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The short answer? Yes, of course you can build a passive house in Wollongong!

Passive houses are no longer uncommon in Australia. Originating in Europe, passive houses can be built anywhere in the world to suit any climate. Over the last few years, the popularity of passive houses in Australia has grown and many have been built around the country.

Even with our moderate climate, passive houses are gaining interest in Wollongong and the Illawarra too. The passive house standard is all about creating an energy efficient homes, regardless of the location or climate. Residential passive housing is appropriate for coastal suburbs anywhere in the Illawarra through to cooler areas in the Southern Highlands and beyond.


Passive housing is a great way to live in today’s environment. It’s eco-friendly living at its best and a huge step towards attaining a greener world. It helps to save energy by using 80-90 percent less compared to conventional buildings, while having a comfortable home at the same time. Exceptional insulation in passive houses means that it’s self-sufficient - you don’t need any additional equipment to heat and cool, saving you a stack of money on electricity bills.

Passive housing in today’s world is very impressive. Passive house principles can be adopted in any style of home – from granny flats and modest family homes to high-end luxury living. Although passive design elements are best suited to new builds, the same concepts can be used for renovations or extensions to your exiting home.


The be a certified passive house, there are five passive design principles that need to be adopted in your build, tailored specifically to your site and orientation. Key design elements include:

  • eliminating thermal bridging,

  • installing a heat recovery ventilator,

  • making the building airtight,

  • using high-performance windows,

  • insulating the building envelope, and

  • optimising passive solar.

The standards for residential passive housing are very effective. Passive housing standards include a maximum limit of energy consumption of 120 kWh/m2 per year (energy required to bring forth and deliver the energy to the site), maximum cooling or heating energy up to 15 kWh/m2 per year, and air leakage not more than the equivalent of 0.6 air changes per hour at 50 pascals. The important thing is handling every aspect of the house such as design, construction, monitoring with greatest attention to detail.


The great news? You don’t need to travel far to find an expert passive house builder in the Illawarra. The award-winning Souter Built is based in Wollongong and the region’s only Certified Passive House builder. Master Builder Adam Souter has a passion for creating high-quality and sustainable homes and has travelled to Germany, the home of the Passive House, and across Europe to learn first-hand the best methods for building passive houses in an Australian climate.

For expert advice on building your passive home, talk to award-winning local builder Souter Built. Specialising in passive houses, heritage restorations, commercial and residential building, alterations, additions and renovations in Wollongong, the Illawarra, Sydney and the Southern Highlands.


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