materials and super air-tightness. Independent testing measured an air infiltration rate of 0.1 ACH at 50Pa – about 200 times tighter than the average Canberra home.

When coupled with a whole-house ventilation system with heat recovery, the internal air is fresh and the temperature stays comfortable year-round in every room.  Other bonuses are – reduced allergies from the absence of pollen, few dust mites, no mould or moisture build-up and the absence of traffic noise.

The house takes advantage of winter sun to heat the home and has all the ingredients of a solar passive house like double-glazed north-facing windows and doors, deep eaves, high thermal mass floors and windows placed to encourage cross-ventilation. But what takes this house to the next level is the air-tight membranes used to seal the house from air leaks, the placement of insulation to decouple the slab from the ground, the use of sandwich panels to avoid thermal bridges and a heat recovery system for even temperature fresh air.

Heating and cooling have not been used for the last 3 years. Even on cold frosty mornings when it is -7 deg C outside, it is a cosy 20 deg C inside! Live temperature and CO2 measurements are viewable online.

To learn more about Harley’s house visit https://sensorcloud.microstrain.com/SensorCloud/data/OAPI004MD6H32HTF/

and his business website is https://www.logikhaus.com.au/

With thanks to our


  • ACT Government Environment and Planning
  • The Association of Independent Schools of the ACT (AISACT)
  • Catholic Education Office (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn)
  • Education and Training Directorate
  • ACT Government